Last night, my husband worked a late shift. By the time he got home, two kids were asleep in bed and the third? Well, she was jumping all over me, being a general go-the-heck-to-bed-pain-in-my-bum. Nothing new there.
Husband came inside and asked me how my afternoon had gone.
“Well!” I told him. “Since you asked …”
I instantly saw the regret in his eyes, the panicked, dammit why did I ask ….
Because you care, husband. Because you care.
I immediately delved into a long novel, barely coming up for air between sentences, about how the kids had been a constant symphony of whinging all afternoon and nothing was right and I was entirely at fault through their eyes the entire afternoon and the crying and the yelling and somehow they all managed to injure themselves all at the same goddamn time and I couldn’t possibly comfort all three at once and that was my fault too and I hadn’t had a moment’s peace all afternoon not even when I went to the loo because they all needed something NOW and I couldn’t keep up and WHY DID WE HAVE CHILDREN and thank god at least two of them are asleep now but this one still awake holy shit don’t get me started on her and what she did while unsupervised in the bathroom for five minutes and the tantrum she threw on the way home oh my lordy I filmed it because otherwise you wouldn’t have believed how epic it was …
And then I stopped.
And I heard myself.
And I said, “Wait. Cancel that. Ignore what I just said. Start again. Ask me how my afternoon was ..”
“O … kay …” my dear husband replied, thinking right-o, I’ll play along …
“How was your afternoon, dear?”
“It was good. Not great, but hey, it’s Friday and the kids are tired. Once the kids got over their initial synchronised injuries and subsequent tears, all three settled onto respective electronic devices while I pottered around doing housework and like. There were a few squabbles over the iPad but they actually sorted them out together, with minimal injury. I cooked tea and when I called the kids over to the table, all three came over without hesitation or argument which is rare! And we ate our tea together, and talked about what made us laugh that day.
After dinner was cleared, I said it was bath time and BoyChild said he felt like it was a blue bath kind of day. I thought, you know what – it is. So I grabbed the blue food colouring and the kids played in the bath for long enough for the water to start to go cold. After wrapping the kids like babies in their towels then tickle-monster-ing them into their pjs, we read stories on the couch.
At bed time the older two went without a fuss, and were asleep before too long.
All in all, not a bad afternoon, all things considered”.
And there it is.
A slight change in the way you think can have a massive impact on so many things. It’s human nature to sway towards the negative in a situation, and it certainly wasn’t a fantastic afternoon, but it wasn’t entirely disastrous either.
I need to take a leaf out of my own book sometimes – perhaps sit down and ask myself, what made me laugh today? What was something that made me smile?
Because there will always be something, even if you have to look a little harder to find it some days.
And then, I showed husband the video of the Epic Tantrum of ’16, because let’s be honest, it needed the air time.