Michael's family came to visit yesterday, and we stayed up till 2am just talking (and of course, mentioning every hour or so that we really ought to go to bed...but that took more energy than staying where we were). And then I got up at 5am with them to ride to the airport so I could drive their car back. The next part is very weird, and a little bit embarrassing: when I got home, I got back in bed since Ender was still asleep and would likely stay asleep since he, too, went to bed past his usual hour.
And I woke up to Michael saying "It's 12:30!" NO WAY!!! What about Ender? I suddenly remembered that he had woken up at one point, and I had called out "Good morning, cutie! Can you open your door?" And then I was out again. Good parenting, Qait. And apparently he fell asleep again, too, because he is STILL asleep. :| Oh dear!
I haven't done that since early high school! (The sleeping in part, not the parenting part). I don't know how to sleep that late anymore! When I finally got myself to move and get up, I thought "Mmm, food smells good. And I don't." But in the kitchen, I lost the energy to eat and suddenly didn't care for food. Not even for the Pringles Michael had pilfered from the family's Yukon (I suppose I'm an accomplice since I didn't try very hard to dissuade him...).
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Well! On a different note, I had a really nice scripture study while I half-heartedly downed the last crumbs of the Pringles. Along with my daily reading, I read some quotes in a glue-in that included one from Elder Neal A. Maxwell, and the title of a book in his source caught my eye: "Quench Not the Spirit Which Quickens the Inner Man," by Keith K. Hilbig. It's had me thinking about what that means, and I really like it for a little mantra right now.
Yesterday, Ender gave me a hard time. He was mildly bipolar, as all children can be, and all my disciplinary efforts frustrated him. He wanted things his own way. On Monday, our family home evening was a nursery lesson, "I Can Be Happy." We've been trying to help him understand that he can choose to be happy even when things aren't going his way. I have to say, I have tried much harder in the last week or two to be especially kind and gentle and not give way to the urge to lose my temper. I've done well. I'm grateful I feel like I've been a very good mommy. I've tried to not even entertain thoughts of frustration with Ender, because I know that leaves me insincere in my efforts to calm him. Michael's mom told us something she learned in teaching little kindergarten kids recently: when a child is angry, the neurons in his brain block him from learning. That's often the reason it can be so difficult to teach kids at school--they arrive grumpy that they had to eat a yucky breakfast, that they had to wear a stupid coat, that they didn't get to sleep in, and then they are definitely not in the mood to be taught. At BYU-Idaho (and BYU, but she used the former in her example), every class begins with a prayer. This allows the students to calm down, which clears the way for learning. School goes more smoothly, learning happens, and the students are markedly happier.
I've decided I'm going to learn techniques to help Ender calm down. I will try a number of things! I may simply hug him till he's quiet, or convince him to smile, or perhaps even sing a song with him. Because I've noticed that it's hard for both of us when he's yelling and I'm not willing to raise my voice; I keep trying to teach him when he's angry.
I think it will help. It makes sense. And then we will both be actively avoiding "quenching the Spirit" which would otherwise quicken our inner selves. It's infinitely important to stay close to the Spirit, and if this is one way to help him (and myself), we'll be blessed with success!