(Before I tell the tale of how this unfolded, let me begin by saying that from the picture above, I know you can't even begin to imagine that this small band of brothers - and sis - would be capable of stirring up any commotion. But believe me you, it's possible. It's possible.)
For those without small children, or those who haven't ever heard of Love & Logic parenting classes, the Energy Drain is a simple technique that works in a snap. Every time.
It goes a little something like this:
The children are acting like wild monkeys. Completely out of control. It might be that they are fighting, shouting at each other, running the other direction when I call, or any number of other deviant behaviors that can really get a mother's blood boiling.
Mama recognizes that this behavior must cease immediately. Mama quietly places her fingers on her temple and starts massaging. This is accompanied by a very low moan, something in the range of "oh", "ah" or "uh". Very low pitched. Very drawn out.
Typically the children will stop in their tracks the moment they see me doing this. Then they will ask, "Mama, did you have an Energy Drain on me? Or her?" And then demand, "Who mama? Who gave you the Energy Drain?"
If it was a full-out Energy Drain, which I classify as necessitating more than five seconds of this routine, the children are then in a position of regaining my energy. This might look like spending quite time in their rooms, washing windows, tidying the house, or any other number of special projects that might have otherwise required my energy to complete. Anything to help mama regain her energy so that we can carry on with the day peacefully.
On the way home from school on Friday, I couldn't help but laugh when my oldest had a suggestion for regaining my energy.
He said, "Mom. I have an idea of how to regain your energy. We dance while you cook."
To which I replied, "Well, yeah. Of course, that's what we always do when we cook."
"No," he countered. "WE dance, while YOU cook. That should regain your energy."
I was nearly in tears.
Week 26 Meal Plan
Monday - Five Fold Burrito
Tuesday - Beef Pot Pie
Wednesday - Depression Era Pasta e Fagioli
Thursday - Taco Bowl
Friday - Red Lentil Soup
Saturday - Spiced Chicken with Stubby Vegetables