chicken, egg

i woke up this morning resolved to (attempt to be) more patient and compassionate in my interactions with josephine.  we had friends over for dinner last night and josephine, well, she was reacting rather quickly and dramatically to any perceived threat to herself or her things.  at one point she literally fell out of her chair when she thought the 5-year-old boy was going to grab her doll.  she scrambled to grab rose, lost her balance, and fell on the floor, shrieking.  the boy, it must be said, had no interest whatsoever in rose.  at another point in the evening, she walked into her room to see our friend sitting and reading a book (one of josephine’s books) with her daughter.  josephine started hyperventilating as if she found the girl ripping rose’s head off.  they were reading a book.

we had had a busy, very social weekend and eli had been over to play in the morning, so perhaps josephine was just overstimulated and tired of sharing her stuff.  but her over-the-top reactions made me wonder what, if anything, i can do to help her react more calmly and in a more measured way to things (especially things that are not worth freaking out about).  the good news is that she’s able, with help, to calm down pretty quickly and then, with a little prompting, can say in a calm(er) voice what she needs to convey in using gentle, friendly words.  (do other people talk to their kids like this? sometimes i feel ridiculous, but she gets it so i go with it.)  in addition to helping her re-respond to tough situations, i want to work harder on being a good role model and reacting calmly and patiently to her.  i don’t think i’ve been doing the best job of that lately, especially with our snow-bound week last week.

so that brings us to this morning and my determination to be more patient.  and, of course, josephine could not have been sweeter or more loveable today.  i had no test for my resolve.  i’m not complaining; we had a really great morning.  the sun was shining (!) so we walked to music class and then ran a bunch of errands on foot.  she was patient and up for sitting in the stroller while we made our stops and completed our tasks.  we stopped by my old office (so i could turn in my keys–i am officially office-less) and she chatted it up with my old coworkers.  on the way home, i asked if she wanted to get out and run and she said, “yes!” and then she told me that when we got home i could look up how far she had run.  (one-half mile.)  this run was interrupted by stops to touch some snow that hadn’t yet melted, to tuck kitty cat into the stroller and to peek through a fence at some chickens.   we got home way past her naptime and she calmly ate a good lunch then happily went to bed without fuss.

so did my attitude this morning make a difference?  did she sense i was feeling patient so she had no need to test me?  or did she just wake up on the right side of the bed and have a good day independent of me?  some combination of both? either way, i’d love to figure out a way to more often feel like i did this morning: ready to let more of the whining and the little toddler stuff that can drive me nuts wash over me and not get me annoyed.  i’d like to do less snipping and be more accepting of how huge and confusing the world is for a little body. and take care of that little body as compassionately as i can.  it’s my job, after all.

unrelated: i’m very happy with today’s news that washington state is poised to pass legislation legalizing same-sex marriage.  it’s about time…

2 Responses to “chicken, egg”

  • Erika Says:

    it is your job, my darlin’, but that doesn’t mean that you should expect perfection from yourself while doing it. just like any job, we have times when we’re frustrated, anxious, annoyed with our co-workers, and less than patient. i have ALL the same wishes you do about patience and peacefulness and my kid is at daycare 28 hours a week. it is a yeoman task to parent, so be gentle about expectations of yourself, ok?
    love, your friend who maybe needed to give herself that pep talk too, so she gave it to you instead. 🙂

  • oma Says:

    thank you, my dear. maybe that’s the pep talk i wrote the post in search of. i appreciate it. now come visit.