It’s a hot mess here, but things are getting clearer underground.
Sunday and Monday were rough. But Kevin and I did spend some time discussing the plan last night, and a couple of things are more clearly emerging about what we’re doing in this experiment, what we’re learning, and where to go from here.
Sunday night, Addie was in bed by 8:45. But not before she built this.
We *almost* missed this. We were leading her actions toward bedtime, but staying open to her preferences and requests. She was hungry, and looking for something in the fridge, but she couldn’t see the top shelf, and apparently was convinced that is where we keep the good stuff.
So, while I held my breath and my urge to just get things going faster, we watched her go back and forth from the living room carrying first pillows and blankets, and then upon discovering their lack of stability as a ladder, piles of books, until this beauty was constructed.
I’m so glad we made space for this to happen.
But, even so, by Monday night, my husband was sitting on the floor telling me, “this doesn’t work.”
So…What ARE we doing?!
After I posted Days 3 & 4, my friend texted to remind and encourage me. She reminded me that really young children literally do not necessarily have the cognitive ability to choose what is best for themselves. They may recognize they are tired and feel yucky, but they aren’t able to take a 10,000 foot view of themselves and make the causal connection that they should go to bed.
She is right.
So how do we shape the “new” plan, remembering the abilities of children and honoring the lessons we’re really trying to learn?
For starters, we realize that trusting children is not about doing NOTHING.
It’s about seeing where my control ends, and getting to know my children. It’s about connecting and saying YES, and freedom. But its also about working together as a family, and learning cooperation and compromise.
And my children look to me for an example and leadership in that.
Leading vs. controlling.
It’s easy to confuse the two when you’re a control freak.
It’s a hell of a lot more than a difference in semantics.
So the plan is still about intentionally finding ways to say YES! But instead of just waiting…..and waiting….for her to initiate bedtime, we lead her there.
And the plan is also to continue leaning heavily on Kevin’s partnership in the evening, because The Experiment so far has mostly just demonstrated that I go crazy around 9:00pm.It’s my own bewithching hour. It’s when the “control everything” shit hits the “learn to trust” fan and it starts smelling really bad around here.
We need to be really intentional about finding where control and disconnection end and connected, empathetic leadership and trust begin. And keep sitting with all the junk that rises up, especially around 8:30, and heal and grow and do the work of breaking ties with whatever that is.
That’s all I’ve got so far. I guess it’s fair to say The Experiment is in transition.
Oh! But let’s not forget….
What Addie ate: Cucumbers, hummus, chocolate chips, english muffin with jelly, jelly beans, lollipops, lemonheads, pecans, french fries and ketchup, chocolate chip cookie, cashews,
How many Hours of TV she watched: 7-8 each day
When Addie went to bed: 8:45 and 9:00 pm