I’ve been remarkably good about not yelling at the kids for the past couple months, but sadly I don’t think it’s because I’ve turned over a new leaf. And it’s definitely not because the kids have been perfect angels. It’s because my little brother has been living with us. Remember how I used to pretend there was a hidden camera recording everything I did? Now I don’t have to pretend: there really IS another set of eyes watching me.
At least there was for a while. Dave is away on a business trip right now, and I’ve already had at least two yelling incidents that I’d rather not think about. But even while I was yelling, I knew I wouldn’t be doing it if Dave was still around. Bring on the guilt.
Not that the yelling was totally unjustified. Justin’s in a phase of arguing with absolutely everything I say. It’s a bad combination of his black-and-white thinking, his lack of emotional self-regulation and his just being eight years old. Even Dave had moments when he wanted to strangle the kid. Argh.
I just have to focus on the mantra I learned during that Orange Rhino challenge: I can’t control anyone else’s behavior, but I can control my reaction to that behavior.