I’ve been feeling rather grumpy lately. Grumpy, yeah, that’s the word for it. So I’ve decided to take a page out of Kate’s book and practice a little gratitude. I want to take these nutty things in my life that are driving me crazy and find the bright side. If I don’t, I’m going to lose my shit for realz!

I am grateful that my daughter loves to draw. She is getting very good at it as she is growing up. She will spend hours just drawing pictures for us. Like this one:

no mom

Yes, it’s a sign that she made for me. She told me that she doesn’t want to say “No” anymore so instead she’ll just show me the sign. Isn’t that creative?

I am grateful that I didn’t pay for the Learn to Skate session this weekend…because my daughter freaked out at the last second, threw an enormous tantrum and wouldn’t set foot on the ice. People were actually BACKING AWAY from us. That’s how loud she was crying. So thanks for saving me $135 Zoey. And it led me to the next thing I’m grateful for.

I’m grateful for rational thinkers. My husband proved to be the rational parent in all this drama. He calmly dragged Zoey’s butt to the car, took us home and de-escalated the tantrum that was still in full swing. While the kid spent some quality time in her room, we parents discussed a new plan for behavior modification. Apparently when you do everything for your child, she ends up treating you like a servant and can’t (or won’t) do anything for herself. At almost 6-years old, this behavior needs a solution. (That hysterical laughter you hear is my mother rolling on the floor!)

I’m grateful for “Yes, I can!” My husband came up with this as a way to change Zoey’s attitude when she’s freaking out about something she can’t (won’t) do for herself. Every time she says, “I can’t!” we counter with “Yes, I can!” and try to change her mindset. Can’t take your own boots off? “Yes, I can!” and then she has to do it for herself. Can’t clean up your toys? “Yes, I can!” If she throws a fit, then she gets a trip to her room. So far, it’s been working best when my husband uses it, not so much when I use it. But Rome wasn’t built in a day. Years of manipulating me to do her bidding won’t change overnight either. I’m sticking with it.

See "Yes I can!" get dressed by myself.  Sub-zero temps be damned! Photo K. Stevenson

See “Yes I can!” get dressed by myself. Sub-zero temps be damned!
Photo K. Stevenson

I’m grateful for 1 hour and 10 minutes. That’s how long I dedicated to myself this weekend. I set the timer, locked myself in my bedroom and cleaned out my closet. I finally said goodbye to anything size Small or size 8. Sayonara. It felt so good to let it go. I made room in my cramped closet and a hefty donation to Goodwill. I may not have been physically lighter after this kind of exercise, but mentally a weight was lifted. I faced Monday morning with a more organized mind. Getting ready for work was much easier without all the junk to trip over.

I’m grateful for firsts. Even at 5 ½ , my daughter still gets to experience things for the first time. As her mother, it’s an absolute joy to stop and see things through her eyes. This Christmas I took her to the mall for the first time and she went berserk at every mannequin she saw. She practically threw herself at every store window ogling at all the shiny. I’ve never been so proud. She is also starting as a Daisy with the Girl Scouts and selling cookies. What a joy to see her so excited to beg her relatives for money! I’m glad I’m really seeing these moments with her instead of taking them for granted as adults often do.

I’m grateful for good hair days. I decided with much dread to grow my bangs out. I expected to be in pure hell for the next several months, but thanks to a great new stylist, I am doing ok. In fact, better than ok. I look pretty damn good. And I’ve made it past the awkward “get this hair out of my eyes” stage. Only 24 more months or so until it gets to where I really want it! I. Will. Not. Cut. Them.

Evidence of a good hair day. And some great friends for whom I am also grateful! Photo M. Noehren

Evidence of a good hair day. (That’s me in the blue!) And some great friends for whom I am also grateful!
Photo M. Noehren

I’m grateful for expressing my feelings. I am awful at telling my loved ones how I feel in general or how I feel about them. Talking about my feelings makes my skin crawl. Which is why I am so grateful that no matter what buttons my daughter pushes in me, I can always stop and tell her that no matter what, I love her and that she makes me really proud. She makes it easy for me and makes me feel more human. And in turn, she does the same. In the midst of a throw down freak out, she will add in a downpour of “I love you I love you I love you” which always make her hissy fits slightly hysterical. How can someone be SO mad, but so loving at the same time?

You know what the coolest thing is about writing this out? I realize I could go on and on adding to it. And that is something to be grateful for in itself.

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