I've been edgy and withdrawn, and my daughter especially senses how unapproachable I am. I know enough about kids to realize that when a parent is having trouble, kids naturally assume it's their fault. The last thing I want is for Rebecca to think that my ill temper and withdrawal has anything to do with some shortcoming on her part.
So to recap:
- I'm not doing a very good job of taking care of my emotional health.
- More often than not, I've been emotionally unavailable - and grumpy - towards my daughter.
- I want to remedy both of these situations.
Yesterday, I thought of an experiment that might help me personally as well as bring Rebecca and I closer together:
I have asked Rebecca if, for the next 7 days, she would be willing to provide me with daily suggestions and tasks that I must perform - starting today. She is an amazing being - sentient, intuitive, and sharp beyond her years. I have full confidence that she will create thoughtful tasks and not take advantage of the situation. She has agreed to help.
We've left the nuts and bolts of the experiment fairly open. So far, there are only a couple ground rules: I'm not allowed to whine or complain about whatever task she gives me, unless she concocts something completely unreasonable (and as I said, I don't think this will be an issue). I will report back to her each day and let her know how it went. Rebecca has agreed that I can report back on this blog, as well.
I've posted today's tasks as they have been provided to me.
- Go to the fish pond and watch how the fish live their lives in peace and quiet. Observe the simple things they do. (Rebecca did not stipulate a time limit on this one, but I figure I should give it at least 15 minutes. I'll have to thin out some of the plants covering the surface so I can actually see the fish, but we've been meaning to do that anyway.)
- Over this week, try to read a fiction book that doesn't have to do with something dreadful. (I guess that means I need to temporarily put aside "A Good Year To Die", which is an amazingly thorough recount of the US campaign to massacre the Sioux people. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that book sounds like it fits Rebecca's definition of "dreadful".)
- Give Rebecca a hug before and after school. (I do this most of the time, but I will make sure I do this ALL of the time.)
Tomorrow, I will post my progress on these tasks, as well as include Rebecca's new task list for the day.
Wish me luck!