On Monday morning at breakfast, everyone seemed quite snippy with each other; the kids were complaining loudly and frequently about each other, and I was frankly sick of it. So I suggested that, while we were eating, the kids say something nice about each of their siblings. Each of the kids took turns being centre of attention while the rest of us told him/her something that we really liked about that person. Matthew got compliments about his sensitivity, how fun he is to bike ride with, that he's great to do crafts with. Seth got comments about his great laugh, and how helpful he can be. Lizzie received compliments about how her eyes sparkle when she smiles and how funny she can be.
Then, unexpectedly, Matthew turned to me and said that noone had said anything nice about me yet. I said ok, and Matthew said that he loved that I was kind and loving and protective. Wow, I thought, that's pretty awesome. I felt rather flattered and bolstered, quite frankly, especially given that none of these attributes are particularly true of late.
But no matter - I was brought back down to earth pretty quickly.
Matthew: "Lizzie, it's your turn - can you think of something that you like about Mommy?"
Lizzie: "Hmmm. Ummm. Huh. Nope. Nothin'."
(really? nothing? at all?)
Matthew: "Well, ok. Seth, then it's your turn. What do you like about Mommy?"
Seth: "Hmmm. Yup. I know somethin' I like about you Mommy."
Me: "Really, that's nice Seth. What is it?"
Seth: "You clean the kitchen...sometimes."
I think that's the last time I'll initiate this kind of conversation.