It had been such a lovely day. The children had broken up on holiday after a half day at school and so we had headed up to Yoyogi Park for our traditional Hanami picnic.
It was a glorious- a collection of Mums chatting about the holiday plans and such things, the group of 5-7 year olds playing amongst the trees, the 8-10 year old boys playing footie on the grass area.
There weren’t many girls at the park, which created a problem- I was babysitting two children for a friend who was still working. The elder of the two being ‘E’s best friend and the younger being part of the group of 5-7 year olds. But this meant that ‘K’ was left out. She did have fun, and managed to find other children to play with at the park, but when we got home the emotions started to take over…
It made sense- she was tired. She had felt left out at the park. She was left out once we got back and things became too much. Once the family had left, the melt down started. Her emotions got the better of her and she was reading things into the situation that weren’t there, making matters worse. When I tried to assist in the dispute between the girls- to be the peace keeper,things just got worse as I felt incapable of finding the right things to say that would bring her out of this mood and anything I said just made matters worse. (This is where hubby is SO good!). So I lost my cool and exploded and left her in her room. (Some example I’m giving!)
Fast forward 10-15 minutes, the kids are playing, (phew) and I ask them to tidy up and unpack their school bags for supper. ‘J’ discovers his half eaten snack and asks if he can eat it. (At least he asked!) I say no- explaining that I am about to serve the supper. He heads off. (To tidy up??) Heading through to the kitchen I hear a rustle coming from the study. He’s hiding under the table, eating his snack. I took it off him and told him in no uncertain terms what he had done.
“Fine- I’m not going to eat any supper!”, he shouted as he stomped off to his room. (He’s like that when he’s upset!)
Call him back to finish his tasks and it’s more arguments, complaints, grumbling. To which I lost my cool again. (Was I really cool to start? Probably not.) This time I sent them all to their rooms, stating that I needed the space to cool down. To get myself back together.
So I headed to the kitchen, poured myself some wine and wrote my version of “There was an old woman, who lived in a shoe.”
Folks- parenting isn’t for sissies and meltdowns after a fun day- almost typical. Take heart, when your children are kicking off and causing you grief that you’re not alone in this situation. We are raising our children to be the leaders of tomorrow, which means they are going to be free thinkers today. To know their own minds, their own thoughts and desires. Which means for us, there will most definitely be challenging moments when they exercise those minds!
So why not exercise your mind and create your own poem. Who knows what forms of creativity the melt downs might create!