Yesterday, I sat on the floor with both my children, playing blocks, soaking in the joy of watching then play together, of being able to be with them.
Until baby sister knocked over the tower.
"No, baby sister, no! We do not knock over our big sister's towers!" Scolded BG, slapping the floor with her hand.
And my littlest, with a huge grin, slapped the floor and yelled, "buh!"
You see, I explained, this is why you need to set a good example for your sister. When you yell and hit things, you teach her to yell and hit things.
This morning, in the parking lot of the community college where we were taking a nature class, I was holding an umbrella against the snow and hiking my one year old up on my hip as I said, a little more sharply than I would have liked, "you have to hold my hand."
"SHUT UP. JUST SHUT UP!" BG retorted.
I held my breath until we got to the car.
"Sweetie. Those words make me feel sad."
"I'm sorry mommy. That's why you shouldn't yell at me. You teach me to yell."
Touché. And that's no blunt point on your sword there, girl.
I've been yelling a lot lately. I lose my temper. I lose control. I hate it. I feel so ashamed.
BG knows where every one of my buttons is. She knows exactly how to elicit a power struggle, and lately it seems like she thinks everything merits one.
I know I shouldn't yell. I know I shouldn't react. I know I shouldn't take it personally.
I guess beating myself up for that isn't helping anything.
I read something the other day about making sure your kids' attention bucket and power bucket are filled.
Who is filling my power bucket?