Poof! Problems Be Gone!

a-to-z-letters-pWhen the crazies take over my children and I’m about to lose it myself, I need a time out. While my kids burst into tears in anticipation of a dreaded time-out, I beg for one. Please, please, please send me to my room for the rest of the night! No television or video games for the rest of the week? All right! Grounded for a month? Bring it on! Go ahead and punish me:)

Actually instead of the typical scenario where I end up screaming at the kids and feeling horrible about losing my temper later, I’ve taken to giving myself a time-out to just take a deep breath and step away until I can get my emotions under control again. A couple weeks ago my youngest flipped out at dance class because her tap shoes hurt her feet. We tried on various pairs of used taps for sale at the dance studio, but none would suffice. She started throwing a huge tantrum and all the other mom’s were staring at us. I gave my daughter a choice of either wearing the taps she had and participating in her class or putting her tennis shoes back on so we could home. She flipped out even more and lay in the middle of the floor screaming about how she needed new shoes.

After trying to unsuccessfully reason with her (there was no where nearby that sold new tap shoes and class started ten mintues ago) I felt ready to explode. I told her I needed a time-out and went outside to sit on the steps. A few minutes later both daughters joined me outside. The tantrum-thrower still going at it in full force. I sent my oldest back inside to get her shoes and we walked to the car. She still wouldn’t put her shoes on so she walked in her stocking feet, sobbing about need new taps all the way.

The next week with tap shoes that fit perfectly she happily danced with her class. One of the women that worked at the dance studio told me that she admired how I’d handled the tap-shoe situation last week. She said instead of walking out she probably would have hauled her into the bathroom for a spanking. The thought did cross my mind briefly. I felt proud of myself though for not losing my cool.

Everyone needs time to chill out when problems seem overwhelming. Emotions get the best of us at one time or another. My girls especially get caught up in all-consuming dramas when things don’t go their way. About a month ago we created a “peace corner” AKA “Australia” in our living room. We named it “Australia” as that’s what my youngest’s kindergarten teacher named a similar corner in her classroom. I’m not sure why they call it “Australia,” but I’m guessing it has to do with Judith Viorst’s book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. If you’ve never read the book, the main character has a really bad day and after each bad thing that happens to him, he wants to run away to Australia.

Australia
Australia

Our “Australia” peace corner has bean bag chairs, pillows, stuffed animals, an iPod player with ear buds, a little water fountain, books, markers, papers and other quiet items in it. Now when one of the girls gets upset, they go chill to Australia until they calm themselves down. The new rule is if you’re crying and sobbing and carrying on about how unfair the world is or because you touched something that might make you sick, then you have to be in the peace corner. For the most part, the peace corner’s doing its job. We’ve had one or two incidents where both girls wanted to be in Australia at the same time and one morning where my youngest got mad and threw the bean bag chair across the room.  All in all though, the girls enjoy chilling out and regrouping in their safe, chill-out corner. Peace out!

 

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My June Bug

a-to-z-letters-jRain, sleet and wind swirl outside my window this dark April night. The warmth of June’s just a hopeful dream. But, as my daughters and I brainstormed “J” words that I could blog upon, my oldest hit on June – her favorite month. Being one of my favorite months as well, I settled on the subject of my J blog post for the tenth day of the A to Z blog challenge.

What’s so special about June? June brings with it the first day of summer, the longest day of the year, lightning bugs, flip-flops, lemonade and long evening walks to the park. But most importantly, eleven-years ago on the 17th of this coming June, my beautiful first-born daughter made an early entrance into this world and I became a mother – the best and hardest job I’ve ever had.

I can remember the day as if it were yesterday. She wasn’t due until July 25th, yet I spent the day before her birth-cleaning the house, doing laundry and packing my hospital bag – just in case. I’m one of those people who always likes to be prepared. I’d invited my parents over supper to celebrate Father’s Day. It was a warm beautiful evening and we’d just finished eating when I felt something “weird” down “there.” I went to bathroom and my waterbroke a’la Niagra Falls.

“It’s too early,” I worried as my mom helped lie down in the back seat of the car and timed my contractions. We sped to the hospital 45 minutes away with my Dad following behind us. In the ER the nurse confirmed via the “wet towel test” that indeed my water had broken and I was in labor.

“It’s a full moon,” they concluded when they took me to the last open room on the OB floor.

The doctor explained that they weren’t going to stop my labor as most 34 weekers did quite well.. I was still terrified. Because she was a preemie, they took me to the OR and two pushes later at 5:39 AM she arrived. I didn’t get to hold her. The doctor showed her to me briefly and handed her over to the neonatologists. What seemed like an eternity passed. They wrapped her and put her in an incubator. I wouldn’t actually get to hold her until almost two hours later. Relief and happiness flooded me when they finally placed my baby girl in my arms.Jun17_02Emily

I cried hard when they released me, two days later, without my baby. Having problems with the “suck-swallow-breathe” response, she spent a long two weeks in the NICU. She came home on a heart monitor, but I was grateful for it and the peace of mind it brought with it.

And now looking at the young girl who is almost as tall as I am, it’s hard to believe she was ever that 4 lb 15 ounce little peanut. She’s beautiful on the inside and out. She’s kind and compassionate toward others. She’s smart, sassy and sensitive. She’s creative and crafty. She likes to dance, ride bikes, write stories, read books, and eat ice cream. She hates scary movies (I wonder where she got that from) and thunderstorms. She’s my daughter and I love her.

An Or, an Or, an Oreo…

English: Two regular Oreo cookies. Please chec...
 Photo credit: Wikipedia#

“I want to scream and shout and let it all out. . .An Or, an Or, an Oreo…”

My children have decided these are the lyrics to Brittney Spears latest song and I think I kind of like them better than the actual lyrics. When the song comes on radio (and it seems like it’s every time I turn it on), I can’t help but sing along using the Oreo version, which then is permanently stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

If you think about it, when I’m upset and overwhelmed I do want to scream and shout and then eat a Oreo or two or the whole package! My youngest daughter has been my latest exasperation. She’s afraid she’s going to throw up. Mind you, she hasn’t gotten sick in a very long time. I’m talking years. Nevertheless, from the moment she gets home she starts peppering me with questions about what will and won’t or could possibly make her throw up. She’s afraid any little thing will cause her to up-chuck. If she washes her hands and a soap bubble pops on her lips she’s afraid she’ll be sick. If she sees some thing “odd” in her food (like a speck of pepper), she refuses to ear. She constantly asks me if I think she’s going to throw up or if her sister is or if I am. If anyone even suggests the don’t feel well she starts to freak out and cry. It is driving everyone crazy. I’ve tried reassuring her that we wouldn’t feed her food that would make her sick (at least not intentionally – I’ll admit I’m not the best cook).

This fear has taken over her life. She doesn’t want to go to school and cries every morning and at school as well. We are trying to go ten days without crying, but so far the longest she’s gone is a day. If she makes it to ten, I promised to come to school and help out with “jobs” in her kindergarten room. Her teacher feels she’s just going through a phase and I agree, but right now it’s hard to see her so upset. I’m at a loss at what to do to help. Maybe a Oreo would help? Yeah, that’s a good plan. In fact, I think my little one should give me hers too (just in case they might make her sick). I’ll take one for the team:)

Seriously though, if anyone has any ideas to help her over her throw-up fear, I’d love to hear them!