The meltdowns in our house this week and last have been epic. Sisters are fighting. Little girls are freaking out right and left. And I have to admit that I’ve lost my cool on a few mornings. Even M has raised his voice a few times and the man is usually imperturbable.
I’ve been very focused on helping C get ready for her big transitions – out of daycare and into Kindergarten – that I somewhat forgot that Little L would also be undergoing some serious changes. The child is usually mellow and easy going. She adapts pretty quickly so I’ve never been as concerned about prepping her and watching for odd or delayed reactions from her. She’s like me, pretty easy going and knows how to roll with the punches.
It’s possible that these past two weeks have offered up more punches than she’s used to rolling with.
First, her big sister left daycare. They’ve always been in daycare together. Even when C left to go to preschool, Little L would know that she’d be back after nap time. It’s not that they ever played together at daycare, it’s just that she always knew that her sister was there and now she’s not.
Then I changed our morning routine. For two years now we’ve been taking our sweet time in the morning, getting up and getting ready at a rather mellow pace. Now we have to be up, dressed, fed, hair brushed, and out of the house by 7:45am. I even changed the route we take. Instead of going straight to daycare, we take C to school, drop her off, and then head to daycare.
If that wasn’t enough, Little L started school herself last week. She loves school. It’s the highlight of her week. She’d go every day if she could. And that’s where the problem lies. C gets to go to school every day, Little L only goes Tuesdays and Thursdays. Do you know how hard it is for a 3-year-old to understand that she doesn’t get to go every day? Do you know how much time elapses between Thursday and Tuesday? An eternity. That’s how long. Or so Little L would have you believe.
In the grand scheme of things none of these changes are massive or insurmountable. In the eyes of a 3-year-old they’re pretty big and they’re leading to lots of tantrums and outbursts.
I find myself taking lots of deeeeep breaths when she hides, gets petulant, throws a fit, refuses to eat, sleep, or stop whining. She’s confused and crabby and she’s taking it out on us because we’re her safety zone. I know it. M knows it. And we both know that kid gloves work much better in this case than rising voices.
And yet, I hope you’ll excuse me when I confess that some mornings, when the stress of getting three people out the door in under 45 minutes rather than two hours gets to me, sometimes I snap. Which ads to the angst and slows us down even more, but come on, I’m only human after all.