Scarlett and the No Good, Horrible, Terrible Morning.
It all started when Daddy tried to wake her up at 9:45am. It was a bright and beautiful Sunday outside, far too spectacular to be slept through. It was a kind and gentle wake up, but it was a wake up none-the-less. She chose to stay in bed a bit longer, and Daddy kissed her head and told the pancakes would be waiting.
45 minutes later, I walked upstairs to motivate her a bit, but instead, I found her on an ipad – which is not allowed per our family rules. (No ipads before face-to-face interaction!) I asked her to turn it off and come downstairs. She grumpily obliged.
She sat down at the table alone and had to choose from the “leftover” pancakes. “These are cold!” She began crying. After reheating, “These are dry now! Why did I get all the bad pancakes? I’m so hungry!” the tears began falling harder. I ask her to breathe and try to find a solution on her own, and I walk outside to start the bubble machine for the little boys.
It’s a matter of moments before I here wailing from the windows. Scarlett has spilled syrup on her perfectly picked out neon pink shirt and shorts… dripping it to the rug below. If she knew curse words, she would have been cursing like a sailor.
It took all the power to not laugh. She was having a HORRIBLE morning. It worsened when syrup was then sat in. I didn’t think she could handle anything else. Whoa did the emotional shit show hit the fan when she went upstairs to change and found her brothers in her room! THE SCREAMS! Ear-piercing shrieks. She somberly made it back to the kitchen to make a breakfast of her choosing. Her eyes were puffy and red. I hugged her and asked how I could help… Scarlett’s response,
“Mommy! It’s just the worst, bad-luck day! Everything is horrible. Why is everything wrong today!!!!?”
Oh my heart. My sweet, sweet firstborn love. The one who made me a mother.
“Today is just a day. Every day cannot be unicorns and rainbows. Every day cannot be amazing. If it was, you would never appreciate the happiness. These hard moments, baby girl, they flat out suck. There is nothing else to say about them but that – they suck. You are bigger than this moment though. It does not define you,” I say.
“Can’t we just start it all over?”
“Why yes, love – that’s part of childhood. You get to learn and try again, every single day.”
After another slew of tears and hard moments, including falling to bruise her elbow, and learning that the museum exhibit was not opened yet, things began to look up. We picked flowers for a bouquet, read a book in the hammock, and decided to head to the pool as a family.
Why am I sharing her horrible morning with you? Simple, she’s seven, and she’s smack in the middle of her childhood. There is still so much to conquer and learn. She is growing and dreaming big things over here, and I know she’s not the only child who has hard days.
The trouble is how we handle our children in these moments. Their day is just as important as ours. If not, more important – these moments build to create the foundation of how they handle their adulthood.
The best way I have found to work through these times is to simply be present. Sit together and allow the tears and emotions to be released. Talk when the child wants to listen, and listen when the child talks. Make this moment the priority. The rest will all fall into place.
Cheers to a better start to tomorrow and a happy ending to today!