Faye has been having a hard time these past few days. Lots of tantrums, lots of meltdowns, and extreme drama. So unlike her! Tonight, after I tucked them both in bed, I went upstairs, got a drink, and then went back downstairs, resolved to talk with Faye, do a little cuddling and try to find out what her problem is. Find out why she has been acting so difficultly lately.
*Stepping on the soapbox*
And I really don't want to hear anyone say it is because she is a middle child. I was a middle child, and I still struggle with that, and I vowed I would do everything in my power to ensure none of my children ever felt left out or overlooked or not as important. So please, don't ever tell me it is because she is a middle child, because quite frankly, that infuriates me.
*Stepping off my soapbox now*
I think it may have something to do with the move. Faye has no memories of living anywhere but here. She was too little to remember living anywhere else. I wonder if maybe she is a little unsure or afraid of the unknown. Even though we have talked it up a lot, and she is excited to have her own room, I wonder if perhaps she is nervous to move.
When I got downstairs, planning to go into her room to pluck her out of her bed, and talk to her, a little purple streak came tearing down the hall towards me, a guilty expression all over her face. She had sneaked out of bed and was trying to sweet talk her dad into letting her stay up later. Expecting me to be angry, she tried to run past me and get back into her bed. As she was running past me, her frizzy braid hair and purple Rapunzel nightgown flowing behind her, I put my arm around her middle and scooped her into my arms, and into a tight hug. She struggled for a bit, thinking I was carrying her to time out, but when she realized I was giving her a hug, she completely melted in my arms.
I sat down on the chair in the family room and nuzzled her in close, stroking her hair out of her face and just enjoyed her on my lap before we began talking.
I asked her why she was having such a hard time. She said I hadn't read to her. I reminded her I had asked her to come read with me, but she didn't want to leave off watching TV with her grandpa. I asked her again why she had been so grouchy all day. She couldn't really think of any answer to give me. And so, we moved on in our conversation. We talked about our new house, and how excited we will be to move in. We talked about setting up the rooms while Keith is in school, and cleaning the house out, and making it into a home.
We then talked about the kind of feeling we want to be in our home. Together Faye and I decided we want our home to be peaceful, loving, and a place where people can always feel good about themselves. We talked about what behaviors would encourage that. Soft voices, and cleaning things up when we are through with them.
You see, Faye and I have a problem. She obviously gets it from me. It is something I have been working hard on, and believe me, it is very difficult for me. We are yellers. When things are not going according to plan, we yell. When things are too noisy, we yell. When we feel we are being ignored, we yell. And sometimes, when we are angry, we yell.
By this time, Keith had come out of his room and wanted to join our conversation.
Faye was still in my lap, so Keith sat on the chair next to us. I asked him how he felt when he yelled at people. He said he felt yucky inside. Angry and very unhappy.
I asked him how he felt when he was yelled at.
His answer rocked my world.
Not in the "he rocks me world, he is so dreamy," sort of way, rather the "he rocked my world and shook things up and now so much is different," way.
He said, when he gets yelled at, it makes him feel like he has been kicked out of the family.
Remember how I said I never want my children to feel left out, overlooked or not as important?
I guess I make them feel that way when I yell.
It surprised me, shocked me, and humbled me.
I felt horrible for every single time I have ever yelled at my children.
It made it so much easier for me to work on my yelling habit.
We talked about how in our new home, there would be no yelling, or at least we would all work on it so that we could eventually eliminate it. We decided for Family Home Evening tomorrow night, we are going to sit down and make a list of family rules we want to have.
And no yelling will be at the top of that list.
Because we are family, and no one should ever feel like they are being kicked out!
After our eye opening discussion, I sent the kids to bed, although Faye fought it for a while longer, insisting she needed "one more"drink of water.
And I have pondered on Keith's answer ever since.
So, although it is not the customary time to set resolutions and goals yet, I already have two for next year. And I have already begun to work on both of them.
1: To eliminate yelling from our home.
2: To learn French.
A new home, a new year, and new beginnings right around the corner.