I have been having a terrible time with my 5-year-old lately.
She seems to be desperately stuck between two worlds: on the one hand, she can carry on a sophisticated conversation about a very mature subject to the point that you forget you're talking to a kid; and on the other hand, she has taken to extremely babyish meltdowns over the most trivial (in my opinion) things (i.e., my telling her that she's taking too long washing her hands and needs to hurry up). Whenever she crumples to the floor, loudly wailing and dramatically quivering her bottom lip, I find myself exploding onto her with frustration. HOW CAN YOU BE SUCH A BIG GIRL AND SUCH A BABY AT THE SAME TIME?
Sometimes, when the kids are finally all asleep, and the house is quiet, and I have a minute to reflect on how stressed I was that day, and how many times I caught myself yelling at the kids, and how I at one point resorted to sitting outside on the front steps so that the kids wouldn't see me crying with exasperation.... I realize that I don't really have anything to be upset about at all.
The "problems" of my day are ones that many moms, who find themselves in far, far more dire straits, would kill to have.
I have two friends whose children were recently diagnosed with significant medical problems. Those women have had their worlds turned upside down. I experience their pain, for fleeting moments at a time, through their anguished status updates. And then I go back to pulling my hair out because my three children can't stop tattling on each other for five minutes.
And that's more than a little bit crazy.
So I have been moved to revisit these two little nuggets of wisdom, the first one brought into my life by, if I remember correctly, www.ThePlanetPink.com, and the second, by www.TheElmoWallpaper.com. The video clip is a few minutes long but I don't think you'll regret taking the time. And even if you've seen it before, I find it still makes an impact, even upon repeat viewing.
The next time, then, that I find myself sitting on the doorstep gritting my teeth in what feels like madness, I hope I will remember these messages, and go back inside and hug my kids. 'Cuz even when a normal day absolutely SUCKS, it's still a normal day, and for that I need to be more grateful. xo.