Seems I have some work to do in teaching gratitude to my girls. Though every day I take a silent moment to be grateful for a moment (or many) in my day, perhaps I need to share my gratitudes to my girls so they can model that.
Today was very frustrating for me.
Kaya, since day one, has been a ‘cup-is-half-empty’ kinda girl. Instead of proclaiming the great, she gravitates toward pointing out the one small bad. Instead of being proud of an accomplishment, she sees the one wrong thing that happened.
Drives me insane and I have spent many an hour contemplating how ingrained this is in her and how to naturally evolve it without criticizing her character.
Have I ever mentioned that being a mother is f%^%* hard!
In my eyes, today was great.
I took the girls to Tumblewoods, a fabulous play place where they ran with friends and ate fresh out of the oven Coconut Pineapple muffins. While they play, I concoct a scavenger hunt that is our next stop in our day. We go and they find different coloured flowers and sticks, jump off rocks and point out animals. Once they find all the clues, I give them a little surprise treasure and continue adventuring. After discovering new places and secret passageways, we find a geocache treasure and they get some sweet treasures from that. We snack in the sunshine before coming home where Brennyn naps and Kaya and I sit down for a full hour of one-on-one school lesson time. We spell, we do math, we journal and make up stories before then spray painting some special frames to put pictures in.
Sounds like a pretty good day right?
I thought so.
Then we plant some plants for our new Rock Garden which was requested by Kaya. I excitedly tell her that we can use these little pots we have so that Brennyn can fill one with her special little rocks and Kaya can fill hers with her special rocks.
To which Kaya folds up her arms (yes, even the broken one), puts out her pouty lip and grumbles “Brennyn always gets the most of everything!”
I am at a complete loss. This whole day I have done nothing but focus on my girls, both of my girls and maybe even more so on Kaya, and the only thing she can say is that Brennyn gets more of everything. I can not imagine where this came from or why. Especially on this day.
I am completely exasperated.
Please note, my frustration lies not in this one grumpy statement from Kaya, but from an accumulation of similar notes and tones that has been ongoing. After a lecture on gratitude, taking mommy for granted, and negativity, I realize my frustrated speech is not going to sink in and tell her to go in her room as I need some space.
Oh do I need some space.
Upon calming down, both of us, we have a talk about gratitude and focusing on the good in our lives instead of the bad. I tell Kaya that in our daily school lessons, we are going to share with each other every day what we are grateful for. Having done this throughout December last year, Kaya is excited to do it again, perhaps realizing she needs that nudge to focus on the positive.
With that, Daddy takes them out for a walk and I pour a glass of wine with bad TV. They come back with flowers and proclamations that I “am the best Mommy EVER!” and though it is sweet, I would rather my girl feel the happiness of our day fully instead of filled with the comparisons and judgements that she did.
I don’t know.
I’m torn as to if this is just good ol’ fashioned sibling rivalry, a natural temperament of pessimism, a grumpy girl with a broken wrist, or an overreacting mom over-analyzing the state of negativity in her girl.
Even so, modelling gratitude more openly to her can’t hurt. And sharing what we are grateful for daily can only benefit both of us.