Nothing like a hard day to get me to write…
The day has only been going downhill. All of us have been getting through a lovely chest cold. Usually my colds are mild; this one is making my asthma act up, something that, typically, only happens if I spend an hour at a house with cats.
Let me backtrack for a minute. I just got through a head cold. Ari had the head cold and a stomach bug. We were well for all of three-five days. Gotta love preschool classrooms!
Chest cold or not, laundry needs to get done, groceries need to be bought, the child needs to be picked up from school, etc., etc. My mother and I picked Ari up at school. We had been in the car for all of about five minutes when she said, in a whining tone, something like "grandma has had a long turn. I want a turn too." Ok, no big deal. I like time to reconnect with my child after school, too. But, wait, why the whining? And, wait, she was busy having her snack. She never communicated that she wanted to talk. I figured I'd give her some time. She is always hungry when I pick her up.
The minute the whining begins I find myself feeling fairly frustrated. It is probably a combination of the fact that I feel lousy, that I have a horrible headache and that Ari and Grandma aren't getting along and I can't figure out how to make it better. Ari doesn't want to talk to her. She is rude about it at times. Grandma's way of dealing with her is very different than mine. She either snaps and makes angry gestures or cries. There is no in between. Now, that happens. We're human. I'm having one of those moments right this second. But, for goodness' sakes, the kid is four and grandma is almost 50. Who is the grownup here? How about we spend some time reading/educating ourselves/trying a new strategy seeing as how the current one isn't working?
Moving on... I talk to Ari about being kind. But I do a pathetic job hiding my frustration. So, what does she say? "Mommy, you're yelling at me. You yell at me all the time."
Wait, what? What did she say? Did she really say that? Yes, she did. Mama is sick, tired and frustrated. Mama was so sad. Mama almost felt heartbroken. I am well aware that I am nowhere near perfect. But if there is something I work very hard at and something that I am very passionate about it is to treat that little girl right, with love, with respect, setting boundaries in a way that will not have a negative impact on our relationship. I think the last time I actually yelled at her she had just turned two. By "yell" she means that I sounded incredibly frustrated, snappy.
All this is no big deal, really. Tomorrow will be a new day. I will feel better. We will talk about whatever comes up and everything will be fine. But, for a while there I really did feel sad.
What to do about it? I gave myself time to feel angry. I gave myself time to feel sad. I realized that a few hours had gone by and I was still feeling that sense of disconnection. I decided to fake it until I felt it. I gave her a long hug. I do want to talk about it and I will, but I will wait until I don't have a splitting headache.