Ducks and Tantrums




I’ve been on a pretty good run with planning my weekends better.  I realized I was in the mentality of feeling like I deserved for my weekends to be lazy and un-planned.  Turns out I was being a little too passive in  my own happiness.   


I was fairly well prepared for the fact that the girls would be tired from being up late the night before at San Diego Supercross.  I told Rich I thought I should stay home with the girls in the AM and head out to Fontuki in the afternoon so that the girls could have a chance to catch up on sleep.  


So I started laundry, we cleaned the play room, they ate, then ate again.  They were starting to get restless so I thought we could try to get out to the duck pond since we had nearly-stale bread.  


But first, I wanted to be preemptive and give us all a focus for valentine’s week.  With the girls arguing more lately, I thought the chalkboard could be the reminder to “just be kind”.  It could be like, “talk to the hand”, only I could point to the board.  It is a simple phrase, but one that has come to mean more to me thanks to this blog {here} and it’s writer. 


I showered.  But not before reminding the girls to just be kind to each other (in other words, don’t interrupt my shower 10 times to tell me what the other one did to you).  I think they came in only twice, so that might have been an overlooked victory.


I thought Hadz would like to try to sit in Maycee’s car seat, so that May could upgrade to a different one we had ready.  She didn’t want to.  But I had already put Mays in, so Boo had to deal with it this time.  


Tantrum.  The defiance.  The “NO!”.  The whining.  


I waited.  I was patient.  I gave her time to come around and to get in her seat and buckle up like she always does.


5 minutes passed.  I went around to help her get in her seat and buckle up. 


She screamed.  Then louder.  Then mommy-is-pulling-my-nails-off-with-tweezers-in-the-back-seat kind of scream.  


I stayed calm.  I didn’t scream back.  When she tried to kick me I grabbed her leg firmly and told her to stop.  Got in the car.  Maycee was sad, as she always is when Hadz is this distraught.  Hadley cried the whole way pond-ward.


She was better when we fed the ducks.  They cheered her up. The girls wanted to be nice and feed the ones that were right at their feet, which just brought more ducks to their feet...so at about the same time that the bread was out, I was also out of creative ways of teaching them to throw the bread in the water so that the ducks follow their bread, not them.   


After shoo’ing the ducks away several times, it was time to leave.  Which meant Hadz had to go back into her car seat.  I did not show frustration when she tried to bite me like she hasn’t done in sooooo long.  I was firm but even-keeled in telling her NO.  I kept my cool walking her into the house and bypassing lunch to get her to bed. 


I patiently waited for her to get her pull-up on before climbing into bed.  I anticipated that she would want her blanket the way she always does and chose not to get short with her when she whined to me about it.  I told her I loved her and that she’d feel better when she woke up.


Four hours later she woke up a whole new person (2 hours is the usual).


I realize that I am in a cross-roads in my parenting.  I am trying hard to be more patient, more calm.  These are traits of mine that I am proud of and that have not been as present in my parenting as I would like for them to be.  And while there is a time and a place for our kids to know and understand that we mean business, there is also a time and place for them to know that we understand.  We understand that they are tired.  We get that a cough that has lingered for 2 weeks is plain irritating.  We are part to blame for taking them out when we knew a tired-inspired something-or-other was brewing. 


Sometimes we just need to Be Kind. 


I haven’t felt this calm handling that kind of situation, in a long time.  I actually felt in more control (of myself) than when I try to control the outcome.  It might not have been 100% right, but in terms of what I’ve been trying to do better as a mom, I was right on.   


 © Houseman 2013