Since that evening, now a week ago, I have not had to raise my voice once (!) in trying to communicate something – whether it be an instruction or just something that I wanted to share – with them. Sara’s attitude has changed so much – in the way she communicates with me and with her little brothers (she now refers to them as her ‘my darling brothers’ – too precious). I am given more hugs and kisses each day, and less lip. George still remains the challenge but will come around soon. Possibly, the biggest change has been mommy’s attitude … Before, the kids were in charge and determined how the day would go. Now, I feel a strange empowerment – almost as if it’s always been there, just hidden under lots of insecurity. As if this whole episode wasn’t enough, Andalene shared an even bigger jewel with me that evening – she taught Sara to drink water. To some, this may seem like a small and insignificant thing, but for us, it was huge. Sara was a poor drinker from birth – drinking only when she felt like it, never conforming to anything I read (and I read extensively!!). I introduced water to her at a very young age, but she simply never wanted to drink it. I tried a hard-lined approach when she was about nine months old – refusing to give her anything else unless she drinks the water. But she won – as she simply didn’t drink. In the following months and year, and due to her poor drinking habits, she easily dehydrated when she had high fever, resulting in frequent hospital visits. After teaching Sara in 30 minutes to drink half a glass of water, she has since taken up the habit, and now asks me at times for her water (!). She’s still not drinking buckets full, but to me, this is pretty close and I’m really proud of her. We’ve decided to use Andalene’s reward chart as a water-chart this first time and the little princess is swiftly on her way to a visit to Butterfly World (Sara’s favourite place). As a rule we have taken all juice out of the equation and are only giving the kids water to drink – for school and at lunch/dinner time. The boys have already forgotten the juice and heartily drink the water out of very special panda cups.