This week has been an interesting week. Nothing truly notable happened, mostly just small things that have made a big difference in my days. Here is an overview of those small things that I’ve come to consider big deals.
Going Paper Free
My roof started leaking during a big storm. Which I thought was weird since we’re on the ground floor. I woke up one morning to find puddles on the kitchen counter and window sill. I also found that our roll of paper towels had done it’s darnedest to catch all the water it came into contact with. It was soaked down to the cardboard core. I was annoyed but thought to myself, ‘I don’t really need paper towels to survive right?’ So I didn’t go out and get any more. We also happened to be out of napkins. Still I was confident we could do it. I have a stack of cloth napkins and plenty of tea towels for the kitchen.
At first I really hated using those cloth napkins. I knew I’d have to wash and iron them (they’re %100 cotton). Of course this was the week when full glasses of milk went flowing across the dinner table and on to the carpet. But what started as annoying has quickly become habit.
It was interesting for me to see how often I reached towards the paper towel holder. I’ve decided not to go back. At least not for the time being. I’m probably going to go out and purchase darker colored napkins that don’t need ironing, but after seeing how much waste I produced from my use of napkins and paper towels I can’t go back. Even if I do throw them in the compost instead of the garbage they have to come from somewhere right? So I’m giving them up for now.
I’ve done a bad thing as a parent, something I think to be a bad thing. I let Jack snack as much as he wants while he watches TV. This week, I read an article about how French kids eat and then I felt annoyed. Not at the article but at my own laziness. I was annoyed at myself because it made me realize a second bad thing I was doing. I’ve been ignoring Jack quite a lot.
It sounds terrible and I hate it. I couldn’t focus at playtime. I was thinking about a million other things while we played. Most times I would start to play then leave after five minutes to “do something real quick” only to get so wrapped up in it that “real quick” turns into an hour. So the poor kid gets bored, asks to watch a show then almost every time asks for a snack while he watches his show.
I was ashamed. I made a new resolution as soon as I realized what I was doing. My new resolution, to slow down and actually be present with my kid. He won’t be a kid for long so be there while he is.
I also made a new rule that we talked over at breakfast one morning, about eating meals only at the table and no snacks/dessert/food of any kind in the living room, especially while watching TV. We’ve been following this rule all week and I have noticed a bit of a change in the kid. He seems less quick to fly off the handle, more willing to stop a freak out, and he seems to be eating more at meals. I’ve also noticed changes in me. I find I’m becoming a bit more patient and willing to simply wait out his more intense emotions. I’m making it a point to ask him what he’d like to do during the day and actually do those things if we can. (But there’s no way we’ll go to playground if it’s pouring down rain.) I’m becoming more aware of what I’m putting in my body and my child’s. I’m beginning to realize there is always another time to do the things I think need to be done right away.
I’m feeling like a better parent which in turn, I think, means I am becoming just that.
I started planning a big trip for this summer. A big, big trip. I’ll be taking Jack to Ireland & Scotland. I’ve been to Ireland before so we’ll start there and end up in Scotland. I’m really excited. Jack is excited too. I told him about our trip last night and all morning he was asking when we were going to go on our vacation. It will be his first international trip. I hope it will be the first of many.