This weekend was weird, but then again, any weekend that goes south usually is.
After Mexico, the girls are very interested in food and helping me cook. I generally do a fair amount of cooking on the weekends, either recipes to freeze and have on hand for snacks, or larger meals that will give us leftovers throughout the week.
Except here is how things go. They both want to help. I find a job for child #1 and child #2 immediately starts crying and complaining that they NEVER get a job! They NEVER get to help! Lather, rinse, repeat over the course of four different recipes and four meals.
Then they both decided that they wanted to make something. Delaney wanted to do chocolate covered strawberries. Fine, easy enough. Caden wanted to make some sort of candy, but she couldn’t articulate what she wanted to do and started grabbing ingredients and putting chocolate from one bowl to another.
Here’s the deal. I want to nurture my kids and their cooking skills, but I’m not the type of mom who can just roll with it and say “Do whatever you want! Make a huge mess and waste all the ingredients! I don’t care! You’re a kid and you’re having fun!” I just can’t. Once she told me what she wanted to do, I helped her find the appropriate sized bowls, and get the right ingredients, and pull it all together. (She made a ‘candy bar’ where she had a layer of melted chocolate, a layer of raspberries, topped with a layer of more chocolate. We let it set, then cut it into bars. It was delicious.)
My anxiety levels were a bit high from all the tears and fighting, and then Caden hated pretty much everything I made (roast chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, french toast, chicken with stars soup, healthy cookies). Most days I can handle the rejection, but this weekend it pushed me over the edge. When I realized the living room, stairs, and basement were all still a disaster even after I had asked them no less than 10 times to clean it up, I sent them to their room.
I am not proud of how I reacted this weekend, but it also highlighted that things need to change. If nothing else, I heard that message loud and clear! I had a really great workout groove going before vacation, and then lost it all and didn’t exercise for the last two weeks. Exercise really helps keep my mind calm, and helps me react in a more measured way. I’m back at it, and hopefully can get back into the morning routine. I’m also cutting back on sugar. I binged a bit when we got home from vacation, and the sugar dragon bit back hard. I know it affects my moods, so it has to go. I also sat down with the girls and told them that if they want to help out in the kitchen, they have to be patient. No tears, and give Mom time to think things through and find jobs for everyone.
It helped that I chatted with a coworker who also has a 6.5 year old and said they are going through a lot of the same things in their house. I’m hoping some of the tears are because they are about to turn seven? Let’s hope. I can’t take many more weekends like that!