Monday, September 21, 2009


So many things I want to do these days.... I want to detoxify my house, my body, my spirit, my parenting skills, the list goes on....

I want to detoxify my house starting with the bathroom that has those overflowing, disorganized cupboards. I actually emptied out the middle ones into one of those big plastic storage tubs that I bought at Wal-Mart. Of course I did that about 2 or 3 weeks ago. The truth is I've had more than enough time to work on it. Nevermind all the other changes I need to make time for in the house, I feel like I can get to that stuff if I can just cross item #1 off my "To Do in the House" list - i.e. the Bathroom.
I want to detoxify my body too. I think the recently completed Ramadan Fasting does help a little with that. But there's a difference between Ramadan fasting and Body-cleansing fasting. Body cleansing fasts involve eating practically nothing at all but organic fruits & vegetables and/or their juices along with whatever herbal detox products might contribute to that. I know that I want to do some healthy things for my body but I find that by sunset I'm too tired to plan a truly healthy meal (well most days anyways - once in a while I actually do get inspired). But I did manage to lose a little bit of weight (not too much, which is the "healthy" way to lose, so they say). I was drinking tons of water at night and before dawn since you can't drink anything during the day. Ironically, I'm sure that I actually drink more water when I'm fasting and deprived of water during the daylight hours. Plus, since I couldn't eat or drink anything during the day, I haven't been drinking coffee, which I have figured out does not agree terribly with my body.
I think that the Ramadan fast does help with cleansing my spirit too, but of course it does also help if I avoid that toxic spirit drainer otherwise known as TV. How is it that my personal resolve is strong enough to abandon eating and drinking for 14 hours straight every day for a month, but I can't seem to abandon watching that stupid mind-numbing box?
But the most important detox is the one cleaning up my parenting skills. Although I think I have improved for the most part in that category. My temper boiled a lot during our 2 months in Turkey and I felt like my hands were tied most of the time from disciplining Mehmed. He'd hit another kid, and I'd place him in timeout, or take him away from the park, and I would constantly feel berated from people for trying to discipline my son. And I wasn't even yelling at him, just timeouts and lectures and stuff.... but "he's just a child", they'd say, "he'll outgrow this." So I should just allow him to continue pressing escalator buttons, kicking other kids, hitting them, spitting on people, and let it all to go unpunished just because he's a child and he "might" outgrow it? Arg. Talk about frustrating. And even they all had to admit that he was an unusually angry child. What was almost as frustrating was that people couldn't see why he was getting angry. They'd see him freak out, having a major tantrum, screaming at me, but they couldn't understand our English well enough to realize that he was freaking out because I hadn't placed his plate just right on the table, or I hadn't phrase my words in the exact order he wanted me to say them. Really odd things that children do not normally get angry about.
Anyways, when we first got back in August I think my pent up repressed emotions spilled over because I spent 3 weeks allowing myself to yell at him CONSTANTLY. It's one thing to try to deal patiently with a kid all day and then raising your voice a few times during the course of a particularly uncooperative day, but constant anger and yelling? In the end I got really mad at myself and resolved to change things. So for the last month I have been really careful not to raise my voice and to take better time discussing things with him. It's hard sometimes, particularly when he gets extraordinarily rude, like rolling his eyes at my lectures and saying "ya ya ya", making faces at me, demanding something without so much as a please or a thankyou, even though I've ingrained that in him since he could first squeak out a syllable, or when he freaks out at me because I didn't phrase a question exactly the way he's envisioned it being asked in his head.
But I am actually happy because I feel like I've been doing all right with this. Not to pat myself on the back, I am definately far from perfect, but I am proud of myself for not freaking out at him over the day to day problems. The problems that I will either forget about in 10 years, or at least be able to look back at them and laugh, or at the very least I will be grateful that these stages are over.
But I still want to detoxify my parenting even more. No matter how much you might improve, the roller coaster doesn't stop and I know that I could hit a bump in the road that wears down my resolve and gets me yelling at him instead of lovingly parenting him. While he starts Dinosaur school next Wednesday, parents don't attend with their child so Kinark offers a Parenting class alongside it - mine starts this Wednesday. I was offered a choice between Triple P, which I've already done, and this one that I'm taking. I think it's called the Incredible Years (or maybe the Wonderful Years). All I know for sure is that the title is wonderful and makes me think that it will help me to appreciate these years that I know I will never get back. So, while I may screw up sometimes, like those few weeks in August, and I am ashamed to say a good portion of his JK year (the year of hell until May, when I finally pulled him out of school, for which he was just NOT ready), I am hoping that I can learn to appreciate these Incredible Years 99% of the time.... That to me is the most important detox of all.

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