Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Working on My Attitude: A Thanksgiving Message

I hate my house.  There.  The plain and grumbling truth.  It stinks, there is no storage, it is about three bedrooms shy of the need, no dishwasher and a crappy kitchen sink to boot, it is cold and breezy, the stove is temperamental, the windows are often covered with foggy condensation so I can't see outside, it is ugly and there is no place to unpack my books.  I can't take a bath in the shrunken tub.  I stub a toe, bonk my head or whack my hip at least once every day as I try to navigate around the too big for the space but not big enough for our family kitchen table or our make-shift storage solutions.

Yesterday, one of my daughters was throwing a record breaking tantrum.  She was asked to clean her room;  it was admittedly bad and was that way mostly due to her youngest sister.  I was as patient and understanding as could be . . . for the first hour and forty-five minutes.  Then she started screaming about how much she hates this house!!!  Now, her bedroom only has two and a half walls because it is not really meant to be a bedroom; it is supposed to be a dining room.  Since we couldn't shut the door to attempt containment of her fit, we were all forced to listen to the unrelenting screeches.  When she started in on the house, I had a moment of brilliance.  Okay, the truth is that I had just had enough and couldn't listen to her for one more minute!  I told her that she didn't need to be in the house since she hated it so much.

I put her outside.

It was about 60 degrees and she was wearing short sleeves.  I did not lock the door so she could have come in at any time.  She decided she would rather continue with the tantrum outside and stayed on the back porch for about five minutes.

I brought her inside and wrapped her in a blanket.  Her tears had switched from uncontrolled to sad and hurt which meant I could finally talk with her--reason with her.

I told her that I hated the house, too.  But then I asked if she had been cold outside.  She nodded yes.  I reminded her that as much as we hate this house, we need to be thankful for it because without this despised shelter, we would be desperately cold.

---Kaboom!---

Do you ever say something to someone else that was really just the thing you needed to hear?  My lecture was of more benefit to me than to any kid mad because she had to clean up after her sister.

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I love my house.  I can sit in my pajamas in front of the computer and stay warm.  I can go outside to enjoy the beauty of nature, but that I can come in and have a cup of hot chocolate when I am done.  My children are still small enough that they can all squeeze onto one side of the kitchen table.  There are six people in this house to help share the burden of hand washing the dishes. There is a lock on the master bedroom which is a feature we have never before enjoyed.  I love that this house is paid for . . .

so I can effectively save for a new house.

2 comments:

  1. What a brilliant & Logical consequence. You hate the house? Don't be in the house. Good message. Praying for you all.

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  2. I'm so glad I have a friend who has the same "nest" problem. We need a bigger, more insulated, dishwasher included, tub-relaxing, 3 more bedroom nest too- I have a storage unit full of books and toys that I would love unpacked. I find myself grumbling inside my head almost daily- I have to remind myself to be optimistic, see the glass half full, and Count my blessings. You are the best- thanks for sharing sweet friend.

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