Saturday, August 27, 2011

vacation caboose

(So I just found this post I wrote over 2 weeks ago, before we got back to Rochester. Meant to post it before, clearly, but I thought I'd go ahead and post it now because maybe it sheds some light on the Frances-attitude-situation. Plus some parenting thoughts.)

We're in Michigan now, returned from our 2,054 hours in transit to my in-laws house where the kids are. They were (of course) SO excited to see us. But the next morning Frances was in a funk. When we brought out the gifts from India, she was excited to see, then disappointed. She pouted, wouldn't talk to us. Then outside she got in a scuffle with her grandma and not only wouldn't give the big wheel back to Clark though he very nicely asked, but she wouldn't talk to anyone. Just sat heavy on the big wheel with her chin down and her face set. Later on I found her outside by herself on the big wheel, riding in circles on the brick patio, sobbing. When I opened the door she stopped crying and wouldn't talk to me. Hey- sometimes a girl just needs a good cry.

As I've mentioned before, she has a hard time with transitions. And this is a big one in her world. We've been gone 7 weeks from our house; she's been here in Michigan with Clark for 2 weeks without parents; here we've come home and probably we are not the fabulous people she missed so much in her mind, but instead just ourselves. Emotions are hard to handle, especially when they loom so large in a nearly-five-year-old body. AND I forgot some of my new resolve to attend to my children differently, and rather than spending the morning with her sitting on my lap, if that's what she wanted to do, I organized my india photos on the computer while she helped Grandma with the pancakes and periodically tried to get my attention. Bad mommy! I could have done that later, and should have. But it is what it is, and now I remember said resolve, and I'm back in the game.

In fact, I've got a whole new approach to parenting up my sleeve for when we return. Much of its success will depend on my emotional state, which I'm hoping will remain positive and relaxed, and we'll see.

I will:
~ do more planning ahead for activities, as complicated as art projects and as simple as riding our trikes to the big bush down the street.
~ leave the house more. visit friends just to say hi for an hour, or go to Ellison park to roll down the big hill, or seek out a bubble gum machine at the strip mall.

(And there I quit the post, which is why I never posted it in the first place: it needed an ending. I don't have one now, however, and I'm here to offer you these thoughts anyway. Cheers!)

No comments: