Thursday, September 24, 2009

not much

I know I've been posting infrequently these days. I think it's because things are going well. Ha! The trap of good times. I mean, when everything's skipping right along there's not so much to wrestle with here in writing, you know? I'm feeling good, I seem to have an extra parcel of patience, I find the kids interesting rather than exasperating.

There was an interesting incident yesterday morning. I was on the phone trying to place an order of cupcakes to take to Frances's school on Friday for her birthday, and at the same time was slapping together grilled cheese for the little people. Clark was having a general meltdown in the background because he was hungry and tired. And Frances wanted me to find her a balloon to try to blow up. I asked her to wait until I was off the phone. She cried. I explained that I didn't know where one was but I could help her after I was done on the phone. She wailed. She whined. I finally told the bakery I'd have to call them back. Clark was still melting down and I was hurrying with the grilled cheese and Frances was still whining. And I snapped. I turned and hollered, "Frances, I am trying to get lunch together and I can't help you find a balloon right now! I told you I would help you later. If you want to cry about it you'll have to go upstairs." And she said, "You're yelling at me." Which was the most perfect response. I sighed. "Yes, you're right. I was yelling. I shouldn't yell," I said. As I was putting grilled cheese on plates she brought it up again. "Why did you yell?" she asked. "I was frustrated," I said. "I was trying to order cupcakes for your birthday, and you were yelling at me, which made me upset." She nodded. "I'm sorry, Mommy," she said. "I shouldn't have yelled." The look on her face said she'd had some sort of realization, but who knows.

She's been hollering at Clark a lot these days. She yells in his face, "Give me that back!" and he puts his hands over his face and sobs. Poor guy. Mitch thinks she's learning it at school (she can't possibly be learning it around here...) and maybe she is. In any case, I need to point it out to her, need to help her hear herself. There have been a couple of times when I've asked her not to yell at him and she's said, "I didn't." And she really didn't hear that she did. Habits, habits.

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