Roll with it, baby

Feb 12, 2016 by

Nothing makes you feel more like you’re in the Twilight Zone than when your four year old hits, kicks, punches and name calls. It stings even more when the behavior is directed almost solely at you as her mother.

I’d considered everything to explain her brash and sudden behavior – too much sugar, too much screen time, even a yeast infection; but I couldn’t seem to peg the blame on anything.

After initiating a conversation with her teacher, however, it became apparent that the problem was me.

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Learning to speak her love language

Jan 8, 2016 by

Somehow, when my daughter began preschool, I got into the habit of treating her to little surprises when I picked her up from school. Sometimes it was a small treat, like a cookie or a piece of candy; other times it was a trip for ice cream or a surprise visit from her aunt or grandparents. When I began this, it wasn’t an everyday occurrence, and to me the surprises felt special and well received.

Until this school year, when my daughter expected a surprise every day.

I stubbornly resisted at first. I wasn’t going to raise a spoiled or entitled child, I’d say to myself; surprises aren’t special if they’re expected, even demanded.

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Stop and stare

Oct 23, 2015 by

Have you ever stopped to look at your kid? Like, really stop and stare? I used to get away with this a lot when she was little – those long hours breastfeeding were perfect for studying her long eyelashes, the nose that resembles mine, the roundness of her cheeks, the thinness of her nails; feel the warmth of her breath.

More than four years later I caught myself doing it again. In a rare quiet moment when we were playing together, I realized I had stopped what I was doing and was just staring at my daughter. Noticing how certain and focused her movements were, how bright her eyes are; how observant. How keen her hearing is. How blonde and soft her hair is. How her eyes dance and her fists curl when she belly laughs. Those same fists that would curl around my finger when she was small enough to cradle close in my arms.

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Mantra 2.0

Oct 9, 2015 by

Things have been a bit, well, tense around our house lately. Seemingly out of the blue my daughter’s behavior has been explosive – unpredictable and unprompted. She’ll lash out verbally and physically, launching us into a power struggle of me trying to put an end to the behavior while she does her best to show me she doesn’t intend to be stopped.

I was feeling a bit lost about it all until I realized: I’ve seen this behavior before. Just about one year ago, in fact, Nora had been acting the same way. How had I not seen this sooner? We’ve slogged through this once before, when she started preschool for the first time. Though part time, the schedule was much busier for her and she went through a period of adjustment with behavior similar to what we’re experiencing now. The school part may not be new, but I had been intentionally packing her days with activity, with the intent of getting her used to a full day with all-day kindergarten next year. Just like last year, the girl simply needs time to adjust.

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Beware the barrenness

Sep 25, 2015 by

Beware the barrenness of a busy life. – Socrates

I’ve been hiding behind the excuse of being too busy for too long.

Too busy to text. Too busy to call. Too busy to get together. Too busy to work out. To busy to sit. Too busy to sleep.

Stop.

We all have packed lives. So now I want to tell myself: get over it. Your days may be packed, but are they full?

I don’t want school to just be a phase in my life that I have to “get through” before I can resume life as usual. School is important, sure; it’s helping me reach my goals. But I don’t want the other important people and things in my life to hear that school is more important than them. And by overusing the words “too busy,” that’s exactly what I fear is my message.

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