The weather here in Mid-Devon has continued with it's fierce rage and battling storms. During the day the weather is wet and dreary, but at night it appears to be much worse. I often wake up in the morning fearing the worst, expecting animal housing to be shredded into pieces and their inhabitants quivering with fear - or worse. Touching every bit of wood I can see, we have been okay up to now and have had to carry out the bear minimum of repairs. Further flood warnings and strong winds have been forecast for overnight and tomorrow, and actually as I type this I can hear the rolling of thunder overhead. I guess we are going to be in for yet another bumpy ride.
I am really looking forward to the week ahead. We are getting back into the home-ed spirit of things tomorrow and it can't come too soon. Although we are always relaxed and I consider the household to be very much child-led, recently it has become quite apparent that at least two of the children would benefit (read as screaming out for) a bit of structure or direction. Actually, since having Amara, I feel that I would benefit from a bit of planning or routine too as it is all too easy to sit down for a snuggle and not realise how many hours have passed. I am all for taking time out and seeing to baby's needs and I don't begrudge snuggle time with my babe at all - but I have to be realistic and remember that my other children's needs have to be met too and some days of late that just hasn't been happening.
Taisia is going through what some would call a 'difficult' phase. She has an incredible vocabulary and her conversation skills are superb. It is all too easy to forget that she only has three years under her belt and that emotionally she is still very much in need of so much. Couple this with me having ridiculously late nights (early morning bed times), and well, something has to give. In this case it is that my patience is wearing a little thin on far too many occasions and things aren't always as peaceful as I would like them to be. I have gotten into the awful (but perfectly human!) reaction of yelling when feeling a little stressed or overwhelmed and I really want to work on that before damage is done. I seem to snap at the simplest of requests if I am busy with something and then I get cross with myself and feel sad and disappointed that I have reacted that way.
One of the problems with reacting in that way with Taisia is that it is really like a red rag to a bull. She reciprocates any raise in vocal tone and it just exasperates the situation. Taisia will stand there with her hands on 'hippos' as she refers to her hips, leans forward and shouts back. Often it is just a whirr of noise, a string of words that form nonsense sentences as her emotions and frustrations inhibit her thought process. It doesn't help that Taisia is also fiercely independent, incredibly so, which often creates a battle of wills when things need to be done within a certain time frame.
I'm working on it.
I am hoping that by opening up and being honest, and identifying and naming my weaknesses here on the blog, it will encourage me as I travel along the path of imperfection and strive towards the goal of calm. I don't strive to be perfect, that is an unrealistic goal, but I do want to less like a snappy Jack Russell and more like a calm and serene Red Setter! Don't get me wrong. I'm certainly not shouting and yelling my head off 24/7, but I do feel under pressure, maybe just a couple of times a day, during which time I am not parenting in the way I would like to.
Today has been a good day on the quieter parenting front. I made a conscious decision upon waking that I wouldn't raise my voice and apart from a very slight hiccup later on in the evening during a very precarious dirty nappy changing situation, I haven't felt my blood pressure rising. I'm quite proud of that and it's nice to be able to look back on the day and smile.
The children have pretty much entertained themselves with very little input from me. It was a lazy day as far as our Sunday's go, the weather was atrocious so it really was batten down the hatches and sit in front of a cosy fire kinda day. Apart from the usual animal duties, we didn't venture out of doors.
Taisia found a game on the CBeebies website where she could write over letters. She used Tiegan's new Nexus tablet that she got for Christmas for this and found it easy to follow the dotted lines with the pen-like stylus. I just love it when the children discover a game that they enjoy greatly without realising the massive amount of 'learning' going on.
The lovely wooden farm set was played with once again today, I think it has seen the light of day every day since it was received at Christmas which is always pleasing.
Lovely to hear imaginations being used so expressively. Upon saying that though, there was a short while when Callum joined in with the farm game and I overheard him saying "No Taisia, I really don't think we should be pretending to eat each other's young!!"
The mind boggles.
Another Tasia-ism that was overheard today was this:
Callum: "Please don't head butt me Taisia."
Taisia: "Oh sorry Callum. I thought you were a building block."
Your guess is as good as mine!
I'm going to make a conscious decision to make a note of the silly little things that the children say throughout 2014. I tend to forget them so quickly and they do make me smile, as does seeing smiles on the faces of others...
Gummy baby smiles are so special.
Amara has had lovely cuddles with her daddy today, amazing how she often appears so big and yet seemingly shrinks when with her father.
The modelling session clearly wore her out. Sleeping babies, another smile inducer...
Tomorrow we have big plans. These include lapbooking, reading, playdough making, flapjack and bread baking, and....
well, we shall see :)