The house did not get cleaned. The dishes only got about half done. The laundry won't get done tonight. I feel like I have had an entirely unproductive day, which makes me grouchier than I should be. That's what happens when I let the internet suck me in for too long. Headache, general malaise about the state of the union -- can you remember when so many of your fellow citizens despised and distrusted so many of your other fellow citizens? -- and annoyed lethargy are my usual side-effects. They don't make for a pleasant place inside my skull and it makes for an unsettled household.
So -- deep breath. And another one. Take a third and grab a chair so I don't fall over from the resulting dizziness. Sit still and focus and realize that I'm likely to be grouchy for the rest of this day. I let too much get by me and there isn't enough time to do enough in order to convince myself I used my day wisely. That isn't the Banshees' fault, that's mine. Go let them play. Tomorrow will be better. Part of tonight can be better. After all, I'm writing something! And I haven't written consistently in a cat's age. I didn't do MB's dishes for him but I arranged the sink and the dirty dishes in such a way that I can access what I want and ignore what I have to. The laundry is mostly done, probably just a load sitting in the dryer right now. That can be lived with. No housekeeping - well, it still isn't as bad as it has been in the past, way back in the past, when it was just me in charge of three toddlers and the housekeeping went zinging way past hell in a souped-up hot-rod basket.
Some of the dishes got done. Some cooking got done, and not by me. Most of the laundry is done. These are the good things that happened today. No, I don't think it's enough. I'm not going to think it's enough until the Banshees are self-starting on chores and other facts of life that aren't always the most fun, but nearly always have to be accomplished. But screaming, ranting, raving, yelling, reminding, becoming exasperated and wholly out of my mind by frustration...well, that's how Mom raised me, and it doesn't take a very long look in the mirror to remember how well that turned out. As in, the very first apartment I had probably got vacuumed the day I moved in and the day I moved out, and we won't even go into the condition of the kitchen and its sink. Mom's methods did not teach me how to keep house or to be self-starting on activities that I didn't care for but absolutely had to get done. How could I have imagined that these methods were going to work on my Banshees? But we parent a lot the way we were parented, even if we are on guard and think we'll never be that way with our precious children. So. I went on strike. Aikido parenting in its nascent form. It isn't a natural form of parenting for me and I have to tell you, my nearest and dearest think I'm nuts (and oh yeah, I think I'm crazy too) but what else could be done given the material I'm working with (me, not the Banshees)?
Today I got the mini freezer into the back yard so I'll be able to wash it tomorrow. Today I wrote a little more in my neglected blogs. Today I decided that what I'm doing is Aikido, even if I only have the barest roughest idea of what that actually means. Today I reaffirmed that anger is still not the best way of dealing with frustration. Today I spent time with LB knitting and writing, working on grammar and spelling and penmanship. Today I spent time with MB and his baking and EB just talking. Tomorrow I will spend a little less time on the internet and a bit more time working on this project known as My Life.