Sometimes I hear my family but I’m not listening to them. I hear the noise. The noise! Noise! Noise! Noise! That Grinch knew what he was talking about. The noise my family makes sometimes reminds me of crickets or cicadas on a late summer night. I’m sure those cicadas know what they are singing about but to me it is just musical “noise” that has J requesting me to shut his window so he doesn’t have to hear it. I do the same thing with my family sometimes. I don’t shut the window but I surely block out that annoying noise.
On Saturday morning (okay, early afternoon), I was trying to finish up my Saturday Success Stories blog post and the boys were arguing. Instead of listening to see why they were arguing or asking myself about what either one of them might be needing, I choose to “shut the window” and finish what I was doing.
Then once again instead of listening, I announced that they were annoying me so much with their behavior that they had earned a fall hike. Yes, I punish my kids with the great outdoors. What? Sad but basically true and just going in the backyard wasn’t good enough this time. I was annoyed that my original plan to leave them here while I ran a bag of clothes over to the donation site was now ruined. I couldn’t leave them alone with their getting along status at a red level so my 5 minute trip was now going to take twice as long since it suddenly involved getting everyone dressed and in the car. SIGH. Grumble. Grumble. SIGH. I thought I would salvage my inconvenience by making them take that hike and giving me a chance to get some fall photos for the blog. I never did get those photos because we didn’t end up going on that nature hike.
Guess what happened when I stopped to actually listen to the noise instead of tuning it out? I discovered my children were hungry! If I had looked at the clock and put two thoughts together, I would have realized this a lot sooner. We ended up having a pleasant lunch together at Burger King and regrouping. I realized that not only did they not really want to go on a nature hike, neither did I and it really wasn’t quite warm enough. We ended up at Toys R Us walking around and looking at things. It was fun to see what they are interested in now versus what they were interested in just a few short years ago. No long “I am not BUYING today” discussions since they already knew. No long stops at the train table wondering if time was actually moving backwards. No being stuck reading the back of the boxes to fend off boredom in the action figure aisle. A few “Mom, look at this!” and “We would like this!” along with an occasional “Would you like this?” thrown in from me. Seriously, who would want a large $50 Gollum figurine. G and I both concluded it was creepy.
When I took the time to actually listen to the noise instead of blocking it out, I put my family first. Know what else happened after I listened? I gained a little peace and quiet later in the afternoon. For about 5 minutes anyway 😉
*This post is part of the 31 Days of Putting My Family First Series. You can read the rest about the series and check out the previous posts by clicking here.