I love new beginnings and fresh starts and making lists and getting organized. So January is always a month I look forward to. Nothing special to report in the resolution department this year (get back to blogging!) but I do have a new trick for anyone else looking to stick to their resolutions: Tell Your Kids! Little kids will keep you really honest, I promise. Here's how I know...
On New Year's Day Grace and Noah were fighting and I decided to use that moment to talk to them about making resolution. I explained what a resolution was and why you make one at the start of the new year. And then I gave them some examples. "For example, Grace might make a resolution to stop using a mean tone of voice when she talks to Noah. And Noah, you might want to make a resolution to stop kicking Grace, even when she hurts your feelings. Or..." I said..."Or, I could make a resolution to stop drinking Coca-Cola in the new year, because I know that it is not healthy for me."
That was sort of the end of the conversation because then Grace said something about poo and laughter erupted and they forgot all about the resolutions. I thought: I tried, but that's over with.
We were sitting at the McDonald's at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam. It's always a special airport treat that the kids get McDonald's there. I had just gotten people happy meals and some breakfast food for Kristoffer and me. The kids were drinking their chocolate milk when Grace asked me what I was drinking.
Grace: Why are you drinking that?
Me: Because that was really all they had that I liked.
Grace: But what about your resolution not to drink any more Coca-Cola?
And just like that, I was so busted. So I told her that once we got back to Dar es Salaam - because I was definitely going to have a coke on the airplane - I would try much harder to stop drinking coca-cola. "Because it is not healthy for you?" she asked. "Right," I said.
Today was Day 2 back in Dar. I wanted a coke yesterday when we were so tired after the trip and Aya hadn't been sleeping. I wanted a coke today when I was standing out in the heat waiting to pick Grace up from school. But both days I DID NOT GET A COKE because I told her she can ask me any time. And I don't want to lie to her. And I do actually want to stop drinking coke, even if if it was not really my intention to make it a NYR.
So, the lesson here is that if you really want to be held accountable for something - tell your kids about it and they will help keep you honest. It absolutely caught me off guard, but was a nice indication that she was actually listening to me, right? Let's see how we're doing a little further into 2015.