It’s been a while since I have posted to my blog. I haven’t made time to write nor have I been particularly inspired or moved to write about anything. But today that shifted.
For the past few months, my sweet little girls have been doing what kids do best – testing and pushing the limits of what they can and can’t get away with. It’s all a very real, fun and exhausting part of parenting – well, unless you have the perfect child. 😉
I have been parenting in the best way that I know how. Yes, it’s a lot of my yoga that parents through me by continually reinforcing the idea to remember to take deep breaths, to know when they feel frustrated and to question why. I have been trying, in as patient a way as I can, to keep feeling, talking and breathing our way through the terrible two’s – except that my girls are five and seven. 🙂
Of course months, actually years, into this style of parenting, I have been pushed to take away privileges and even more severe action when called for. My husband always reminds me how his mom once broke a rolling pin on his behind, at which point I always remind to never try that on the girls.
So tonight was another normal night in our house. Dinner was done, baths were in process. And Sonia, my five year old, refused to listen and insisted on refuting everything I asked her to do. I tried to reason with her, asked her why she wasn’t listening, at which point she threw her clothes on the floor and began to stomp away from me. Well an hour into this and my patience had experienced a new low. I grabbed her by the arm, walked her down the stairs, in her hair still wet, pajamas only half on and proceeded to leave her outside, locked out of the house for ten minutes. Mind you it was dark and cold and quite dramatic, as she screamed loudly for the first several minutes. I was determined to keep her there despite the screaming and was expecting CPS to come knocking on my door at any time. But a few minutes in, the screams subsided. I finally walked out and brought her in, at which time her Dad came and took her to her room to have a stern talk.
I was at a loss. I had no more tools, nor patience or energy to give. I walked up to her room, asked everyone to leave and sat down on her bed. I looked at her and asked her what I needed to do to get her to listen to me and to stay calm. And before I knew it, I was sobbing in front of my five year old like I had never before. At that moment, I felt pathetic, looking back now I’ll prefer to use the word vulnerable. 🙂 I bawled for a good two minutes, which felt more like two hours, considering my five year old was watching. I finally wiped my eyes and looked up at her. Her eyes were red and welling with tears and her cheeks swollen. She looked at me and started to cry, but it was that soft cry, not the loud one she uses to get my attention. The kind that you really don’t even want anyone to see. I moved closer to her and held her. We didn’t say anything else. I asked her to get into bed and if she wanted to read. We read for a while.
I told her that I loved her and I wanted her to help me help her. She didn’t let go of me for almost an hour. She gave me more kisses than I could have counted and told me she loved me more times than I could remember, eventually lulling herself to sleep with her arms wrapped around me.