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Resolutions

Of course, at the turn of the year, everyone becomes introspective. I'm no different. We also become very expansive in our resolutions: I'll lose 10 pounds! I'll stop eating meat! I'm going to exercise every day! Blah blah blah.

I had a friend who one year made no resolutions, other than to do the resolutions of other people: she'd find out that someone else decided to recycle that year, so she'd recycle. Bob is losing weight? She'd resolve to lose weight, too. Mary is cutting out caffeine? Consider it done! It lasted about a week.

Which I find is about a week more than most of my resolutions.

I decided a long time ago no more resolutions. Which, I guess, is a bit of a resolution in itself. Instead I make birthday resolutions. I mean that's my new year, isn't it? My shot at another year around the sun. I mean the January 1 is convenient, and it's handy for remembering for everyone else, but I really like my birthday better.

Unfortunately, I'm as likely to give up on those resolutions as any others. It's sad, but true. I have crappy follow through. Get organized, eat healthy, go for a walk, clean the house more, it doesn't matter, I fail at all of them ultimately.

The one that I'm failing at the most, though is my interaction with my daughter. I had a moment of truth with her today. Pardon the language, but today I completely lost my shit. And I'd like to say it's the first time or a rarity, but it's not. I'm fairly ashamed to admit that I did that things parents shouldn't do: I got frustrated and took it out on her. I can describe the situation and talk about how it really was a result of some of her actions and choices, but really the action and choice that mattered this morning were mine. And I failed. Again.

It doesn't matter that she doesn't put my things away. What matters is how I handle it. I've spent the last couple of months really frustrated at her response to me when I ask her if she's responsible for something (a spilled cup, a lost item, etc). She responds in that high, defensive kid voice, "I didn't do it!!" Sometimes her response is before she even knows the whole question. Sometimes it's the "I didn't do it on purpose!!" when she is responsible, instead of a simple "oh, I'm sorry."

This morning I realized that I can't just tell her I hate that response and send her to bed when she does it (which I've done in the past, with some success). It's that I have to respond better when I'm angry or frustrated or tired. Her "I didn't do it!!" combination yell/whine are a direct, child's reflection of my frustrated, shouty morning meltdowns.

And it has to end. I'm looking in a mirror and seeing my own kid become the things I hate about myself. And I'm blaming her for it. And that is downright shitty of me to do.

So I guess that's my resolution: No more being shitty to my kid. No more blaming my kid for being shitty to me.

Attitude reflects leadership, Captain.

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