Too often the atmosphere around here has been full of whining, crying, bickering, screaming, and lots of short people standing in corners for extended periods.
It's enough to make a momma want to run away and hide.
Yesterday, I'd had it. HAD IT. The two oldest have been just downright mean to the youngest one all summer long. Just nasty mean, and I'm sick of it! So yesterday morning, I let 'em have it with both barrels.
"This is not acceptable! We don't treat each other that way in this family! I've had enough of you two being so mean and unkind and unloving and selfish and greedy!"
It went on like that for a few minutes at a loud volume. (ahem, I can be rather loud.)
Next, I banished them upstairs to make their bedroom "sparkle" and checked on their progress periodically. Then an hour went by and I hadn't seen them. All was quiet. I decided to leave them alone and enjoy the quiet.
Soon they came bounding down the stairs and before I knew it, the kitchen was a flurry of activity as they prepared lunch -- for their little sister! They were helping her get some juice, made her a sandwich, brought her some toys... all with this sweet, happy, sing-songy conversation, "Mom, we decided we needed to be more kind and loving. Cause it's not good to be mean, and we thought you'd be more pleased if we were helpful and loving. After all, she's our baby sister and we're supposed to be teaching her things!" They went all-out being NICE, and Chris and I stood there watching, trying not to bust out laughing.
'Twas a pleasant afternoon, with no more whining, crying, screaming or bickering. A miracle? As far as I'm concerned! The best part was when #1 said to me, "Mom, you know what? The more I'm nice to her, the more love I feel in my heart, and the easier it is to be nice to her!"
Well, well... out of the mouths of babes.
"Yes, honey, isn't it wonderful how God does that? The more we love, the more love He gives us in our hearts." She smiles up at me, very pleased with herself. I was pretty pleased, too.