34 days down, 331 to go!
Dear Day 34,
I am embarrassed to report that you almost won because of cantaloupe. Cantaloupe people. I almost yelled because of cantaloupe. If that isn’t ridiculous, I don’t know what is. Yelling over pineapple? That I can understand. It’s prickly. So it could hurt me and cause me to yell. But cantaloupe? It is sweet and tender and besides it is orange, my new favorite color. How can cantaloupe anger me? I don’t know, but it did. I must be entering my “testy” stage. So could you do me a favor Day 34? Could you ask Day 35 to be sweet and tender like the cantaloupe?
The Orange Rhino
Just writing this makes me laugh. I almost yelled at my kids over a fruit. A FRUIT. It was an interesting series of emotions, this Cantaloupe encounter. Talk about a roller coaster ride.
Here’s the background. Dinner is over. Kids are watching night time show. #1 says he is still hungry and helps himself to cantaloupe. Great healthy choice, no complaints. #2 decides it is a great idea too. And of course #3 agrees. So now my three muskateers are sitting at the counter eating cantaloupe for dessert instead of heading upstairs to bed. Seems so sweet and innocent, right?
Begin the roller coaster ride of emotions:
HAPPY: Wow, this is a beautiful, happy moment. I am going to get the camera so I can remember it when sh*t hits the fan. (By the way, NEVER think to yourself, wow, things are calm and wonderful, they could get worse. It invites the karma gods to cause unrest.)
DUMBFOUNDED, 15 seconds later: Wow, they dumped out the ENTIRE container of juicy, sticky cantaloupe onto the counter. The just cleaned counter. The counter I don’t want to clean again. Oh wait, awesome, all the cantaloupe juice is dripping onto the chairs and the floors. Sweet! More sticky mess to clean up while the baby cries for bath, bottle, and bed.
CALM, 5 seconds later: Wow, I can handle this. I have my camera I’ll take a picture and laugh as that is what I have learned to do in these situations.
AGITATED, 5 seconds later: Wow, what a friggin’ mess. This isn’t funny. It’s annoying. Especially since #2 is sick so all of his pile now can’t be shared. He’d better want Cantaloupe this week. Ugh. It’s past bed time, I want the day to be over, WTF.
VERY AGITATED, 5 seconds later: “BOYS, why did you…”
#1 chimes in. “ORANGE RHINO mommy. Your voice is going up.”
STILL AGITATED: “Thank you #1. I know that.”
“No really, mom, you’re close to yelling. I’m just saying. It’s a warning.”
LAUGHING, 5 seconds later: Wow, my 5 ½ year just gave ME a warning. What’s next, a time out?
Hopefully not, because in this case a timeout means resetting my clock. And I’ve worked hard to get here. Really really hard. Not yelling takes a lot of work – it is a lot of ups and downs, up and downs, up and downs. It is great but man is it work. Just look at this one example that lasted, oh say, 60 seconds? It took a lot of energy to ensure that my sweet side overruled my prickly side. And that was just 1 minute. There are 779 more minutes like that one during the rest of the day. Okay, well not every minute from 6:30 am until 7:30 pm is like that but at least half are, or at least it feels like it. If not more.
The Orange Rhino Challenge is an absolute commitment. A bigger commitment than I imagined. But I am not going to give up.
I am certainly not going to give up because of a minor inconvenience like having to wipe a counter and wipe the floor. That’s what, 2 minutes of work? If that? In the grand scheme of things, no big deal. I can handle that. What I wouldn’t be able to handle would be yelling. If I had yelled that would have taken up at least 30 minutes of my life because I would have spent at least that amount of mental time feeling crappy and sulky…especially given the circumstances.
You see, what was a minor inconvenience for me, was a major bonding and growing moment for my boys. They were not only proud to have been resourceful enough to help themselves to dessert, but they were also proud of their healthy choice and as an added bonus were proud to have divided up the fruit evenly for sharing. I mean look at that picture, I think those two piles are perfectly even and the third, not pictured was identical!!
If I had yelled in this silly situation, I would have squashed their enthusiasm, their confidence and hurt their feelings. In other words, I would have been a prickly pineapple. I have never really liked pineapple, so that doesn’t work for me. I much prefer to be a sweet and tender cantaloupe, I’ve always loved cantaloupe and it is afterall my boy’s favorite fruit. So cantaloupe I will be.
FLABBERGASTED: Wow, did I really just write that? Did I really just end a post comparing myself to fruit? What is this challenge doing to me?
HAPPY: Wow, it is making me relax. Excellent.