Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Note to Self: perhaps not a bad thing, children seeing you having a meltdown

I had one of those days last week where BOY & GIRL were pushing limits left and right. You'd think if it was SO bad I'd remember the specific shenanigans, but I don't. And perhaps that is good. "Good" as in... perpetuating the story that is broadcast throughout the planet about a mother not remembering the pain of labor. Oh....that's true. Big fat lie. My not remembering the horrific high jinx of two masterminds aged 3 and 4 reflects a much deeper problem. My brain has dissolved.

On that no good, terrible, very bad day last week I was in the kitchen when I overheard BOY streaking down the hall, getting to the bathroom and saying, "I'm SO SHOCKED!" Now, he says this phrase fairly often and it doesn't always mean doom, but because of how the day had progressed so far I decided I better make a move on. By the time I dried my hands and was exiting the kitchen, BOY had made his way back to their room and I heard GIRL say something about "...scissors." I sprinted into the room in time to see what looked like several handfuls of neatly cut hair on the floor. And on the bed. I screamed, fell to my knees and burst into tears sobbing, "Oh, NO!!! Not your beautiful hair..." I picked up the gorgeous strands of blond, tawny and brown and clutched them to my heart wailing. GIRL seemed to be amused by my outburst, but BOY was deeply troubled. He followed me back into the bathroom where I madly searched for Valium. I SO wish... toilet paper to stem my streaming tears.

Why are you crying, Mommy?

Because BOY, you and GIRL have been very naughty today and I am tired and sad that you've cut each other's hair.

It will be okay, Mommy. I'm sorry.

This provoked another round of sobs and waterworks. I turned on the tap and started to wash my face.

What are you doing, Mommy?

I'm washing my face with cold water, BOY, so that I'll stop crying.


Note to self: perhaps not a bad thing, children seeing you having a meltdown.

Once I had fixed myself some strong Irish tea with 1/2 C of sugar and doused it with cream, I was ready to confront the damage. BOY's haircut was negligible. I couldn't find the spot where the blond locks had been cut out. And GIRL, despite all those locks of myriad brown on the floor, appeared to have gotten a strategic haircut by BOY. He had cut from underneath her hair in the back. Not too bad. Could have been worse. *SIGH*

Later, we're pulling out of the driveway and GIRL says out of the blue:

You WANTED to have children.

I looked at her in the rear view mirror, expecting some kind of smirk from The Exorcist who had taken over my GIRL. But...there were no head swivels or flying pea soup. Just GIRL sincerely beginning a conversation:

Some people don't have children. But, you did. You wanted to have children.

Yes, GIRL. I really, really did.

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  1. That's incredible that Girl said that. Wow.

    As for the meltdown, I completely understand. I rather enthusiastically tossed a cereal bowl into the sink this very morning (sort of knowing and maybe hoping that it might break), because I was so frustrated with my kids fighting with each other at breakfast. It got their attention, but I felt bad all day long. Please don't call child services. Or Bowl Protection Services.

    You had a pretty normal reaction, I think. But what do I know? I broke a bowl.

    I feel your pain.

  2. I've had so many that my children are now immune.

  3. I'm in tootsie's boat ... it is really sad when your meltdowns simply result in the kids tiptoeing around and avoiding Mom! The "what's wrong Mom" stopped about two years ago.

    Love to hear the phrases that come out of their little mouths ... and thank goodness you are able to document them!

    thanks for the add, by the way!

  4. Mine have gotten beyond immunity to a distinctly allergic reaction. Most recent kid response to one of my meltdowns? "It's always just about you, isn't it?"

    Sometimes the devil doesn't bother with the head-spinning and soup-spewing.

  5. At least you can be sure she knows she's wanted.

  6. WOW! With a comeback like that - "You wanted to have children", you are toast. Really, what can you say after that? What will she come up with as a teenager? When I taught preschool a kid cut another kid's hair during nap time. It was BAD. I worried about the parents reaction all day. When they finally came....they laughed...and laughed...and laughed.

  7. Dylan tells me fairly regularly to "calm down, mommy."

    And it works, I do.

    On those days I just pour myself a glass of wine that's a little bigger and I pour it a little earlier!

  8. you really wanted to have chocolate, too. chocolate and red wine. chocolate as dark as dark and a fine willamette valley pinot noir. yes. now.

  9. I have had so many days like that. I think that talking about how you are feeling, why, and what you are doing to try and help yourself is SO good for the kids. Life is not happy all the time, and theirs won't be either. You are teaching them some coping skills.

  10. I grew up on psychobabble so bear with me, but I have to think that when I come to pieces and my kids see it, it frees them to be kinder to themselves. And when they watch us pull ourselves back together, they see all is not ruined. We all have tough times and hopefully we all come through. I want my kids to know that having a bad day passes.

    (My family was big on Holding Everything In & Secrets. I was terrified of any 'negative' emotions.)

    I think you did just fine.

  11. WOW that she said that, seriously. That just kind of blew my mind

  12. She's so insightful!
    My older daughter chopped off her hair two days before ballet receital--it was oh so fun to try to gel the spikey tips into a smooth no whispie bun (well I can laugh now...)

  13. my children are worried when i don't have a meltdown.

  14. It's good that they see you having a bad day....and make a connection that they might have caused it - it encourages thoughtfulness. They'll be fine!

  15. Yeah,
    if my babies cut their hair I'd cry too!
    What a great insight from girl!

  16. I'm with Tootsie. I've had so many meltdowns they mean nothing to my kids anymore.


  17. I've got something for you...and it's not a Jack & Coke, although that would be nice, wouldn't it? Come get it!

  18. Your Girl is a funny one! And smart!

  19. Yikes, talk about guilt inducing statements! Pretty insightful though.
    Hope tomorrow is a better day.

  20. That is an incredible story. I was so feeling your pain on the hair thing and then GIRL. GIRL! She is so wise. YOU DID! I think you should make up plaques of her saying to post around the house. Send me one. I could use the reminder.

  21. yes you wanted children .. children with gorgeous, flowing, uncut hair!

  22. Ugh. That was my yesterday. I don't cry though. I never cry. But they certainly see mad.

    My go-to expression is "That makes me sad and angry!"

    Yeah, they don't give a shit. What age does empathy kick in?

  23. It's all in how you handle it.....GIRL is awesome- like her mom!

  24. I did cry over the frog eggs. It made an impression. They have attempted to cut each other hair, but since they only have access to safety scissors and neither of them can handle them very well yet, we've escaped that. There were several incidents of haircutting when I was a toddler - usually the day before I was due to get pictures made - but Mama always kept my hair so short it didn't make that much difference.


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