Thursday, June 21, 2012


This post was supposed to be about grace. It's one of those that I started writing in my head, while I was with the twins today. Yesterday morning, when I arrived and went up to their room, their crib rails were (finally!) off - toddler beds it was! Per usual, their mom had totally forgotten to let me know. (I'll either get three pages of handwritten details about things, or she'll totally omit something major.)

I'm really excited for them to be in and out on their own, but there's been one thing holding me back: my biggest cop-out in "parenting" is when Lilly gets to throwing giant tantrums, I stick her in her crib and let her scream it out. If she's just in her room, she'll kick the door. If she's downstairs, she'll try to kick Patrick or me. So with the advent of her in a bed, I was worried.

Today, unfortunately, we got to test that scenario out with two big tantrums. At breakfast, when she started whining (and began the well-trod path to a full-out tantrum), I picked her up and told her that she might need a little quiet time in her room to calm down. We went upstairs together, and I closed the door and sat on her bed. She threw herself into her chair, grabbed her blankies, and yelled and cried and flailed - but only tried to leave the room once. I grabbed her and explained that we couldn't go back downstairs until she felt better.

She ended up on her bed, and I started scratching her back. Rubbing her back and/or head is something I've begun trying lately, and if I catch her at the moment when she's gotten most of the emotion out, it calms her down. If I try too early, it riles her back up. But she started to calm down, and we talked about what to do with her hair today and what shoes she could wear. Eventually I coaxed her back downstairs.

Lunch was worse. We went to the conservatory today, so we were all hot and cranky, and she just wasn't having it. But still, she got down at one point and walked over to the stairs, glanced at me, and went up to her room. I'll take that over kicking and screaming any day, even if I couldn't really get her back down to finish lunch. (I ended up taking a few bites up to her, and telling her not to tell mommy.)

So I guess this post is about grace. I can function without having four walls in which to enclose her, and, in the process, she automatically is learning better coping alternatives. I just hope I continue to have grace to deal with it...because at nap time we had a blowout that ended in her screaming "No!" at me and me practically throwing her in bed and sitting on her.

Grace. It's tough stuff.

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