I left my daughters in charge of the youngest two, while I took Blessing #3 to his practice today. Then, courageously, I took time to hit the store, since we were low on a couple of essentials. I was in a good mood.
Then it happened. I got a call from my oldest blessing. Blessing #2 had stayed in her room, except to eat, while I was gone. While Blessings #1 and 4 ate, Blessing #1 thought Blessing #5 was with Blessing #2. While she finished her dinner, Blessing #4 went to join Blessing #5.
Next thing I hear is, Blessing #5 pooped on the floor and he and Blessing #4 had smeared it around. In my head I'm thinking of the horror stories my parents and others have told me of incidents where a diaperless baby or toddler did just that and how it was E V E R Y where.
I arrived home, moments after the call, to find that not only was there a mess that I made Blessing #2 clean, since she hadn't been helping, but that almost every room downstairs was a disaster. I was discourage and disappointed and that made me angry.
I yelled, shouted, and eventually made my boys go to their room, (the girls had already gone to theirs), so that I could clean. I knew that sending them to their room was no punishment. They'd just play in there, especially since they were playing so well together before I sent them.
No, I sent them there because I needed a time out and it was too late to send them outside. I needed to put myself in check, get grounded, and calm down.
It worked. With them upstairs, I could turn on some calming music and begin tackling the insanity before me. Tackle it, I did. It is amazing what all can be done in a short time, when no one else is around to undo everything.
When they did come down again, I was able to receive them with a heart full of love, instead of resentment. In time, the messes they made won't matter, but our relationship, my interactions with them... those will.