Today we had such a good morning. Really, truly, it was fun, happy, pleasant, and productive. Pretty much the absolute antithesis of our day yesterday. Which we’ll just call a disaster and miserable in every way and leave it at that.
Now that all three boys are miraculously down for an afternoon nap at the same time, I’ve been thinking about today and yesterday and wondering why the heck yesterday went so wrong and today has been (so far) really right. And even though there’s some obvious factors such as the baby took a morning nap today and didn’t yesterday, and the sun is shining brightly on our snow covered yard today and it was grey and dark and miserable yesterday, I think I’ve pinpointed the #1 culprit in our good day/bad day struggle.
Yesterday I was a majorly distracted mother. I tried to wash, dry, and fold six loads of laundry in the morning when I had the most energy, all the while demanding that my toddlers play on their own in the playroom. I cleaned the kitchen and wiped down all the bathrooms. I swept the kitchen floor while they watched Curious George and the baby bounced in the exer-saucer. I sat down in front of my laptop and checked in with social media and wrote a few emails. And even though my house was pretty nicely cleaned and the laundry got done and I knew what you were doing on Facebook, everyone was miserable and whiny and edgy and fighting and fussy. Ugh.
Today, I didn’t do any of my usual chore-type activities that I like to do in the morning. Instead, as soon as the baby went down for a nap I brought the boys over to the kitchen table and we set up projects to do together. And I sat with them and played and doodled and constructed and deconstructed all morning long. I think I checked in with social media once, for a total of 34 seconds, the entire morning. We had tea time and the boys drank their watered-down version in “real gwass cups” as my 2-year-old calls the Goodwill mugs I purchased for just such an occasion.
My chores didn’t get done but the kids were soooo happy to have my full attention. And I must say, I was happy too. Today just felt good.
So lesson to thick-headed me: my presence is the best present I can give them.
It makes all of us just really, really happy.