6:40 AM Thursday morning. Still dark outside, house still quiet. Drinking my hot coffee, eating toast. I’ve been on pins and needles this week. Jack and Fiona are going through big changes and with the election going on, it brings us, my family outside of our solitary existence, it has made me think of everything I do and say as being important. I am reading “How To Talk To Kids So They Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk” By Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish. It is an awesome book! It talks a lot about Autonomy and letting children grow up making their own choices and becoming proud of who they are, being helpful and respectful to others. I’m learning so much about communication, the way too many questions make children feel uncomfortable, (I get it, I feel the same way) I just finished the chapter on praise. It talked about describing the positive things a child has done, not using “Good Boy or Good Girl” because it imposes too much pressure on the child to be “Good”, they are fearful of being “Bad” (Again, I get it!) Reading this book is like therapy for me! I feel like I was raised with some of the “Pitfalls” of traditional parenting, the type of punishment I got, I had no self-esteem, I always felt like I was “Bad”! So now, since I’ve been reading this book I think before I speak every time. It’s hard. I re-evaluate how I’m going to tell Jack and Fiona, they can’t have another cookie, they can’t climb on the table, they can’t poop and pee in the yard, they need to go in the toilet, they need to keep track of their own Blu Blu’s, they can’t throw playdough in the living room, if they aren’t going to take a nap they still need to stay in their room and rest while mommy does the same, they can’t throw legos or books or anything that will hurt another person, and on and on. They haven’t been taking their naps consistently the past two weeks either so I’ve had to really work hard and not snap! I haven’t had time to write or paint very much. Yesterday I did a bit of painting, I wanted to keep painting bad. Jack didn’t take his nap, he was awake but I put him in his room with his trains and cars for an hour so I could take a shower. When I came back upstairs I heard Jack singing, “No no no no” then “Mama” so I opened the door. He showed me how he spilled the water, I had told him to make sure to keep this cup upright because it spills. I tried to get him to help me clean it but he was so excited to be up he ran to his basketball hoop. It wasn’t a big deal, and he didn’t do it on purpose, so I cleaned it for him. Then he asked if he could watch “Bear” I said “That’s a great idea!” He looked at me in shock and joy! I turned on the T.V. and said, “I’m going down to get some paints” he didn’t acknowledge me. He looked like a real little kid. He sat and watched T.V. while I painted on the deck. He came out a few times to see what I was doing, but just wanted to watch his shows. I felt good, like we could do our own things at the same time. When Fiona woke up I turned off the T.V. and brought out the babies painting supplies. They started putting the paint in their mouths, putting it in my water glass, pouring the water into another cup. Not putting a single mark on the paper! I had to put the paint away, and take my paints back downstairs. I still wanted to paint bad. I let the babies free roam, they played outside in the back yard, on the deck, in the house. I would run down to my studio for a few minutes at a time and paint. Then run back up holding my breath, hoping they hadn’t gotten into anything crazy. They did pretty good, except for pooping outside, why didn’t they go in their potty? That was a bit of a clean-up job! I think this really is the poop phase! I’m certain they will get to the potty eventually! By the end of the day the house was destroyed. I cleaned the kitchen but didn’t have the energy to pick up the toys so I just went to bed.
I hope Jack and Fiona will grow up to be helpful, kind, engaged, humans. This election cycle has shown me more than ever before how important it is that we all participate in our democracy. We can’t just sit on the sidelines; we need to be involved. People blame the government and politicians for everything, but they work for us. We the people have total control. The “System” is there for us to use to make change, to make things better. We have to vote, we have to change laws, we have to volunteer and run for public office. If everyone participates there’s nothing “The Government” (Which is essentially us) can do. We can’t be passive, but protests alone won’t change anything either. It brings attention to issues, but only changing policies and laws gives us real long lasting change. Start local. That’s what the Republicans do, that’s what the Tea Party does. That’s what the anti-abortion activists do. They work with their own towns first and expand. They know they have an easy battle field because so many Americans have just checked out of politics. We take our Democracy for granted. We think things are set in stone, the “system” is the way it is and that’s that. It’s not true. We have to be involved and participate or we won’t have a Democracy anymore. If someone like Ted Cruz gets elected for President or Trump, our country will bleed. Our people will bleed. It will be bad. One thing the book I’m reading says is “Never Take Away HOPE from children” I want to raise my children with the hope of a better world for everyone and that they can make a difference. I CAN and so CAN YOU!! Bernie and Hilary are AWESOME! But every State, every city has its own government. Every school district has a board. Infiltrate! We can do this. Don’t give up hope and keep protesting but take action with in the “system” too!! PEACE!