So, Mondays – we all love them. For a stay-at-home mom, Mondays are usually just like any other. Sometimes there is a partner that leaves to go back to their 9 to 5 and that makes it a little different. But ultimately, the Monday dread usually doesn’t exist for those who stay at home and care for the children.
There are moments I wonder why I am here doing this stay at home thing and this unschooling thing. But then there are moments like today. And yes, today just happens to be Monday. Today is a day when my skills as a respectful parent were tested to their fullest.
Now, I am comparatively new to this respectful parenting thing. I have not fine tuned all my skills as of yet. And there are some things that ingrained programming has made a struggle. And this is where we begin.
So it’s winter here. Very cold outside and per the normal Monday schedule, I am getting a late start. Just out of the shower and naked as a jaybird drying myself off, my house fills with smoke. Now, to understand, I live in less than 400 square feet with 5 people. Right now, there are 3 of us at home.
My son yells the fireplace is smoking (gas fireplace with electric flame screen or as I see it, an over-glorified space heater). I think the house is on fire. I tell him to turn off the fireplace and he can’t find the remote through the smoke.
I throw on something quick – a casual maxi dress and run out to flip the breaker as that is the fastest way to turn something off. Right? Then I make sure it’s safe and go investigate, like any good adult. And what do I find, a candle with grate marks on it. Interesting.
Now, the “me” from about 4 years ago would have lost my shit. And I mean, really lost it. Totally screamed and made them feel like complete failures as children. But today, this was not the case.
Don’t get me wrong, for a moment I was angry and annoyed at this interruption to the day. Not only because it was an interruption, but because my son has asthma and, ya know, smoke.
But instead of flipping my lid (sorry about all the cliches), I stayed calm and respectful. We all learned something today. Instead of scolding and yelling, I got the smoke cleaned out of the tiny home we live in and realized it’s now only 40 some odd degrees outside…and inside now.
No one was hurt. Nothing was destroyed. And I asked what we learned from this experience. Apparently, my daughter accidentally broke one of my son’s Solstice candles and attempted to fix it by putting it directly above the vent at the top if the fireplace. LOVERLY!
I explained that if she needed help, she needed to ask. They both have Asperger’s, so verbalizing needs is not their strong point, mainly because they don’t realize what they need most of the time. So, after a surprisingly calm (to me) discussion, I asked what they learned.
Apparently when you put anything with wax on a heat source makes smoke and quickly. They both made the connection which is a rare thing without lots of questions and explanations. Super excited for that win!!! And the double play with me successfully parenting in a respectful way!
Now, how do I get the smell of burnt wax out of my house? 😦