Both halves of the grand finale were thrilled to have another snow day today. I was pretty thrilled also, and left instructions for the driveway to be cleared. I left detailed instructions for them to wear boots, coveralls, hats and gloves and told them to get it done while the sun was shining.
When I got home at noon it wasn't done. The sun was shining brightly, and I left detailed instructions for them to wear boots, coveralls, hats and gloves and told them to get it done while the sun was shining.
I called from work at 2 pm and it wasn't done. I left detailed instructions for them to wear boots, coveralls, hats and gloves and told them I was getting tired of telling them to get it done while the sun was shining.
When I got home at 5 it wasn't done.
SO, I fired some lasers out of my eyes and asked why it wasn't done.
The youngest baby said the oldest baby had told him to do half of the driveway because that's what the oldest baby did last time and I was happy!! The oldest baby said the last time he just did half of the driveway and I was happy!! Then the youngest baby fired off his favorite attack, which is "WHY DON'T YOU EVER GET ONTO THE OLDEST BABY!!!!! YOU ALWAYS BLAME ME". And I said "FOCUS, GRAND FINALE! FOCUS!!" And I gave them detailed instructions to wear boots, coveralls, hats and gloves and told them that it was really cold now, so to hurry as much as they could before they got frostbite or something that would be a terrible burden for me to deal with in addition to my other daily duties.
The driveway is done. Sort of. Probably.
It's dark now, so it's kind of hard to tell, but while I may have *technically* won this battle, I do not think I won this battle. At least not in the way I was imagining.
Which is the point of my post tonight.
You have to pick your battles, of course. But the biggest part of being a parent in repeating, repeating, double checking, triple checking, and making one last swoop through to make sure you haven't forgotten anything. It's pretending as though things are going to happen when you know in your heart that these things are not going to happen exactly the way you have pictured.
It's acting as though they have done what you asked them even when they haven't, and praising their effort rather than focusing on their short-comings.
When my kids were little and refused to pick up their toys I would do it with them. I would make them do it.
......I am still doing that, and with the Grand Finale I have been doing it for about 11 years.
Will it ever pay off? Who knows. Not me. Sometimes I wonder if I'm having any affect at all.
It's all I can do sometimes, not to throw dishes and break things. The only thing that keeps me from doing that is the certain knowledge that if I did, I would just have to clean up the mess. Oh sure, the kids might help, but it wouldn't be a stellar job. Someone would get glass embedded in their foot and we'd have an emergency room charge on top of me losing my mind and breaking all the dishes. And that's enough to stop me.
At least so far.
Being a parent is doing the same things, repeatedly, without thanks, praise, ackowledgement or compensation for years with only the hope of them ever paying off. Building walls, one small brick at a time. Chinking away ceaselessly with no end in sight.
The thing is, that's all right. You just keep on keeping on.
It is kind of hard not to keep repeating things, but eventually, if you get old enough, they will forgive you for that.
And I know that, eventually, the Grand Finale will have little argumentative ones who need to be reminded (4 times) and double checked.
Which makes it completely worth it.
Winter seems to drag on, doesn't it?
In 6 more weeks it will almost be spring!