In light of my previous 2 weeks of immobility, yesterday, we had no food in the house. Nothing for us and nothing for the animals.
The day before, our neighbour offered to do some shopping for us. With another 2 weeks before I can attempt any kind of decent shop myself, do you know what I said?
"No thanks, we'll manage."
We have a nanny (our wonderful, amazing, hippie version of Mary Poppins) who usually hangs out with us Monday afternoon and all of Friday. Before I fractured my foot, she had arranged to take 2 weeks off, from us and from her other families. After I fractured my foot, she offered to spend all of her now free two weeks with us.
With 3 very energetic children who are hard enough to keep up with when all your limbs are working, let alone when 3 off them are out of action (it takes both arms to walk with crutches!), do you know what is said?
"No thanks, we'll manage."
Nelly is our foster puppy. She is going to be an assistance dog when she grows up. Right now though, she is a border collie puppy with more energy than all three kewl girls put together. Like all dogs, she becomes very destructive when she gets bored - so the key to a content, well mannered pooch is keeping her occupied. There is only so much you can do to occupy a dog with that much energy when you are a person with that much less energy... Nelly's wonderful trainer realised this and offered to find her a place in "vacation care" until I am back on both feet. Instead of thanking her kindly and wishing Nelly a happy holiday, do you know what I said?
That's right, "No thanks, we'll manage."
Now, I am not a liar. We have managed -
I let the animals loose in the veggie garden and we went to the shops and got as much food as the girls could carry (because when an attendant asked if she could help us with anything I replied, "No thanks, we'll manage.").
Mary is enjoying her two weeks off and when I explained to the kewl girls they would need to help their mum for a few weeks, they agreed to make it easier for me to keep up with them (now instead of sprinting off into the distance they just run rings around me).
Nelly is being kept busy enough by me throwing tennis balls into the scrub at the back of our house for her to fetch (even though I am getting RSI in my shoulder and have almost kneecapped all 3 kewl girls with the crutches when trying to bend down to pick up the ball).
Yes, we have managed - and will continue to manage - But I am not so ignorant that I cannot see I could be managing things better, with some help.
So I wonder, why did I just decline the neighbouring teen's offer to wash the dogs for me?! The words, "No thanks, we'll manage", had escaped my lips before I even realised what the offer was that I was declining!
Why do I find it so hard to say "Yes, thank you"?!
This morning Miss V had a massive meltdown because she could not work the zip on her jacket. I offered to help her multiple times and each time she declined. Eventually she cracked it good and proper, so we dealt with her meltdown and not until she had calmed down did I offer to help with her jacket again. I was tempted to just do the jacket up while she was screaming, but she had said NO and I wanted to respect that.
I understand that as a 2 year old, a tantrum over not being able to do something herself is nothing to worry about - she is just learning how to manage her emotions. It did get me thinking though...
I have no trouble at all empowering the kewl girls to say NO, and mean it - but what about empowering them to say YES?
Am I teaching them that it is OK to ask for and accept help?
Definitely not by my recent actions.
I might be better at managing my emotions than 2 year old Miss V, but am I really any better at managing my abilities? (Amazingly enough, now I would very much like to answer YES, even though I know the honest answer is NO!)
Whether fortunately or unfortunately, I am a kinaesthetic learner - I am unable to learn something without applying it practically. This means that all of the above ramblings will remain just that, ramblings, until I put them into action.
So - instead of spending the next two weeks swearing about how restrictive and inconvenient my fractured foot is - I am going to set myself a practical learning challenge.
I am going to manage my abilities and my disabilities more effectively.
I am going to graciously accept help when it is offered.
I am going to practice saying YES, and meaning it.
I am going to start
And now that I have blogged about it, I am making myself accountable.
What's that? Would I like a piece of chocolate to start my 2 week YES challenge? Well.. If you're offering..