In the car I thought of an analogy. Come with me to my kitchen. See this microwave?
It's a photo of one like mine. And it's just like yours, except that on mine the 2, 4, 8, and 0 don't work.
So how do I put something on for 4 minutes? I press 3:61. How about 45 seconds? I just do 51 and stop it 6 seconds early. What about 28 minutes? Well . . . never mind. That one's too hard.
The point is, it still works . . . it just works differently. To get the results you want you have to be creative, maybe a little more attentive, more patient.
Now apply this to people.
Do you get see what I'm getting at? My children may require more creativity, more attention and patience to get the same results, but when it comes down to it they work just fine.
The one flaw in my analogy is that unlike my microwave, pushing the wrong buttons on these four beauties means that the door blows open, smoke attacks your eyes, and everything bursts into flames.
I don't say this to excuse bad behavior; there is certainly a lot of that.
(Like when someone lies about their homework being done or sneaks the last brownie. Or uses my lipstick outside on the playhouse or freaks, "You disgusting little back-washer! You got Goldfish in my Gatorade!")
It's the other half of the equation that's the struggle. The half where the hard wiring is mis-connected. The half that takes a minor incident and interprets a full-scale attack. The half that seems to disregard consequences until it's too late. The half that makes the light in their eyes fade to black.
That's the part that makes me wonder who's going to call the police--one of the kids or one of the neighbors.
That part that makes me want to cry. Or scream. Or run away. Or hide.
And I'm telling you that other half--well, sometimes it's just a lot to take.
Thank goodness yesterday is over. That this week is basically over. I'm ready to be back to normal. (Whatever normal is.)
See, the danger in telling you about my woes is that if I don't follow up you'll think I'm still about to hitch hike to the funny farm.
I want you to know that today was a much better day. It means a lot to me to know that you care--it means more than you can probably ever know.