Sure. Sweet boys, both of them. But lately...
Lately my brain feels like it's been fractured into little pieces by the simultaneous fussing of two children. How do people with three and four (and more) handle it? It's not that the boys are fussing all the time. It's that when they are, it's both of them. It isn't a feeling of scatterbrained (though as you heard yesterday, I can be that!), it's that I feel like a person with a broken half of a brain and a half-portion (or less) of patience and consistency. I know we all go through ups and downs with the discipline thing, but it feels like this down is specifically driven by the progression from one kid and a baby to two kids. Two mobile, hungry (I don't mean that metaphorically), interested, demanding kids.
My discipline philosophy has always depended on trying to say only what I'm willing to follow through with, apply consequences the first time, and be calm myself. But lately, I'm not calm; I'm repeating myself and just fussing (or worse, yelling) as the response to poor behaviour.
What does a mommy do when she hates the sound of the words coming out of her mouth? I'm crushed when I hear myself saying, "I've told you that over and over!" or "Why would you do that!? What is wrong with you?", but at that time I'm still so frustrated that the sorrow doesn't creep in until later. My faith tells me that patience and the perseverance to be consistent don't have to come from my will-power, but they can't come without my willingness to turn around and take a different path.
Time to hit the restart button. Which is a nice way of saying I have to face that this isn't what I want and surrender to the practices it takes to get what I really do want. Today I'm returning to what's been so good for us. So that when the scene looks more like this: