Well, here I am blogger world! I am actually terrified of this! For the past month, I have been hiding out in other women's blogs; jumping, linking, reading, laughing, sharing. I am in awe of their ability to write what I am thinking and feeling...and share it so poignantly as to tug at my heart (or my bladder the many times I have gut-laughed out loud). I have been inspired to see what I can do with this blogging thing. Not that I have time, but then again what mom does. I even tested the waters last week by sharing myself via a story for the ladies' monthly newsletter at my church. The reviews were encouraging, but I must say the kuddos go to the other blogging women that have allowed me to be a "fly" on their blog for the past month and learn well how to tell a story. Too many great ones to mention just yet, but I will start with Big Mama since she was my first blog addiction. She rocks and if you go to her blog site, have your coffee or coke or whatever your caffeine addiction is ready. You will want to go back and back and back until you have read every last funny story!
Just to see if I can make it at this, I will share my story from the newsletter. Comment kindly...it is my first time!
Quakes, Caps, and Revelations
My life feels like a bladder-oops, I mean blender (no snorting in church Sheri)-so I am late with my article and quickly typing something, anything! If you are a parent, then none of this will probably be news to you. If I am lucky, I might even manage to make it have therapeutic value. If nothing else, you get to peer into my life and chuckle-with me, at me!
Choose your battles wisely, especially when it comes to your kids. That is what I have had to do at home and what I talk about with some of my families that have to deal with their child’s low tolerance for anything different or new. For my families, the battle will quickly turn into a war and the child does not care where the war takes place. Public venues are of course the favorite of most children-these locations seem to move odds to their favor! Let’s talk about a few battles.
Quakes-a favorite shopping snack for my kids. Yours may be different but you know what I am talking about and what it means for your shopping experience. I really try not to take the kids to the store with me and when I do, it needs to be a trip with purpose and efficiency-no trying on shoes or catching up on People in the book section while waiting for your pictures to develop. A long time ago, pre-parenthood, I heard a course lecturer talk about preventing meltdowns in the store; about preparing the kids with a toy, activity, or snack (all can be from home and not necessarily anything new from the store) before you start the store adventure. I buried that advice in my brain, but quickly found it once toddler hood hit, now twofold! Aisle 13-that is our first stop and one my daughter can recognize despite the speed of my cart. Quakes; mini rice cakes that are actually yummy and don’t cause you feel like you have gravel in your mouth, preferably ranch but cheddar will do, a small bag (for fear that once they add liquid their tummies will swell up and explode!), shared by both siblings. Note-never forget the diaper bag even on the “just a few things” trips; 20 yellow, sticky, licked-but-not-clean fingers only means one more stop by the wipey aisle. Maybe you call it indulgence or bribery or whatever. I call it a well-behaved trip (ok, maybe you might have seen us a few times at the store and witnessed the “who will hold the bag” cat fight in the cart.) with kids that participate in the event and don’t hinder the process. And might just get you down the shoe aisle, too!!!
Caps-stocking that is. I have a precious new client; almost 3, always with a cute bow in her hair, most often in a dress and tights, polite, smiles at you. Should you see her at the mall with mom, you probably would never know she was participating in therapy because she gets anxious around other children, prefers to play alone, has language delays, has a hard time negotiating her body in her environments, hates to get messy, and takes at least 2 hours to fall asleep for naps and night time often sleeping in her clothes, shoes, and yes, sometimes a stocking cap. I asked mom the other day if that was ok with her that her daughter slept like that. I wasn’t looking for the right answer; I just wanted to get a sense of how mom was feeling about things. As I expected, she was ok with all of the sleep needs but just really wanted sleep to occur without the battle. Don’t we all? All that reminded me of the secret battles we have with our kids where they typically win in the privacy of our own home. You know the ones…where it goes against all the “how to” books as far as kids are concerned, but by golly you do it anyway because you are tired, need sleep, want a little peace and quiet (never heard that before have ya?!), or as my daughter exclaimed the other day…”you are killing me.” (in reference to one of my exasperated blubberings during one battle.) Ok, maybe you don’t let them win all the time but you still know what I am talking about. Wow, look at the time… I need to hurry and finish this article before my kids need another cheese and butter sandwich for breakfast…or was that potato chips?
Revelations-not like the end time, just the end of your dignity. A dear friend told me the other day about the amusement she incurred (at my expense) as my daughter led the other children in a make-believe activity at her house. Yes, the kind where it all seems like innocent make-believe at first then all of a sudden…wham!-YOU are revealed through your child and in front of other adults no less and you have no ability to intervene and feign silly childish pretend since you are not even there! In this case, my daughter had the privilege of playing me in the reenactment we will call, “GET IN YOUR SEAT RIGHT NOW AND I BETTER NOT HAVE TO TELL YOU AGAIN.” And let’s not pretend here that the all-cap letters is a typo- you know what that means-there might have been yelling involved.
What does all the above have anything to do with what typically shows up in my articles? Yes, I am a therapist and yes, I work with children and parents and yes, I am an every-day parent who is still figuring it out along the way, too. You see sometimes my “tools” that I advise work for me as well and sometimes they don’t. Next time, I will find you a nice professional article on good tools for your parenting toolbox!