Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Pick yourself up and start all over again
Today we were headed to the library for our Tuesday routine, story time at the library, lunch together and then gym class. Because of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, we haven't been able to do that actual routine much at all, but that's the goal. When we were 5 minutes away I realized that I had gotten confused and we would be showing up just about when story time ends.
Moira said, "That's okay Mommy. We will check out books and try again next week. And we can still go to gym class."
This blew me away. Obviously she's parroting what I say when something like this happens, but it was so grown up and there was not a single tear. It was a huge relief too because Christmas seemed to have destroyed all the emotional equilibrium she had developed and there have been a lot of tears.
In the most recent Mothering magazine there was an article on how to teach young children to control their tempers through guided breathing and calm spaces. Since those are two of the things that help me calm down the best, it seemed like a good idea. One of the suggestions was to describe deep breathing as "snake breaths" since children under a certain age don't understand how to hold a breath or release slowly. I've been trying that (and also bumble bee breaths, same idea, different noise) but she doesn't want to do that. She insists on using doggy breaths to calm down. Short sharp pants. I'm still modeling slow deep breathing, but the doggy breaths actually seem to be helping her when she does them, so whatever. I think it's mostly a tool to remind her to get out of the cycle she's in, and I assume eventually she will start mimicking me. Or maybe she will always hyperventilate herself to calm down. Whatever works, right?
I should mention that when we got to the library, I realized that story time doesn't actually resume until next week, so we didn't miss anything at all. I should really keep track of that sort of thing on my calendar.