Bug and I had the worst day yesterday. It happens. We’ve both been fighting one of those low-level colds that you can ignore most of the time except when you are tired and hungry and grumpy. We both skipped lunch. She always does because who wants to eat a boring old packed lunch when there is a playground to play on at school?!! My job hours are over at 1pm so I usually just wait until I’m off work to grab a bite. This makes for the perfect mix of crankypants on both of us when it comes pick-up time at school. Then we had a playdate fall through and the rest was just a whinefest of the usual dramatic proportions. I just wanted to go home, eat and escape into email and work. She just wanted me to drive her to the zoo. We fought.
And then we fought some more.
I hate it when this happens. My temper rises. She knows just the right combination of pestering and whininess to set me on edge. I ignore it and bite my tongue and then SNAP I lose it and say something meaner than I mean to. I feel like the worst mom in the world when unkind words come out of my mouth and yet if I’m not firm, and stick to my guns, I feel like I’m teaching her how to manipulate me. I sent her to her room so both of us could cool off and the next thing I knew she was carrying a blanket over her shoulder and walking out the front door.
Now, first of all this is a terrible breach of my authority. I never said she could leave her room. But the sad pathetic blanket over her shoulder with her stuffed Hello Kitty doll inside made my heart break into pieces. She was trying to run away. How did we get to this? I remember packing my sleeping bag and my stuffed animal and trying to camp out in our side yard when I was a little kid because my parents were SO MEAN. Is she doing this already?
When I was a kid my parents would just let me go outside and rough it for a few hours but I can’t really do that. Our neighborhood is safe but I can’t let her wander around our apartment complex alone. I had to call her back. We sat on the top step and talked about our feelings. She let me hug her and I struggled to hold my own tears inside.
Her dad is always a phone call away but it’s hard not feeling incompetent all the time. He’s not there to see what lead up to this melt down and I hate letting him see my failures from the outside without context. She did call him eventually and thankfully he agreed with me that driving to the zoo wasn’t practical at all. But it still was a crappy day and I felt bad for her that I hadn’t handled it better. I poured myself a cup of coffee and came up with a plan to fix the day.
I don’t even really want to say it fixed the day because it didn’t completely. We still have issues with afternoon low blood sugar and I’m working on fixing that with snacks and more appetizing packed lunches but it was a temporary distraction that made us both feel happier.
We made cookies. She measured and mixed all by herself and I made a lasagna for later. Then we went to the movies and caught a matinee and smuggled our cookies in with us. I’m surprised we fit it all in before bedtime but we did. Dinner was kind of a disaster because both of us were full of cookies and not hungry for lasagna but it got us through.
Recipe after the break
This is modified from the Gold Medal Flour Alpha-Bakery cookbook for kids.
Almond M&M cookies
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/4 cups of wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup of dark chocolate m&m’s
1. Heat oven to 375 F
2. Mix sugar, butter and egg
3. Add baking soda and salt
4. Mix and add nuts and chocolate
5. Drop on an ungreased cookie sheet
6. Bake 7-10 minutes until light brown