The growly bear arrived yesterday morning. It was predicted he would visit, I wasn’t sure when or what shape he would take just that he would be here. The morning began unusually early around 5.30am with the youngest cub telling me his nappy was wet. A quick change and some gentle coaxing didn’t work to get him back to sleep til 7am, no the day had begun. I grumbled quietly to myself and settled for reading stories in bed to prolong the resting, it was after all River’s rest day from starting school. For the first five weeks preps at River’s school have Wednesday off and a bumpy morning this first Wednesday turned out to be.
My two little bears grizzled and growled as they adjusted to being in each other’s company for the whole day after being apart with River starting school. I quickly tired of sorting out bear fights so between making beds, washing dishes, folding clothes, and snippets of writing I decided it was time to build a cave with my bears to see if that would help. It was a case of 'sweet surrender' on my behalf, (hmmm or is that bittersweet surrender?)
As a ‘working-from-home’ mother the temptation to become easily frustrated when I can’t get this or that done because of constant ‘interruptions’ is always close and when I feel that, most of the time I slip into sweet surrender mode. Sweet surrender mode is along the lines of ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ and I find most of the time it works. That is to drop whatever I am doing and be really present to what is going on, clear my head of all other thoughts and just really be with whatever is happening.
In a child’s world time doesn’t exist. I remind myself of this as often as I can and switch off my mental clock as often as possible to be in the moment. I find in doing this life with my boys, bear fights and all, flows more smoothly.
So, the bears and I started by seeing who could grizzle and growl the loudest whilst prowling through the house. Quite fun to be a bear. Then we built a cave using space behind the couch, a sheet and an elastic band to secure the corner of the sheet to the top of a lamp stand creating the roof of the cave. A furry rug on the ground, every teddy bear we could find in the house into the cave and my bears had a new home. They then went ‘hunting’ in the back yard for food to feed their bear friends and I was then free to finish my grown up jobs. Hooray. It doesn’t always work so simply but for the most part it does and it is always my preference to growl with them rather than at them, that rarely feels good for me.
A parenting book I have really loved along these lines Raising Our Children Raising Ourselves by American author Naomi Aldort, is filled with inspiring anecdotes of how to be in flow with our children rather than against each other.
River is back at school today. Sol is sleeping. Such a quiet cave.