Yes we do.
Gimme a F. Gimme a U. Gimme a ‘nother U. Gimme a uuuuuuuuuckin’ A.
Spirited. The positive word they use to mean “a whole lotta headache”.
The other night, after a particularly horrendous evening of attempts to clean up the living room that may have included no less than 3 door slams (and none of those by children), I realized that yeah. Something here isn’t working, and something has to be done. So I finally got my hands on a copy of Raising Your Spirited Child, a book that I’ve been meaning to get around to reading but never have because of the exhaustion of dealing with the MORE.
I’m only about a third of the way through the book, but already I have noticed a huge difference in the way I approach my little monsters. And admittedly, I started reading it with my eldest in mind, but the more I read, the more I realize that yeah. Violet may be more introverted and so is much more apt to play solo, but she fits nearly every category listed in the book as well. Another household member that seems to tick all the boxes? Not surprisingly, myself. Between the three of us, my day-to-day is essentially a powder keg. Mishandle it, and add in a tired daddy at dinnertime, and it’s a perfect recipe for a door-slamming disaster of a bedtime.
So. I’m reading the book. I’m learning about how we all need enough energy to control our individual high spirits. I’m learning how each of us need to acquire that energy, how I can help everyone (including myself) get there. Which of us needs a hug, or extra space, or attention/time alone before the meltdowns start, and about the power of a mid-afternoon phone call to converse with an actual person (whose level of butt cleanliness has nothing to do with me), in enabling me to best handle those eventual meltdowns without having one of my own.
And I may not be a business owner. I may not have my work published. I may not keep a perfect house, and I may not even shower every day. But yesterday I managed to go the entire day without yelling at anyone. We had a nice morning, navigated a dicey afternoon, even picked up the all the toys in the living room before a perfectly agreeable bedtime. And for me, that’s a successful day. Here’s hoping I can keep that up.
We’ve got spirit. How about you?