Yesterday was rough all over. I’m still recovering from our trip last week – behind on everything. My semi-chronic neck pain is back with a vengeance thanks to the long hours of driving. I barked at the kids about little stuff but didn’t have the energy to keep them occupied and out of trouble. I even burned the broccoli. I turned on the burner to let the broccoli steam, then went to check my e-mail which hadn’t been working earlier in the day. While I was doing that I noticed a long overdue project sitting on my desk and started working on that. Sometime later the aroma of blackened broccoli wafted in. Of course usually I would have had more broccoli around, but not yesterday. This week I had decided to just use up what I had on hand because it was the perfect amount. It fit the rest of the day…
During our bedtime routine, of all times, something shifted. The child has been seeking attention and therefore interrupting her twin siblings’ story time with Daddy for several days in a row. It got so bad one night that I told her she had to go to her room, to which she replied, “Well, I’m never going to listen to you for the rest of my life!” Last night I told her my expectations up front – find something quiet to do so that you are not being a distraction. At first she wandered off to the playroom. Then she saw that I was folding clothes and decided that she wanted to help.
She loves to help. It is very regulating for her, and a wonderful way to gain appropriate attention. She decided to roll up socks for me. She has tried this before, but didn’t quite have the fine motor skills to pull it off. I was foreseeing more trouble, but this time it worked! She needed just a brief reminder of how to do it, and then she struggled a bit until she mastered the motion. Then there was no stopping her. She folded her own socks and then offered to do her sister’s. After all the failures of the day, this one bright spot carried me back to a sense of well-being. There may be plenty going wrong, but I can still have positive, encouraging, re-regulating interactions with my daughter – teaching her useful (if mundane) skills and reminding her how good it feels to do a job well. I told her she could be my expert sock roller and she was thrilled. So was I!
Have you seen any bright spots lately?