That feeling lasted for 22 days.
On the 23rd day, I lost my cool, my sense of calm and every shred of amity I felt towards her. And it wasn’t pretty! The same feeling of boiling rage took over, my teeth were in danger of falling apart from all the gritting they were doing and I stormed into another room, to avoid looking at her.
After an hour, I was back to normal and able to look at the situation with cold calculation. I looked at the scenario as if there were two faces of me, viewing each other via a mirror, asking the same question and eliciting different responses.
The first response comes from the riled-up Me, who cannot tolerate defiance, tardiness or lack of care.
The second response comes from the calm Me, who has just successfully completed a challenge and is willing to put herself in her daughter’s shoes.
Did she annoy you?
Riled-up Me: Yes, she refused to eat fast, wear her clothes on time and was subsequently late for dance class!!
Did SHE annoy YOU?
Calm Me: Well, she was just doing what she always does. She has a certain pace, she prefers to dream and talk her way through life and I couldn’t patiently stand by, while she did it. The fact is, I was getting annoyed, but she wasn’t doing it to annoy me! She was just being herself and the obsessive, time-conscious me, was not letting her live in the moment.
And you know what the worst part about all of this yelling is? It is when your child comes up to you, puts her arms around your neck and in a tear-choked voice says,’ I am sorry I upset you, Amma. I will not do it again.’
Am I disappointed with myself? Oh, that’s a given.
Am I disgusted by the fact that I couldn’t handle a laid-back feeling in a seven-year-old? Most definitely.
Sigh, seems like we are back to square one. Although I felt miserable after the incident, I perked up and said, ‘ Well, had a pretty successful Day one last time. No reason we won’t have another.’ And just like that, I started on the new Day One on August 3rd. We’ll just have to wait and see how long the ticker goes on this one!
Learning to deal with the situation:
For the past few days, when she returns from school, I become totally involved with whatever she does. I engage in an animated discussion about how that boy sneaked a pencil from her table when she wasn’t looking, or how she tied a friendship band onto the sports master’s wrist and how both she and her classmate, D, suffered from a stomach upset at the same time!
While talking, I divest her of each piece of school clothing. Then, I wait for her to say that she is hungry, which is about an hour after the time that I have normally been feeding her. Both activities now move like the wind!
And to think, all that it takes is a bit of time management, a sprinkle of patience and a truckload of love.