Tonight we had yam fries and chinese vegetable soup (you know the one you drizzle the eggs into… it is ah-mazing!). Then we had bath, books, homemade macaroon, teeth care, more books, climbed into bed… and then, my eldest decided she was hungry. Moments like this are a fork in the road, and I must pick a lane. So I went with my gut (she has often mistaken fatigue for hunger). Kitchen closed.
Sometimes we all go a little crazy. I think children are so much more at ease with this, it seems to sneak into their nature and come on quite naturally… and out just as naturally. But we all do the same thing, whether we express it or not. 2 more yam fries became the focus for over an hour. Partway through I was wishing I picked the other lane… but I hadn’t. So I strapped myself in, and…
Used my Neufeld cycle of futility, I listened, I set firm boundaries in the gentlest way I could muster, I gave hugs, I emphasized the rhythm of the day, I listened more, I set the same boundary over and over and over… and still, she went a little crazy. I can relate, I go there all the time… I finally I sat in the hallway with near tears and pleaded. She settled. She apologized. She got up bleary eyed as she had poked her own eye. She got up a final time (just minutes ago so here is hoping). And now, she will drift off to sleep.
No 2 yam fries, sorry babe. Kitchen is still closed.
In choosing a lane I weigh the effort it will take in the moment against the importance – the possible learning = long-term pay-off. It is usually not about the yam fry. It’s about being able to work through something hard, learn about emotions, what they are, mostly how “okay” they are, and how to “go a little crazy” in an even better way than the last time. I know I learn alongside my child. We learn together. And each get a little better. I haven’t hit excellence yet. This is tough stuff, even after 5 years of practice! But there sure are fewer blips these days. And more peace, through the strife.
It seems Janelle’s pictures – house and person theme these days – are telling. Which one are you today?