Chana suggested to me that perhaps she wouldn't be so bad tempered if I sometimes spoke to her about something other than her responsibilities. I realized how true it is, that she does her own thing, and I'm busy with the littles, and I only speak to her to have her sit down to do work or do chores or something.
Over the last few days I struggled with this, and realized just how infrequently I'd been emotionally, physically, and conversationally connecting with her. As per Dr. Neufeld, discipline issues were coming up because of our lack of connectivity.
I made a number of efforts over Shabbos. Motzei Shabbos, when the littles were in bed and Sarah was out, we invited Chana to watch a movie with us.
This morning, Chana came downstairs and one of the first things that came out of my mouth was an aggressive joke. Chana didn't explode, but she did calmly say that she didn't think that was very nice. I agreed with her (I guess that my unconscious is simmering from our conflict over the last week). After she davened, she pulled out the Chumash to do chazara. I asked if she wanted me to sit next to her to give her word definitions, and she said yes. Since I wasn't expecting to do Chumash Sunday morning first thing, I had no expectations, and it was pleasant when she took breaks to chat about various things. She got up to shlishi, and I said it was about the kohen gadol's me'il, and she remembered an argument we had about that translation in the car going to visit my parents. It seems that some parts of Chumash are forever going to be intertwined with highlights of conflicts that she and I had. It seems that in our homeschool, adolescent females and their mom engage passionately with each other using the medium of Torah, since that is mostly the time we talk to each other. I hope there are good memories as well.
They finished building and making everything for the mishkan by the end of shlishi, and Chana was a little dismayed, since she had been planning on breezing through it because she was familiar with the keilim et. al. I'll let her discover that the rest of it is setting up everything (at least, that's what it looked like when I glanced ahead). She plans to finish on Thursday. I'm looking forward to Vayikra. I think I may need to prepare a bit, to use some charts or diagrams to keep the different korbanos straight. I also remember Tazria-Metzora being tough. But I'm looking forward to the review.