Monday, October 1, 2012

*Originally written on 9/27 (last  Thursday)

I had a breakthrough of sorts with Em today.
She's had a really hard time since school has started.
Adjusting to the schedule was harder than expected.
She was tired, tired, tired.
And then she got sick, sick, sick.
And then she was sick and tired.....and sick and tired of being sick and tired.....
You get the point.

Plus, I think there is a lot more going on inside of a little six year old than we often realize.
Things you don't anticipate, especially when the six year old is usually very easy going, flexible, secure, and happy.
You think to yourself, "Oh they'll be fine. Starting school should be easy peasy for this kid. No biggie at all."

Welp.  I was wrong.
And now that I think about it, why didn't I conceive that even a secure, easy going child can get anxious and feel uncertain with such a huge change in their life.

I think of the butterflies I get in my stomach in new situations I'm faced with.
I think of how nervous I get sometimes to meet new people or be completely thrown out of my comfort zone.
Heck, I'm smack dab in the middle of a 'being thrown out of my comfort zone' situation right now,
and sometimes I have to remind myself to 'just breath',
settle my mind long enough get some sleep,
calm the gravy down,
and then breath again.

Heck, my eye has even started twitching.

Em has had to do a lot more facing the nervousness and butterflies head on than I've realized lately.
And she probably doesn't even have the understanding to comprehend or even define what all these crazy emotions inside of her are.

She absolutely loves school; loves it.
My mom, who is another kindergarten teacher at her school, says she peeks in on Em often and she's always doing so great, sitting, listening, obeying her teacher, working hard, being kind, etc.
Which is awesome.
I'm so proud of her, and honestly knew that's how she would be at school.
That's just Ems.

But that isn't the Em that has come home from school for the last four weeks.
And I'm just realizing.....
we can only handle the emotional jitters for so long, especially as a little kid.
We put our game face and courage on when we walk out the door....
 and then we come home, to our safe place, and let the walls down.

For Em that came out as way more frustration, impatience, and raw emotions.
And it's been hard.
I've been trying and trying to figure out the best way to handle things.
I am always second guessing myself.
Am I the only Mom out there always second guessing herself?
I sure hope not : )
I tried getting right on bad behavior first thing......emotional explosions occurred.
I tried ignoring.......hours of moping ensued.
I tried changing consequences.
I tried being more consistent and to the point.

And then finally, I sincerely got down and asked the One who really understands what's going on.
"Heavenly Father, I know you know Emyri perfectly.
I know you know what she needs.
She's having a hard time.
I'm having a hard time.
And I don't know what to do.
Please give me the wisdom.
In the moment, give me the wisdom I need to help her,
to make her feel loved and secure and accepted.
To know she doesn't have to be perfect.
To help her feel peaceful.
To help us feel connected again.
I love her so much.
I want to feel that camaraderie with her again.
Please help me to be what I need to be for her.
Please help me to know how to help her most."

That prayer was uttered last night.
And today has been a brand new day.

I woke up today and decided to abandon my old tactics.
(okay, well not completely abandon)
But I chose to focus so much more on some new things like......

-Greeting her off the bus with a huge smile and open arms.
-Not doing anything else for the first hour she's home from school but just being completely present with her, sitting by her, talking to her, no distractions (which translates as no computer or cleaning time for me).
-Making sure I take the opportunity to sit by her on the couch and cuddle with her while we either read or watch a cartoon.
(She is one who doesn't naturally cuddle much, but I had the impression that even though it's not second nature to her, she needs extra cuddles from us right now; physical reassurance of our love and security)
-Dropping what I'm doing to say "Yes" to playing with her.
-Saying "Yes" as much as I can.
-Having a more lightheartedness; making her laugh; making sure I laugh at things she's said or done.
(I think Em feels a lot of bonding in laughter and being able to make someone laugh, it's kind of how she feels and shows love.)
-Dismissing what negative behavior I can, and then gently, quietly, and calmly reminding her of her manners, or the family rules when needed; dropping the subject more quickly.
(man, I can sure drag some of our 'talks' on and on....I'm sure I'm a pain to listen to sometimes)
-Taking interest more in the moment of what she's interested in and doing; do it with her.

Today after school, I just sat on the couch with all of the three kids around me.
I just sat there and we talked and I listened.
They played doctor.
Austin and I were the patients.
It wasn't even hard.
In fact, it was so fun.

Later we cuddled on the couch and watched a show.
Again, not even hard.
In fact, I was totally loving just laying there with my girls.

And then before supper I was cleaning up and was about to vacuum when Em asked if I'd jump with her.
I almost forgot.....
I almost chose the vacuum over her,
But last second, I said, "Sure" : )
And I'm so glad I did.
We jumped on the tramp holding hands while she made up lyrics to a song; we sang her made up chorus was honestly magical.
Not even being cheesy.
Compared to the feelings that have been stirring between us lately, this was like a Hallelujah!

The day ended great.
No melt downs....nothing.
And the best part was,
The camaraderie came seeping back.
That warmth was there again.

And it meant so much to me.

I'm so thankful that these children aren't just my own.
That they're His children too.

I felt so much extra love and wisdom and help from Heavenly Father today.
It's amazing what a new day and some heaven sprinkles can do.

I love that little girl to the moon and back....