Friday, November 9, 2012

Joy Comes in the Morning

Today, I am thankful for a good night’s sleep.  

Yesterday afternoon and evening were difficult. Little K in tears, no dessert, early bedtime difficult. *sigh* I like to think, though, that in the end it served her well; she was in a great mood this morning.
Little K is a “more” child. I don’t recall where I first heard this phrase, but it described Little K perfectly: every reaction is “more.” If she is happy, she is over the moon, cannot contain her joy, run around the room, sunshine and rainbows happy. If she is upset, she is open the floodgates, hates her life and those around her, throw herself face down and weep into the couch cushions, nothing will ever be right again upset.
And, let me tell you, it is exhausting.
We’ve been working with Little K on understanding and controlling her emotions. We certainly want her to feel heard and do not want to under estimate the validity of her emotions. However, we are trying to help her differentiate between bad vs. apocalyptic.
Example: Last night, I reviewed her school folder and found a cookie fundraiser catalogue. Because I love cookies (HELLO raw cookie dough!), I of course opened it and began drooling. Little K saw me looking at the catalogue and began meltdown #1 – it was suggested to the kids that they put the catalogue in the fridge next to the milk for their parents to find; since I found it in her folder instead of the fridge, I was being sneaky and she had failed. I told her that was a cute idea and asked if it would be okay if I kept looking at it, since everything looked so delicious. Instead of answering, she snatched it out of my hand, giving me a pretty vicious paper cut. Meltdown #2 came when she saw the blood – she threw herself onto the couch, sobbing into the cushions that she was a terrible person for hurting her mother. It took a solid five minutes to calm her down, convincing her that she wasn’t a bad person and only needed to remember that it wasn’t polite to snatch things, especially since it is both rude and people can get hurt.
Then, at gymnastics, meltdown #3 began because the warm-up stretches hurt. And meltdown #4 came when she wasn’t able to make it up the rope. And meltdown #5 when I wouldn’t give her dessert since she deliberately disobeyed me (twice) as we left the gym. And meltdown #6 came when she continued to act out and ended up with an early bedtime. And meltdown #7 when -no, really kid- you have to do your inhaler and take your meds before bed, they are what keeps your lungs healthy and allow you to breathe!
It’s just. So. Much. Sometimes.
So bedtime came early with many tears and wails about wanting to start the whole day over, along with cuddles from Mommy and a talk about how, yes, it’s hard that things didn’t go the way you want today but you DO get to start fresh tomorrow. And, yes, it’s hard that you didn’t get to stay up or have dessert but both of those things will help you remember what not to do and you’ll be able to do better next time. And, yes, I love you with all my heart and I don’t like how tonight went, either, but I’m still glad that I got to spend it with you.
Being almost-seven is hard. So is being the mother of an almost-seven year old.
So Little K fell asleep within 15 minutes of lying down. And Mommy downed a quick drink and sat in a steamy shower for 30 minutes. And everyone woke up in a great mood this morning.
I’m off to re-read Moxie’s entry about seven year olds (also: THIS comment. My life.) and see if the library has the book she recommends. I shudder to think that this may get worse before it gets better.

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