***Warning: 1st world problems***
My mornings for drop off (Thurs & Fri) have been much better this week. For one thing, we switched our cleaner day. Our Wonder Woman used to come on Fridays, and it made me crazy trying to tidy up the house at the same time as getting us all ready and breaking up boy fights. Now she comes on Mondays. Sian handles such juggling far better than I do. The second thing is that we have set a rule of no screens before 7 am. As the boys get up at 6, this means there is no telly/iPad option for the first hour. This seems to have flipped a switch for Harry. He had got into the habit of going straight to the iPad, but this would eventually put him in a bad mood, and for the last hour of so he would be really whiney and troublesome. Now they seem able to play much better, and I don't feel so guilty turning on the TV for the last 45 minutes or so and getting the house (somewhat) cleared up. Life transforming, if you want to know the truth.
What I am not at all proud of is how we made these changes. Usually I'm a very direct, honest person. To a fault. But for some reason I didn't want to ask for the cleaner day to be changed. I wanted Sian to guess/offer for it to be on one of her days. It turns out she is not telepathic. I spent months having horrible Friday mornings, and quietly seething about it. She's the one at home more, why am I the one doing this? It took a total melt-down for the negotiation to take place. Of course she's totally happy to make the switch. It just hadn't occurred to her. Boy do I feel dumb about that one.
The screen-time rule change came about by my using a third party to get the conversation going. It can be a little tricky; I LOVE rules, and find that it really helps things to run smoothly. Sian is far more of an instinctual, natural parent who rolls with the punches. Last year the thing that made the biggest difference was when I set the rule that we had to get dressed before having breakfast. But I announced it without our having discussed it, and there was some tension. In fact, we abandoned it for awhile, but the getting dressed battle got worse, so I won. Anyway, back to screen time. It was really bothering me that Harry was watching these totally inane videos of grown men playing video games. Isn't that creepy? I couldn't shake my discomfort with the morning screen time, even though I could see Sian's point that it keeps the peace and allows one to get the kitchen cleared up, etc. This time the thing that solved the problem was talking about it with a friend who was over (a friend who happens to be a life coach!). After hearing just how bothered I was, it was Sian who came up with the rule. Genius.
Perhaps April's focus should be on marriage. Communication in particular.