As I sit in my (mostly) clean, dimly lit living room, listening to some nice ambient music and waiting for Andrew to finish putting Sebastian to sleep, the day we just endured an already fading memory, I wonder why I waste so much energy getting annoyed with my son.
He will be off to school in five minutes, an adult tomorrow, a parent next week - will the fact that on October 1, 2007, he refused to nap and began every screaming sentence with the statement "NO, I don't like ___" matter? Or will a million other things happen between now and then? Over the course of parenthood I will have plenty of opportunity to be angry, annoyed and frustrated. I will also have a million opportunities to choose not to get angry, not to yell, to instead, handle myself with poise and dignity. The fact that these last months I have done more yelling than listening will not permanently scar my child - not if I don't let them. What I mean is, as long as I am working towards something better - and as long as this yelly-mom state is temporary - than things will be just fine.
I've begun reading a book I found at the thrift store last weekend, titled Positive Parenting A-Z and already I feel like it has some light to shed on what has been going on lately. I haven't made it to the A-Z part yet (where it covers "everything" from Adoption Issues to Zoo (and other outings)) but began reading through the concepts of positive parenting and can see places where I, usually with best intentions, have been more permissive than positive - with a bit of angry authoritarian thrown in for good (bad?) measure.