Sometimes your kids do something that reflects on you and tells you that you're doing it right and your heart swells and you know that all those arguments and repeating the same thing over and over and over is working. It's getting through.
Last March, for our anniversary, the kids stayed at our friends Rick & Carrie's house overnight while we went away for the weekend. Just this week another mutual friend relayed to me that Zack was so polite and had such a big heart that Carrie shared it with her.
Carrie works crazy hours. Apparently she came in in the evening and Zack asked how her day was, said she looked tired and should sit down, and then complimented her hair. What a love.
This stems from way back when I used to pick the kids up from school/daycare everyday and they would immediately start in on me with the whining and the "I want..." and the begging to be taken somewhere or given some thing. I lost it one afternoon and snapped "You KNOW, it would be NICE if before you start whining at me about things that you want you asked 'Mommy, how was your day?'" This has stuck with both of them. Apparently when your head spins around the kids pay attention. Zack will sometimes run up to me in the afternoon with "Mom, I need to get *abrupt pause* How was your day? Oh good. Mom, I need to get poster board for my project that's due tomorrow".
My friend Ashley would call this a paycheck.