And for once I was SuperMom

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Yell: The Rest of the Week

Well, that didn't last long.

Both Tuesday and Wednesday I used harsh words with my children.  Tuesday when she wouldn't get out of the water at the beach and her sister was melting down and was so past ready to leave, and Wednesday when she interrupted me in a task announcing that she had to go potty.

In thinking about both 'incidents' there were prior situations which put my stress level into the orange zone.  Right before we left the beach, Emma ran up, announced she had to go potty and promptly let loose on our beach blanket.  Something about your kid pissing all over your blanket makes your ability to think rationally leave.  Prior to the 'incident' this morning I had just discovered that all the hamburger buns that I had been planning on using for tonight's staff dinner (45 people) were covered in mold.

I use harsh words, when I'm under stress.

I have been thinking about this more and more, I don't know that the mothers that preceded us ever underwent a 'no yell challenge.'  I wonder if our grandparents would think we have lost our gourds.  When I shouted when she wouldn't get out of the water I think there was validity in that, she was purposely ignoring me and being disobedient.  I should get angry with her.  She should know that makes me angry.

Yelling at her when she announces that she has to go potty when I'm in the middle of a stressful situation is not her fault.  She did not cause her bladder to be full at the exact moment that I discovered the mold.  We would have been better served had I taken a deep breath, told her that I needed to finish my task, and then I would help her.  I might start instructing her to 'announce' her predicament in a more calm manner.  Running into the kitchen and shouting,
"I forgot to go potty!" does not produce a calm and seamless reaction.  I am still not really sure how long her fuse is, there's been a lot of rushing towards the back of stores in my life lately.

I have learned that if I tell her I need to finish something and then help her that saves me from going insane.  That's valid, constant interruption is tiresome and it teaches your children that they are not the center of the world.

I am not a fan of the whole potty situation.  When I was in junior high we watched a video in our life skills class that showed microscopic and time lapse photography.  One of the shots was of a toilet flushing, a spray  rising from the top of the toilet.  A spray of microscopic poo flecks.  A spray that is the exact same level of my sweet child's face.  Every time I take her in a public bathroom I see invisible paramecium of grossness crawling over every surface.  And she finds ultimate joy in flushing the I ALWAYS handle this in a graceful generous fashion...
"Emma...nonononono....don' let me....oh shoot...Carys don't toUCH THAT!!"  Throw in a few dives and body blocks in there (all whilst buckling my pants) and you pretty much have the picture.  I should start laying out my exact expectations for potty protocol, that might cut down on the sniggers I hear from the other patrons of public bathrooms.  We've been working on closing the toilet lid before we flush.

From this week I have realised that I need to be more mindful in the use of my voice.  There were a few more times where I calmly spoke to her and she stopped her own temper tantrum and a few times where I just snapped, 'Stop It!'  Because I sensed that it was a show to get what she wanted, rather than a rending of her delicate psyche.  She was able to stop her tantrum with both reactions.  I like myself better when I can calmly talk to her.  I walk away feeling guilt free, that I have handled the situation well, honoring her and myself.  I noticed when I snapped just because I was under stress that was not her fault.  That's not fair.  We certainly do treat the members of our families poorer than others.  I have learned it's fair to go back and apologize to her, she does seem to be old enough to understand.

There will be more thoughts on yelling, I think that's enough for one post.

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