What does one write about when they've had a pretty boring week? Vomit.
It's gross, it smells, it comes out of children at warp speed.
I know I mentioned last week that Claire was sick. That doesn't really come close to describing what went on in this house for 24 hours. There was puke, there was crying, there was dry-heaving.
I must say that this is the first round of pukes we have had. Claire has been pretty healthy for her first 2 years and aside from a few runny noses and a total of 3 fevers, this kid is the picture of health. So you can imagine how blindsided I was by the remake of the Exorcist that was going on in my living room, bedroom, and bathroom.
After six baths to wash bodies and hair, I was ready to throw in the towel. Thank goodness she was feeling well enough to not heave all over the house on her birthday. Although the illness wasn't done with her yet. She spent most of her first full day as a 2 year old filling her diaper. She was a Bear Care that day, though, so darn...I missed it.
Yeah, it's gross. I'm grossed out just writing this. Thankfully, last week I got to spend a much-needed evening out with some fellow mommies swilling wine and complaining about husbands, etc.
What I discovered over the course of 4 hours and a shocking 2 glasses of wine (I usually only have 1) was that I am not the only crazy person. In fact, other mothers are presently being driven crazy by their children. I was surprised. Why, you ask? Because I always feel like I'm the only person who is learning this stuff as I go. Other moms seem to be so put together. I mean some of them even wear make-up and real pants out of the house (as opposed to yoga pants or pajama pants...don't worry, I'm not leaving the house pantsless).
Whilst swilling aforementioned wine, one mom made a great point that had never really occurred to me in all of my infinite 2 years of child-rearing wisdom. She said that as adults, sometimes we have a bad day at work, etc, and we come home and complain to our spouse, friend, family member, whomever. Our kids have bad days, too. They have days when they're tired, feeling icky, feeling sad, or just feeling frustrated. Our kids, unlike us, cannot vent to their chosen soundboard. I don't know about you, but my toddler has never said, "Hey Mom, can you draw me a bubble bath and get me a nice ice-cold chocolate milk? I had a rough day at school."
If she did say that, I'd surely accommodate her because I would know what she was feeling. Instead, I get ear-piercing screams, body-flinging fits, and big, real tears. What do I do? I get upset with her for having a meltdown and sometimes she even gets time out.
Since we started using time out I have tried to not punish emotions because I want her to feel free to express any and all emotions so that we might work through them when she gets older. Right now we're still working on things like keeping her fingers out of her nose. Despite my best efforts, I know I have punished for emotions.
So, I have decided to institute a practice that my sister and her husband use. They have a "crying chair." Whenever their daughter is having a meltdown, she goes and sits in the crying chair until she is done crying and ready to talk about whatever made her melt. She's 5, so self-reflection, while still a new concept, is not impossible. It seems to work and at least they feel like they are doing something for her.
For the past week when Claire starts to do that scream/yodel/whale call thing that she does I ask her if she needs a minute to herself. A few times she proceeded to melt in spite of my question. But, a few times she went in her room and sat in the time out spot. I didn't tell her to go, I didn't even mention time out. A few minutes later, she emerged with a handful of books and a smile.
All of that being said, this isn't news to a lot of parents and I certainly don't think I've figured out some magic formula, or that my child is the picture of behavioral perfection. I just wanted to share yet another week of my daily life.
Claire is now a famous Sprout TV Sproutlet...okay, maybe not...but her birthday card was shown on-air on her birthday and Kelly and Chica wished her a happy birthday. She was thrilled. There'll be no dealing with her now. Oh well, I have to say that more exciting things happen everyday on Fireman Sam than have happened all season on The Walking Dead. Sprout - 1, AMC - 0.