Paid Time Off

fla

 

Nothing beats a good vacation.  The sun is number one for me.  Followed by having my family with me. lol I love not having anywhere to rush off to, the relaxed pace, and the actual feeling of becoming revitalized.  It sometimes may take a day or two, but I can feel my body losing tension and start to unwind.  That’s when my mind gets to going, juices start to flow.  I start to enjoy my family more and see them as the loves of my life.  I feel tranquil and actually don’t mind cooking–or any other “ugh” chore that I have to do daily.  I am ready to engage in any task asked of me and won’t feel like I am cramming it in while contemplating a full list of other things to add to my day.

I even start to think of how I can extend the feelings I get on vacation to my everyday life back home.

But it’s this time that I think and reflect on myself that also gets me frustrated and down once I get back home and settled into my routine.

On vacation, I conjure these grand emotions of ways I can be a better mom and wife. I can see clearly how to accomplish it.  And I think how I can treat myself better, spend more time on myself rather than run out the house with no make-up and a hat on because I couldn’t get to my hair.

It all seems so inviting and feasible.  But two days after unpacking, hitting the grocery store to refill the fridge, and washing sand and chlorine from the vacation clothes, I always realize that it’s just a pipe dream.  It saddens me that the hustle and bustle of our lives keeps us from being the kind of parent or wife that we would like to be.  I’d love to wake up and make breakfast for my family every morning.  Sit with them and discuss our dreams from the night.  Try to figure out what we ate or watched that caused them to be so spectacular.  Walk or ride our bikes to drop the kid off to school.  Walk her into her classroom and kiss her forehead goodbye in front of her classmates. Maybe visit the hubby at his job for lunch. Take my time getting home after work to toil in the garden and pick vegetables for our dinner.  Play board games as a family before we eat, then act out our favorite books before bedtime.

No, this doesn’t have to be an everyday thing, but that’s what makes it so depressing.  It’s not even a once a week thing with all the items that have to be done day-to-day.

I don’t want to say that it makes me not want to go on vacation!  I mean, come on!  That’d be crazy!  But I do tend to get a bit downhearted once I get home and can feel the tension entering my shoulders, start to fret how I’m going to get my “to do” list accomplished and see how the visions I had of becoming this new person are quickly diminishing.

I don’t like that my family only gets two weeks a year of the person I like to be.  They only get a measure of her when she can force herself out every once in a while when vacation is so far off.  How nice would it be for them to see that part of me at all times?!

I don’t know a way to make it happen more regularly besides taking a vacation twice a month!  Can you even imagine how happy the family unit would be if we had more time to be ourselves?!  I cherish the idea!

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We would like to start a tab.

My husband and I recently discussed what makes a drinker a happy drunk versus an angry drunk.  We were not able to come up with any solid reasoning.

Thankfully, my husband and I are both happy drinkers.  I don’t want to say “drunks” because we don’t drink to that extent.  But we are both pretty cheerful once we feel that nice buzz coming on.

Out with the kid: “Sure, you can have another Shirley Temple before your food comes and then waste that $15 burger because you’re full!”  We won’t care until the credit statement comes a month later!

I don’t normally find my husband to be the most humorous guy in the crowd, but when we’re tipsy, he could be a comedian! He talks more, gives wise-cracks and is more sociable with company.  I am more open and relaxed and laugh more.  It’s a good time.

By nature, my husband is more optimistic and level-headed.  He thought that this just manifests itself more when has a drink or two.  But I reminded him that I am more of a pessimist–a bit more of a Negative Nancy–but still get happy when I have a few.  So, we figured that libation didn’t enhance your natural personality traits.

Which led us to another theory.  Perhaps part of the formula of being a happy drinker is because we had pretty normal and happy childhoods–because we didn’t have excessive hardships growing up.  My husband had more than I, but nothing too extraordinary.  So that made us focus on my parents for a moment.  Unfortunately, both of my parents had rough childhoods.  I inherited my dad’s personality of being a defeatist.  So you have a guy who is bitter because of a rough childhood.  My dad is not an angry drinker, but definitely not a happy one either. He can start off maybe a tad silly but then spends the rest of the evening brooding and looking as though he is in deep thought.  Is this the combo that makes one an angry drinker?  It tends to be so on movies and in books.  But no, we still debunked this theory as educational proof or reason.  Although my mom chooses not to drink much anymore, I do recall while younger, the glee and enjoyment she would experience when friends would come over for dinner and drinks. So my mom is also a happy drinker.  Even though she had a tad bit worse childhood than my father!

We ruled out our natural personality traits, as well as un-befitting back grounds and upbringing. But we are still not able to determine the science behind it.  What makes one person laugh and chipper and the life of the party and yet others can become bitter or wrathful and sometimes act less than seemly?

There could be an article out there that states the scientific facts and actually explains the logic behind this.  But we never looked it up.  I mean, we were having this conversation over drinks one night at dinner.  We didn’t really want to spend our “comedy hour” googling what could have become a conversation too serious for our tastes at the moment.  We figured we’d just keep it rudimentary and analyze our own different scenarios and talk about the actions of our friends when they begin to drink.

But, if  you have any fun ideas or stories you’d like to share on the subject, please do so. I’ll read them with a glass of wine in hand–when I am sure to give a laugh at whatever  you suggest.  🙂

 

 

 

 

Raising a Child That Is Not You

“Raising a Child That is Not You” would be the name of the book I would write.  It would be for all the parents out there who have a hard time relating to their child and being able to raise them when they are so different from yourself.

Sounds very knowledgeable and informative, right?

Well, let me tell you that I  am definitely unqualified to make it happen.

As parents, we are always stressing about one thing or another with our children.  It started with the timing of development when they were newborns.  Are they lifting their head at the right time, or in the proper percentile of growth?  Then it moved to toddler stage and whether or not they were crawling yet and how many vocabulary words they were speaking.  So and so on, right?

Well, I am now at a stage where I feel unable to relate to my child.  And because of that, I feel like I am clueless in raising her!

We are the same when it comes to attitude.  She is one bona fide whipper snapper, let me tell you.  But the comparisons end there. I am always looking to read or write — have some quiet time to do those things.   She is 9 years old and has only one completely read book under her belt.  She wrote a poem, once. But that was for a school project and no long term desire was ever sparked because of it.

I love food.  And I love to eat it.  I will try pretty much anything.  At least one bite.  This kid likes cheeseburgers and bacon.  Whereas these are two great items, I’m sure you see how this minimizes the ideas for dinner, yet massively increases nightly arguments!  Our exploration of new and interesting establishments is decreased because this kid won’t  try new things without a threat of no dessert.

My husband and I got her a brand new bike earlier this year which motivated us to get new bikes so that we could enjoy family time and the outdoors together.  I took to the sport surprisingly quick.  Started going on my own when she was in school and arranging rides for us to different destinations so that the trek would not become a bore.  After her second trip out, she started complaining everytime my husband or I suggested to go!  Whining that her legs hurt, it’s hot, or that the ride is too long.  What kid doesn’t want to ride their bike?

It’s not only one sided discrepancies, though.  I have no idea where this came from –because it is for sure no trait of mine —  but the kid loves crafts.  She googles “things a 9 year old can do with a cardboard box”.  If we go to a hobby store –never mind that I was only going to get a new wreath for the front door —  we must go into the kid’s section to find her some new craft/concoction I will once again need to find a place for, that she can put together.  Can I please express to you that I have zero interest in crafts!  I love what others can do with yarn and a glue gun, but my interest in nil.

I like museums, the zoo, strolls through the park.  She likes you tube, Netflix and 2-star rated games on an old cell phone my husband lets her play on.

What am I supposed to do with these differences?  How do we build a strong relationship when we have nothing in common?

Yes, yes.  I know as a parent that I will have to yield to her desires. Wait until she understands the give and take in a relationship to begin to yield herself to things her dad and I may prefer to do.  But good lord, it is a struggle! And I must admit, a tad bit worrisome.

Maybe I’m not looking at this from a proper perspective.  I am a mother of one so I will use that as my excuse for naivety.  Perhaps you have some advice for me…?

Rx Renewal

I have a tendency to be late to things.  It is not on purpose and I do not like this fact about myself.

Over the years, I have grown mature enough to pinpoint my faults that cause this personality flaw of being tardy.  When younger, I have to admit it was a bit of a “meh” attitude.  I didn’t not care, but, I didn’t care enough.  Slowly, things started to change.

The second phase of my tardiness resulted from my impatience. I hated (and still do hate) to be on time and then have to wait around for everyone else.  There were a few times that I made a rewarding effort to be on time, just to be the first person at a gathering and have to watch the hostess (who was running behind) still wrap prosciutto in bacon.  I’d have to make myself busy playing games on my phone, if not asked to chip in to help with final preparations, until the other guests arrived a fashionable half hour late.  (My customary “running late” arrival time btw.)

The third phase was that I started adding too many other chores into my “getting ready” routine.  When I was supposed to be blending my eye shadows, I would remember the load of clothes that needed to be moved from the washer to the dryer.  Or I would finally decide after three weeks of dryness, to water the plant in the front room while the iron was warming up.  Getting ready to leave always seems to be the perfect time for any odd task to be performed.

The fourth phase was that I wasn’t as spry as in younger years.  The shower that used to take 7 minutes turned into 12.  I couldn’t move as fast as I used to, so I now needed more time. Doing my hair took longer, figuring out an ensemble took longer.  Makeup application needed advance planning and prep!  Good lord, I irritated my own self with the extra time needed to do what I was doing before.

Well, this now brings me to phase 5.  The current culprit of my tardiness isn’t anything to do with my lack of effort.  It has now become the amount of pills, drops and ointments that I have to take before I can get out of the door!  With the drops that I have to take on an empty stomach — but not before or after brushing my teeth — to the pills that need to be taken with food, to the essential oil that has to be rubbed into the skin afflictions, there is no way I can be on time to anything!  I am appalled at all the combinations of pills and remedies that I have to take, with conflicting instructions on how they must be taken.  And I am baffled at how long this process takes me.

It has gotten so, that I sometimes have to carry a bag with me, out the door, so that I can finish taking the meds on the ride to my destination.  Couple this with the fact that I decided to groom the dog on the way out and pull the weeds out of the mulch bed, and it’s a sure set up for being late.

With pill-popping being phase 5, I am so nervous to see what phase 6 of this plight will be…!  Dear god, what about phase 8?  Will it be a diaper issue by then?

No praise for Wonder Woman

My husband works full-time and has made it that I am able to work part-time, so that I can be home to take care of the kid.  Naturally, most activities that involve her, are primarily my responsibility.  I handle the playdates, kids’ parties, and doctor appointments.  I arrange extra curricular activities and align my schedule to sit there while she’s participating.  Hair appointments, day trips, school picnics, swim-gymnastics-art classes and the entire gamut of summer and winter entertainment during school breaks.  Not to mention the family outings that need to be arranged and put together for the three of us to enjoy together.

I am sure you see the painted picture. I am a very busy amusement director.

I don’t want to portray an image of my husband not doing any work or being uninvolved.  He is great with his fatherly chores.  Making lunches, combing hair, checking homework, picking up and dropping her off to school, annual father/daughter movie night, Disney on ice every year.

Again, you see the picture.  The point of this story is not his lack of activity in raising our kid. I feel that we both handle our responsibilities equally and fairly.  The point of this story, though, is the kid’s response to it.

Case in point: A friend arranged for a group to head out to Cook Forest for a canoe trip.  Because of previously set plans, I was unable to go.  But my hubby and the kid still did.  And they had a great, fun time.  After my activity was complete, I actually enjoyed the free time to myself before their return home.

So, here’s the thing–the praise my husband got when they got back!  I had to hear about it for two days!  My daughter was non-stop in her compliments and pride in her father taking her on the trip.  She couldn’t stop talking about the fun they had and regaling me with multiple stories of what happened in the canoe, on the riverbank and on the ride home.  The food they ate, the heat from the sun, the cold water.  “Daddy did this…” “Daddy said that..” “We laughed at this…”.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I am so glad when those two share happy moments together.  What mother wouldn’t be?  But what took the cake was when she passionately told me that she really appreciated his taking time out of his busy schedule to spend time with her and that he deserved a thank you card.

So, okay.  She is right.  He did do a nice thing.  She should show appreciation, and he did deserve a card. But…uh…where is mine?!!!  What about all the days that I spend crawling through bouncy houses getting rubber burns on my elbows and knees?   The parks and farms we’ve traveled to–stepping in goat, bunny and chicken poop to feed the animals? The bee sting from blueberry picking? Getting lost and walking a mile, in the heat, to get to the museum for her to draw on the sidewalk as part of the Chalk Festival?

We’ve done things, people!!  Fun things!!  Well-planned and thought out things!  I haven’t gotten any “thank you” card!  I haven’t heard her speak with passion to anyone else about how great I am for taking her anywhere!  This is just the recent story of many with her applauding her father for his spending time with her.  She tends to sing his praises after any outing that they share!

But, I will never stop her from doing this.  I will always encourage her to say “thanks” to him and go the extra bit to write a card.  Let’s get out the glue gun and put bows, pom-poms and glitter on it to jazz it up.  Let her understand that her dad is kind and that she’s special to get some special time with him!

Dare you say that I am jealous, though?  Why, yes.  Yes, I am!  lol

Summertime Sadness

I love the sun.  One of the reasons I feel that my husband and I should uproot our entire lives is so that we could move to an area where the sun shines most of the day, month and year!  I feel like sunshine helps me to grow and be creative and feel better! I’m happier, motivated and more positive.  (And I think I’m cuter–because you wear dainty, freer clothes in the summer, right?)

During the winter months, I start to feel like I’m being held back from so many things I could be doing– if I wasn’t being weighed down by snow storms, slushy dangerous streets and winter advisory warnings to stay inside.  That is when I begin making plans of all the wonderful things I am going to do as soon as the weather breaks and the higher temperatures start to roll in.  I literally create a list and start to imagine the tingle of the heat on my skin and the elation I’m going to feel as I engage in the listed activities. I get fantasies going and include my daughter in these–both of us discussing the snacks we may take along or the outfit we may wear.  Whether we will go by ourselves or include someone in these sun-filled, perfect-weather activities.

So summer comes, right?  The weather is hot and brilliant, right?  And one day (last Wednesday) I realized that it is the middle of July and that I have only done one thing on my summer list!  I still have so many other things I was supposed to do but now there’s school supplies replacing the beach gear at stores.  The board of education is starting to send out medical packets that need filling out for the new school year.  And I keep getting a groupon email, reminding me that I haven’t used the voucher I purchased in February to visit a nearby safari park.

Now is when the panic seeps in!  I am starting to depress, thinking of all that we have not gotten done and probably won’t get done!  The sad part is, I can’t give you a list of things that we have done, that replaced my summer bucket list!  How in the world does that happen?  When another mom asks “how the summer has been going”, I have no exciting stories to share of what we have gotten ourselves into, yet I have been so busy and slightly overwhelmed on the day to day with so much (of what?) going on!  Again, I ask you, how does that happen?

There are three 1/2 weeks left before the kid goes back to school.  Although I look forward to the quiet of her going back and the toned down days from the hustle and bustle of unknown sources, I am really going to try and fit in at least three more of the listed activities we thought we were going to fulfill.  A sleepover, a waterpark and I tell you–I will feed a giraffe at the safari park, doggone it!!

And who knows? Maybe we can squeeze a in a few more items over the weekends.  Perhaps get the bike rack out of the box and setup so we can enjoy that bike-riding picnic down the towpath that we listed.

I’ll try not to let the incomplete activities get me too down and in the dumps.  And I’ll just keep viewing posts of folks doing fun energetic activities that I’ll probably add onto next year’s (unaccomplished) list!

Time Wasters

There’s a song by Kings of Leon with the lyric “..take the time to waste a moment.”  The first time I heard this verse, I wrote it down so that I could reflect on ways I could do this.  I thought that wasting time with my husband or my kid would be a good choice.  Or with both of them together.  Perhaps wasting some time to take the dog for a nice long walk when I’m supposed to be washing dishes or folding clothes.  Or maybe just doing something for myself that can bring me some inner calm.  Any of those would be great ideas of how I could put into action the words I heard.

But of course, I got to thinking—why do we have to be reminded to do this kind of thing yet we find ourselves constantly wasting time on Twitter, Facebook or any other commonplace activity?  Why are we okay to waste time bingeing Netflix shows but have to be coerced into wasting time with our loved ones?  I have found myself swiping through pictures and videos on Instagram, of persons I don’t even follow, before I realize forty-five minutes have passed.  But I will quickly turn up my nose at my kid if I’m asked to look at some box she’s made out of a box.  (This is not a typo.  I have literally been shown a dismantled shoe box, cut up and re-taped back into a proud square!)

I’ve never taken much time to look and see what the song is actually about.  I could be taking this one lyric out of context and changing the entire meaning of the song.  But I did feel that verse sent a good message that we should take time to waste moments so that we can recharge ourselves or reconnect with whomever we deem necessary.  This is some sound and good advice that we should strive to heed from time to time.  Stop being so quick to rush to the next monotonous and mundane chore that we have to fill every day. Stop carrying the rushed and over worked attitude that we got when we left the office.  All we are doing is running toward our next stressful situation!

Whether I am interpreting the song correctly to having a profound meaning or not, I really hope that I can be better about setting more meaningful, as well as necessary, time-wasting moments.

To wash? Or to wear?

Wornclotheschair

A little while back, my sister and her husband were over for dinner and lightheartedly got into a dispute about dirty clothing.  My sister was fussing that clothes belong in one of three places–the drawer, the closet or the hamper for washing.  But my brother in law disagreed.  He felt that the arm of the chair, the side of the footboard or gently placed on the floor by the bed were acceptable places as well and should be added to her list.

My sister looked to me for support–because in most cases (an estimated 9.99997 times out of ten) I agree with her–hands down.  But to her bewilderment and my husband’s excitement, I agreed with my brother in law.  (Who has been and still remains one of my 6 arch nemeses)

Here’s the logic behind it.  Some clothes just aren’t dirty enough to be put in the hamper, but not clean enough to be put back where they belong.  Short and simple.  So where do they go?  To one of the aforementioned areas.

I don’t know of which opinion you find yourself on the matter, but let me give a detailed scenario to explain myself.

Say you wake up one fine sunny day and want to sit out on your patio.  You wash, pick out a shirt and pants from your drawer or closet and go have breakfast outside.  You read the paper, check email, play games on your phone or enjoy the family. After this, you perhaps help your little one build a fort or order a few household items online.  You then decide you want to catch up on  a few shows that you DVR’d.  So you sit on the couch to create more space on your cable box and enjoy three episodes of Criminal Minds  (12 minutes missed because you dozed off) and maybe a light lunch until you’re reminded that you have to get up and get ready for your dinner plans that evening.

And here’s the clincher–what do you do with the clothes you just had on?   You perhaps recall perspiring ever so lightly due to the beautiful heat from the sun earlier.  But no sweat glands could call themselves completely expressed from it.  And you’ve done nothing but sat and watched TV for two hours with an occasional long stare out the window.

Whereas the clothes are no longer the best choice for say–a lunch date with colleagues–they are still perfect for another day of loafing around.  Or perhaps a quick run to the store.  You could use them to cut the grass or wash the car tomorrow. (Which would for sure merit hamper status) But you also have to keep in mind that you had two small meals in it.  No stains, but could the shirt imperceptibly smell like that garlic vinaigrette that was on your little salad?  Maybe?  Maybe not.  But you feel as though you cannot put these items back in the closet with  freshly washed items.  So?  Where…Do…They…Go…?

Exactly!!  The floor, the footboard or the arm of the chair.

We discussed this for about 45 minutes over assorted grilled cuisine because there was nothing we could say to get my sister to understand our sentiments nor to agree with our arguments.

I don’t know if I’ve persuaded you or not, but it was 3 to 1 that night; so it could be safe to assume that more of you have clothes lain around your rooms (as do I) than not.:-)

Disciplinary Guru

I have a 6-year-old kid.  And kids do crazy things that get themselves into trouble.  But I find that I am now having a hard time coming up with proper and effective ways to discipline my daughter when she does something I do not favor.

Let me give you an example.  My daughter recently picked up the habit of holding spit bubbles in her mouth and rolling them around with her tongue.  Well, I find this nasty.  Here I am trying to talk with her and she’s not able to answer me because she has to swallow the tablespoon of spit she has let collect.  Or I look around the room and lovingly gaze at the profile of my daughter (if you knew me, you would immediately tag this for the exaggeration that it is) before she turns toward me and reveals the spasmodic seizure bubbles she’s harboring in her mouth!  Again, it’s just nasty.

So I have tired myself of gently chiding her about it, which then moved to yelling at her about it, which graduated to threats of doing something about it, until I had to come up with some form of discipline.  Well, what the heck kind of discipline is a parent to dish out for a spit-hoarder?  What kind of punishment fits that crime?!  I threatened the discipline so of course I had to follow through with it and create one.  But when it came time to, I lacked all imagination.

In talking with friends, I have found that I am not the only person finding stress in this area.  One friend has three boys, and says she will make them do exercises as a form of discipline.  Didn’t clean the kitchen? 50 push-ups.  Forgot to take out the trash? 15 suicides in the backyard and so on.  I actually like this idea.  But call me a feminist (believe me, I am not) because I felt like this was great–but more so for boys.  Does that make sense?  No.  Because my daughter would actually hate to do any form of exercise. It would probably be the perfect route to take.  But then I would have to stand there and watch her do it all.  To ensure she actually finishes the allotted chore.  So, whereas I have not taken this off the table of ideas, I still have not implemented it into my repertoire.  (Yes, I’m lazy.)

I have another friend who takes away all electronics from her girls and sends them to their room.  This worked until she found them cuddled up reading books to each other and enjoying themselves.  Under normal circumstances, this would be a parent’s dream–bickering children now playing in harmony.  But not when you are trying to teach a lesson.  So she next had to say no to books–including coloring books.  She reminded them that this forced quiet time was to be used to reflect on ways to be better and all that kind of parental garbage talk that we do.  Well, she now finds them in their rooms fast asleep!  Maybe they are dreaming of their abhorrent acts and of ways to make it up to their parents upon awakening.  Though I strongly doubt it!  So are they really learning any lessons from this discipline?  Or do we just get to enjoy some quiet time away from them?  Which in itself is a highlight.

I have sent my kid to her room on numerous occasions.  But I am not lucky enough to find her asleep.  She sits on her bed with her door open and tries to hold conversations with us as we walk by.  She feigns sudden interest in anything she can think of to engage us in some kind of banter.  Even if we make her close the door, she will talk through the crack.  (Think of Elsa and Anna in the scene from Frozen)  So it ends up being more annoying than satisfying at teaching a lesson.

Well, back to this spit habit.  I had to come up with something the other day to fulfill my threat of discipline.  I was in the moment and felt true pressure on what to choose.  My husband wasn’t home so he couldn’t help me.  I was on my own.  I quickly tried to think back on anything I was forced to do when in trouble in my youth.  As the rolodex flipped through my mind, it stopped on a weird page just as a flash of The Simpson’s title sequence with Bart writing on the chalk board flickered in my mind.  So that is what I made her do.  Write “I will not play with spit” 10 times every time I catch her doing it.

Yes, my husband and sister laughed at me when I told them this.  As you quite possibly are doing as well.  But it was all I could come up with at the time!  So far, she has had to write it 50 times and has 10 in queue as you read. Just this morning she had to write it 20 times before she could watch tv or play with her tablet or even think of putting Barbie in the convertible mini-coop.

Do I think this punishment fits the crime?  No.  But as I asked before–what punishment would?  Do I think this will be effective?  I don’t know.  The first time she had to do it, she was actually proud of her work!  She asked if we could keep it.  I’m not sure, but I think she was under the guise that it should be framed!!  However, I caught her rolling spit a few minutes ago and when she saw me looking, she quickly swallowed it and said something to the effect that she “had a tickle in her throat and wasn’t playing with spit, just trying to clear her throat”.  All of this was said without me saying one word.  So maybe, just maybe, it’s working.

We parents have no idea what we are doing.  Who knew that we would be trying to concoct methods of punishment for eating toe jam or taping boogers to the wall?  Or that our kids would be in the best physical shape of all their classmates without playing even one school sport because they are doing pull ups from not finishing their homework?

I for one am not afraid to admit I have no idea what I am doing as a parent.  But I am open to suggestions.  I’d love to hear how you are keeping your kids in line and ensuring obedience… 🙂

My daughter's writing assignment
My daughter’s writing assignment

Lessons From Little Ones

I have mentioned that I have a three-year old.  And I have also mentioned some of the challenges she imposes me with.  So why not talk some more?

My daughter engages in a list of things that upset me daily.  From rubbing Vaseline all over her face and hair to crushing my toes with her “princess heels” as she walks around the house.  Or wiping her hands on her pretty dress at dinner rather than on the napkin she just asked for 30 seconds ago.  There’s a ton more but I’m sure you get the idea.  Well, right now, I am torn as to how I should feel when she does something like, say, pour water all over the counter and floor for no apparent reason or spoons soup out of her bowl and places it under the placemat at the dinner table and proceeds to smash it into the table.  Once I realize what she’s done, she immediately shouts out an: “I’m sorry” along with the appropriate level of ‘sad face’ to fit the crime.  Although these are the most insincere apologies, they are still well-timed and what I have been training her to say after doing something wrong.  The thing is, after one of her befitting apologies, she promptly goes into singing, talking to her dolls or going so far as to tell me how much she loves me! All thought of her recent wrongdoing seem to be erased from her memory and she goes on like it never happened!  Doesn’t she realize I just yelled at her and that my blood pressure has gone up at least two systolic decimals and that I’m still angry with her?  I recognize that this could be a ploy on her part to deflect my thoughts from deciding to punish her any further than I already have.  But nonetheless, here lies my dilemma.  The kid has a point–neither of us should be reflecting on the wrong that was just done.  We should be moving past it and getting on with our lives. But I don’t want to!!

Even though she is displaying the best attitude to have toward any negative situation, that’s not how it all usually goes is it?  When someone offends us or hurts us in any way, we want them to know what they’ve done, realize how it has affected us and to feel some kind of anguish for it.  We want them to stand there and listen to us explain how hurt we are and why.  Perhaps allow us to delve into soliloquy to truly define the torment and pain they just caused.  Then we want them to prostrate themselves at our feet and plead for our mercy. Stress their ignorance to the sensitivity of our emotions and request a plan for how they can do better–no, be better–in the future.  After my daughter engages in one of her many transgressions, I want her to carry a ‘look of shame’ for the rest of the afternoon.  Bow her head in humiliation any time I walk pass her to show deep remorse for the wrong she has committed.  Talk to her dolls about her well-developed plans to be the ideal adolescent for years to come.

But none of that is happening with a toddler, let me tell you.  She doesn’t care about the infraction 10 seconds after it occurs.  So it is now up to me to let it go myself. I need to remember there is no use crying over spilled milk.  Literally. (or juice or soda or oatmeal or ice cream)  I have to stop looking for more from her and just accept her apology. However contrived I think it may be.

I’m hoping I can get better with it in time because right now, I’m still battling with it all.  But I already see how following the example of my little hellion will be a good trait for me to attain.  It’ll help me to be more patient.  More forgiving.  Less stressed and angry.   It’ll enhance what we have together as well as benefit me and all of my relationships. What a good little lesson this little booger is teaching.

So if you catch me fussing at her for grabbing onto clothes as we walk by with our cart, nearly toppling over the rack…just know that I’m really going to try to be done with it after she apologizes.  And not fester with anger as I pick up all the items that have fallen to the floor.