My Kids Knew I Could Do Better
Before I Did.
I’ve just been rocked by the realization that my eight and nine year old children knew I could be a better version of myself… and they used a game to enlighten me. You see, I have a love/hate relationship with Coke (the soda — not the powder!). I love how it tastes fresh out of the fountain, but I hate how it gives me love handles, then back fat, then robs me of a jawline and cheekbones.
I’ve given it up many times. Insert laugh here. But now, tragically, I’ve gotten to the point where most of my clothes don’t fit. I know — the pain! It’s shocking how it sneaks up on me?! Needless to say, my blinders are fully functional. Thankfully, I finally got peeved enough to give it up. Again.
Four grueling days in, my husband and I spontaneously booked a family cruise for the end of the month (because, clearly, this should be in a bathing suit?!?). Anywho, I was grateful I’d already done the difficult “first three days”. Sadly, this time it was still challenging on day five. And day seven. And eight.
I felt I was about to cave, so I talked to my, we’ll call her “very” (instead of brutally;) honest daughter. She was playing, and only half paying attention, so I didn’t think much would come of it. It’s true what they say — kids are listening even when we think they’re not.
You see, I’ve been slowly reading Tony Robbins’ book Awaken the Giant Within (pick up a copy - it’s a definite keeper). I’d just gotten to the chapter on questions. Tony says the main difference between successful people and those who aren’t is “…successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” They ask empowering questions, instead of whining, “She gets a Coke. Why can’t I have one?” The very concept Rocked My World.
I’ve watched Jocko’s Discipline Equals Freedom talk (another one worth your time) but inevitably, I lose my hard core, kick ass attitude after a little while. I figure — I’m 40. My badass days are behind me. Besides, who cares what I look like? (A perfect example of a disempowering question.) But now that I’ve asked it…
Um, my husband, for one. And apparently, my kids. But isn’t the really messed up part that I didn’t first answer “ME!”? Deep down I knew there was something wrong with my attitude. So I was putting Tony’s method into practice. I confessed to my daughter I wanted a soda, but then I said, “But… if I don’t have one, how good will I look in my dresses on the cruise?”
Y’all, a smile spread across her face that would rival The Joker — without the creepy undertones. She got all excited and started talking about how I would look “sleek!”. Then she asked me, “Truth or Dare”? (Jump off that high horse — I don’t know where they learned that game — we definitely didn’t teach it to them.) But if we’re playing…Dare.
“I dare you to not drink any soda until the cruise.”
You’re on, Little One.
She couldn’t wait to tell her brother about it. He jumped right in the deep end with us.
“I dare you not to drink any wine until the cruise.”
Now, before you organize an intervention, I’m your average Italian Mama (my skin may be aggressively Irish, but my heart is Italian) who enjoys a glass of wine with dinner… and possibly one with dessert. It’s obviously not doing my waistline any favors, so —
You’re on too, Slightly Bigger One.
The truth is — I’m more excited about it than they are. I knew I needed to give up — no, free myself from soda’s caloric clutches. I recognized my wine habit wasn’t the most stellar choice for my body (or our budget). What I didn’t fathom was that my kids were aware I had developed poor habits. It’s true what they say (those darn “they”) kids are more intelligent than we give them credit for.
Bottom line is: I can do better. I feel so empowered by my kids love for me I hope I kick my “drinking problem” to the curb for good. After all, it would be nice to see my jawline again.
What about you? Truth or Dare…?