Friday, January 11, 2013

Anger Management

On Tuesday, I took Molly to preschool, her first day back after winter break.  Our preschool is a wonderful place, full of friends and fun, and Molly loves going there.  She missed it over the break, and was excited the night before.  That morning, Bryce took Cedar to work with him, I left with Molly, and I was going to squeeze in a run in the woods before I had to pick Cedar up.  Then we actually arrived at preschool, and for some entirely confusing (to me anyway) reason, Molly flat out refused to go.  She had a white knuckle death grip on my arm, wouldn't talk to or look at anyone, and cried every time I tried to move towards the door.  I tried being patient, tried getting her interested in an activity.  The teachers and other moms tried very nicely to draw her out.  But she was done.  DONE.  I started getting frustrated as my narrow window of time to myself was quickly running out, and I led her into the classroom with plans to make a fast exit.  And she promptly threw herself down on the floor toddler style, kicking and screaming.  Sigh.  It's one thing to leave a sad, crying kid at school.  It happens.  But this just wasn't fair to the teachers with 19 other kids to help, and it's not like she was getting anything out of it.  Plus, at that point, there was no way I was going on a run, and I really had to get Cedar.  So I picked her up, threw her over my shoulder, and took her out to the car.  And I got really, really mad.  I probably said some stuff I shouldn't have.

In truth, she is four years old.  And she didn't want me to leave her alone.  Her behavior was not great, but mine was likely worse.  Because I wasn't going to get something I wanted that morning, I lost all patience and made an annoying situation a huge blow out.  We talked about it at home, and everything is fine now, including Thursday preschool drop off.  But I still feel kind of badly about it.

Fast forward to this morning.  Molly got up first, and came downstairs to sit by the monitor heater.  This is a coveted morning spot in our house, and the early bird gets the worm.  Porter came down next, and just lost his mind.  There was yelling and punching and general ridiculous sibling fighting.  It went on forever, despite my efforts at remediation.  Finally Bryce came down and made them both stand in the corner, old schoolhouse style.  I'm pretty sure all siblings uselessly bicker, but it has been particularly bad here lately.  The arguing and wrestling and tattling, argh!  It drives me nuts.  And there is no amount of ignoring or refereeing that seems to make a difference.

I was thinking this morning, watching them stand in their corners, that I need some sort of a plan.  And then I thought about Tuesday.  And it feels contradictory to reprimand my children for dealing with frustration by getting angry when I do the exact same thing!  I see other parents deal with their crazy kids so patiently and thoughtfully, and I wonder how they do it.  Or if it's all a public front.  If there is really a way to tame myself, and maybe make my kids a little nicer to each other.  Or if it's just futile all around.  I really, really just don't know.

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