“I WANT another piece of toast!!! GRRRR!” Yep, that’s exactly how I wanted to start my day today. It was going so smoothly. And then this…this…crazy maniacal look takes over my once sweet little girl. She had already scarfed down a bowl of cereal and three slices of toast. Um, yeah…growth spurt maybe. I suggested that she have a string cheese or a banana. Oh My Gosh! What was I thinking? Seriously! How DARE I suggest she eat something other than carbohydrates for breakfast. My WORD!
She proceeded to kick her feet and scream at me while I told her it was time to do her hair. The entire time I’m telling myself to take deep breaths and reminding myself that I don’t really want to hurt her right now. Really I don’t. When really all I want to do is make the screaming stop! Logically I know that is not the way I should handle this. I want to throw a huge fit too! I bet that would look cute! Mental image successfully created. Haha!
I’m ready to do her hair and she is “hiding” at the top of the stairs. She KNOWS this frustrates me and yet she LOVES to do it. Seriously…I think having children could be used as a form of torture…okay, not quite, but at some moments it feels just a WEE bit torturous. I took a deep breath, walked to the bottom of the stairs and counted backwards “5….4….3…2…1…0.” She didn’t move. I think she just might think I’m blind. Oh yeah! I can SEE her laying on the floor. Sigh! “I’ve already counted. Do you WANT to lose snuggle time?” She pops up and growls/yells, “I was COMING!”
Really! Because I’m pretty sure you were just lying there. I think I would have seen movement…just maybe…if you were actually coming down the stairs already! Just breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.
“It’s time to do your hair. Sit at the table,” I tried to say calmly as she proceeded to stomp past the table. “Sit! NOW,” my voice rose. This is so fun. Sometimes I dream of running away to a deserted island far away. Yes! Can you imagine all the blissful silence? Oh I CAN! Silence is “Golden”! Haha!
She angrily sat on the edge of the seat and huffed, shoulders slumped. “Please sit correctly.” My voice was stern and held an edge of frustration in it. Desperately I tried to hold back the anger that was growing inside of me. “You better cover your face so I can spray your hair,” I said. She whined and slapped her leg when the towel that was around her shoulders fell down her back and she couldn’t reach it. I put the towel back onto her shoulder and she grabbed it angrily and pulled it up across her eyes. She hates having the water in her eyes. I sprayed her hair and told her I was done with the water. She dropped the towel…still angry.
Sometimes I think that if I could just reason with her she would calm down. She would see that she is the one who is in control of her emotions. She would see that only SHE can make her choices. But reasoning with her isn’t working. “LOOK AT ME!” I raised my voice again. Crap. I turned her chin so she HAD to look me in the eyes. Her glaring eyes only made contact with mine for a second before she ripped her face out of my hand and looked away. I made threats without knowing how I could possibly keep them. Yep, this is great! I do this too often.
There is a war that goes on inside of me; one that protects my children from my anger. It’s a darn good thing too because moments like these make me think things I should never think; things I never thought in a million years I would EVER think. One side makes me want to cause harm…in the moment. It’s a fleeting thought. The other side, the more rational side, stops my hand from flying…or worse. Thankfully I push the negative thought aside with a reminder to breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.
I finally finish her hair and she jumps down from the chair and stomps all the way to the bathroom…hair flying as she marches to her angry beat. My voice is calmer again. Barely. “Get out your toothbrush and toothpaste.”
“I’m DOING it,” she yelled at the bathroom mirror. Her eye brows furrowed and her lips puckered. Her eyes would throw daggers at me if they could. I can feel her anger. I make sure she begins brushing before I leave the room and go to change my clothes. I say a silent prayer pleading for help. Calming breaths enter my lungs. I exhale the negativity, pushing it away from me. Inhale the positive. Exhale the negative. Inhale. Exhale. I’m more relaxed as I ascend the stairs again. A thought comes to my mind. Play “Let It Go” for her. But she doesn’t deserve it. She’s already lost privileges. Sigh. Just play the song.
She’s in the living room giggling. What! Who flipped the switch? How does she do it? A few minutes ago she was madder than a hornet. Now she’s happy as a clam. Do de do de do. Te he te he! Aaagh!
Apparently the poor mood disappeared while I was downstairs. I start playing the song on my phone. She nicely asks me if she can take her toys to school in her backpack. While we are both calm it’s the perfect time to talk to her about how it makes me feel when she acts the way she’s been acting all morning. It’s a good talk. Finally! She decides that a behavior calendar with stickers could help remind her to make good choices. We hug.
Inhale the good. Exhale the bad. Inhale. Exhale. Calm. Peaceful. One foot in front of the other. Keep moving forward. Smile. This won’t last forever.