Monday, December 7, 2015

Challenges and Sympathy

Yesterday was a very challenging day for Maeve and me. I'm not sure who had it worse, but it was a hard one.

I forgot to bring her tablet to church with us in the morning, which meant she had to sit through my ensemble rehearsal (or rather, cling to my legs throughout the rehearsal) without any entertainment. She was feeling clingy and I was trying to concentrate, and it was rough on both of us.

Then, as I navigated my way though singing a very emotional song twice, without crying, and trying to run children's choir in between services, and bringing Maeve food between services, and doing all the other things I needed to get done, I looked out the window at the beginning of the second service and saw my daughter and 2 other kids outside, no adults around. So I stormed out like a Mom-whirlwind and deposited the children back where they belonged, heart pounding. Needless to say, Maeve was not thrilled at being yanked from the outdoors and deposited back inside, either.

So on the way home, I recognized that she'd had a rough day, so I tried to cheer her up by telling her we were going to see Frozen on Ice that afternoon, a fact she'd previously not known. She was happy for exactly one second before dissolving into tears because the show was both "too long from now" (1 1/2 hours) and "not at nighttime" (last year we went at night). She was a wreck for the whole 20 minute drive home.

Here's where I'm proud of myself: I recognized that the child was basically exhausted from her difficult and very long (6 hours) morning at church. So all I did, instead of talk her out of her concerns or punish her for losing her temper, was sympathize with the child and reassure her that if she so chose, we didn't have to go to this terrible transgressive show she was so upset about. I kept saying, I can tell you're disappointed, I'm sorry you're so sad, I wish I could help cheer you up. I just stayed with her in her unhappiness, and then when we got home, we had a big snuggle and a cry, again.

I suggested maybe we could think of the things that would be fun about going to the show, and she came up with a few. Then somehow, I mentioned ice cream, and Maeve's sorrow disappeared like the dew. She was in. Ice cream solves many problems.

So we went, we had a blast, despite me almost losing my mind after the traffic disaster of traveling two blocks in forty mintues just outside the arena. Maeve got a snow cone in a special Frozen cup, we had box seats which were just spectacular, (a gift from a friend), and we all loved it.

When at the dinner table, Maever reported that yesterday was the best day ever, I heaved a huge sigh of relief. I did well with several very difficult situations yesterday, and my daughter had a great day, despite it all. That's really all you can ask for, some days.

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