Today started out rough. All week has been rough. Kevin and I have been discussing, and sometimes arguing about politics; both of us are uneasy out about the economy, our personal future, and our house that wasn't everything we'd hoped would be. We will be selling our house, because Kevin can't stand that it's slightly crooked. There is an ever so slight slant, (only a few milimeters) to the right side of the house and the soil is packed full of iron, that stains the toilets in spite of our spending a fortune on a high-powered water filtration system. There is also a 12 ft wall that would be very easy for my kids to fall down, so I have to stay tense, always checking, and if I hear crying, the first thing I do is dash to check the wall. Kevin wants to sell and start over. The older I get, the more I desire a place to rest my head that is mine. A place I can hang my pictures and create fun spaces for the kids. I feel like a little mole, wanting to have a burrow of my own to experiment and work with, to build on and expand as the years go by. Now we are going to have to start over--again. We really love Floyd, and we hope to stay in the area, but we may have to move somewhere else, with only the promise in our hearts that we will return some day.
I needed to get ahold of myself, and I didn't for a full week. I was immature, snapped, ignored the kids a lot, and they immediately started getting angry again. It is amazing how quickly we can digress. However, because we do have tools to help us, we put them to use as soon as we matured ourselves enough.
Finding our happy faces
Audrey Christley, a good friend of mine told me that when her little girl was cranky and just all around negative, she'd say--"Where's your smile? Can you find it? Is it...in your pocket? In your shoe? In the grass? etc."
We started doing this, though saying 'happy face,' and I found that often, when they "found their happy face," I did too! The kids latch on to this and use it as a tool--it really works, and they absolutely love it! When it's a really, really rotton mood, we will go running around looking for the happy face, which provides psychological and physical movement. We look in silly places like 'in the light bulb' or 'in the peanut butter,' and eventually, when they are ready, they'll tell me, 'I found it mommy! It's right here in my shirt" or "in the laundry" or wherever they decide it was. We cheer and hug and welcome back the happy face, and we all agree that laughter is the best cure for a cranky mood! My oldest child is 5, so I am not sure how long this will last, but I am happy to continue it as long as it works. So thank you Audrey!! We have needed to find our happy faces several times this week.