Have you ever had a day where you are exhausted, over worked, overwhelmed and feel like not one thing you’ve said or needed all day has been heard by anyone? I’ve had these days. The days when all you have energy for is frustration. When the one thing you want to and need to express doesn’t have an appropriate space or time in the day. When I have these days, my “safe” space is the shower. That’s where I find I can just release all of the strain and stress of the day and let my feelings overflow, following the water down the drain and off of me.
Yesterday, I picked C up from daycare like usual. She was in good spirits and hugged her friends as we left. She was laughing and talking and telling me about her day…BUT the minute she buckled into the car seat, something else snapped and a 5 year old blonde Dr. Jekyll appeared. All kids (and esp. sassy pants 5 yo girls) have their moments of attitude, power struggle, and fits. But this…THIS was a whole other animal.
Have you ever hear Tom Segura’s bit about little kids being story tellers? (Skip to 2:55 to hear the bit in the clip below)
Basically, until they’re old enough to verbalize a single thought into a sentence, their stories consist of multiple overlapping and incomplete pieces of sentence that all run together without any punctuation or pauses other than to breath…
Ok, so take that rambling and incomplete mob of words and translate that into a FULL YELL at the TOP OF YOUR LUNGS…
THAT is what came flying in my direction from the 30 lb blonde in the backseat.
“I want to watch TV you don’t let me stay home i’m mad at you for making me stay home I want a snack you will open this now I will make you open this snack you didn’t open my snack at school so i’m not going to stay home with you i will only watch TV in the car, I will sleep in the car I’m not going to live with you unless you open this snack i will not eat dinner unless i can have a cookie i only eat cookies you are mean and i don’t like you i want to stay home i need water i’m mad…”
I’m not kidding when I say this went on for a full 30 minutes…
After trying to reason with her and rationalize why a snack right before dinner wasn’t happening, asking her to stop yelling and ask for what she needed, it dawned on me. She just needs an outlet. So, I let her have it. In the safe space of the car, with me as an ear and nothing more. I let her get it alllllll out. And you know what, after 30 minutes of all.out.yelling…she stopped.
And the next thing she said, in a perfectly normal volume was “Mommy, when we get home can I have a snack and watch TV until dinner’s ready?” Dr. Jekyll had left the building!
5 years old or 35 years old…Sometimes. Sometimes we all just need a minute, a safe space, to let it all out.