Today didn't have a red-letter beginning. Ellie and I occasionally butt heads about the morning routine, and today was, for some reason, especially difficult. I could try to convince you (and myself) that I gave all that "validating parenting" crap a shot, but who would I be kidding? I lost it and shouted. Which made me feel tired, right there at the start of my day. Which led to a little more shouting. Which of course led to everything getting worse, as I knew it would. (But the act of shouting did make me feel better for just a minute.)
When we both calmed down, I sought her out and we had a little talk. Mostly me. But she nodded a lot. We (I) decided we should have a new buzzword realting to actions and decisions. Here it is:
"I'm too _____ for that."
Then we practiced.
Me: If someone was teasing a kid in your class, and you thought about joining in, what could you tell yourself?
Her: I'm too kind for that.
Me: If you felt a temper fit coming on, what would you tell yourself?
Her: I'm too old for that.
Me: If someone offered you a cigarette, what could you say?
Her: I'm too smart for that.
Me: If you were having bad thoughts about yourself, what should you remind you?
Her: I'm too fabulous for that.
(Okay, that last one didn't get said, but it should have. I'll be sure to tell her when she gets home from school in about six more hours, and then she can practice it.)
And the point? I should be saying these things to myself everyday, too.
Should I sleep in front of the fire instead of writing my story? No, I'm too talented for that.
Do I fear giving a talk/lesson/lecture? I'm too funny for that.
Will I shout at my sweet little kids? I'm too gentle for that.
Can I say no to watching a friend's kid? I'm too gracious for that.
Will I tremble at the sight of empty fridge and cupboards? Heck no. I'm too resourceful for that.
Should I eat that entire bag full of dried mangoes before the girls get home from school? Um, maybe, because it's fruit.