Today I was riding my bike with Che, my youngest in the bike trailer behind, and Indi riding his little wooden balance bike beside me. It was a home day with the boys, which while lovely, also involved a lot of whinging. The topic of the morning’s whinge was Indi wanting to buy whistles from the Two Dollar Shop. I can’t stand this place. I think it’s full of junk and a waste of money (spoken like a true stick-in-the-mud mother!). But my kids LOVE it.
I tried reasoning. We’ve spoken about all the kids in the world who don’t even have enough food to eat. I suggested we could give $2 to them instead. No deal. I then explained how it could be saved and banked to go towards buying a really great toy or a car in a few years. No deal. So, finally, I had to cut him a deal.
The deal was this: one last Two Dollar Shop visit. Then none till his birthday in three months. Apparently it was a winner and I got his promise with those best little puppy dog eyes that kids learn to manipulate with from an early age… It remains to be seen whether or not he will be good for that deal.
We ended up having a really nice afternoon, riding the streets, taking care of a few errands, a visit to the park and of course got the whistles. Indi did really well riding the whole way by himself. But when we got to the steepest bit of the ride home he got tired and needed to stop and rest. He assured me he didn’t want to go in the bike trailer so I carried on a few more metres.
In the space of about two seconds he had thrown his bike down and proceeded to have a tanti (tantrum) because I was too far ahead and he wanted to be first. A woman drove past me at that moment, wound her window down, and yelled at me that my son had fallen off his bike and that I should look after my children.
Mostly I try to be zen about life but underneath the zen exterior is a rather feisty woman. So out came my feistyness and without even thinking about it I waved two fingers at her and told her to mind her own business.
She’d made an assumption about what had happened which she converted into aggression towards me, which generated aggression in me, which I then directed back at her. So not cool. These are the little ripples that get bigger and start world wars. Seriously.
Sure enough, Indi was totally fine. He just wanted to be in front. Once I stopped and the desired pecking order was restored, all was well. Then the next person who passed us was a man on a bike who rang his bell at Indi, waved and smiled. He never would have guessed what a terrible mother I’d been just a few minutes before.
All in the space of a minute or two there was an unnecessary ripple of anger on the surface of an otherwise calm, beautiful sunny day. It really got me thinking about the assumptions that I make and the often negative impact that these have.
So realisations from today:
- Don’t make assumptions (And this is one of the Four Agreements – great book)
- Each reaction is a choice, chose wisely
- Anger, whilst immediately satisfying is a big old waste of time and energy
- Kids love and are really good at whinging
- But you can…
…Always look on the bright side of life!!