This is my kid going a little crazy on the webcam. He sort of looks like he was painted by Edvard Munch, don't you think?
Yeah. This is pretty much how my child lives. He speaks in ALL CAPS, ALL THE TIME, and eats hyperbole for breakfast. He is hilarious and exhausting. And I wonder how he can live like that.
Here, for instance, is an interchange we had right after he biffed it in a major way on his scooter as he was going to school. A Very Large Puddle was involved, as well as Some Rocks:
"Are you okay, honey?"
"NO! I'M NOT OKAY! I AM BLEEDING LIKE CRAZY!"
"Wellll, it's not too bad."
"YES IT IS! LOOK AT ALL THAT BLOOD! IT'S ALMOST ON MY LEG!"
"Er, What happened?"
"I'M NEVER RIDING A SCOOTER AGAIN!"
"Oh, sweetie, I'm sure its--"
"MY CLOTHES ARE WET!"
"I know. We can dry them. What hap--"
"EVEN MY SHOES ARE WET! I'M NEVER RIDING THAT SOOTER AGAIN!"
"You need to ride it, or you'll be too afraid to get back on and then you won't have that joy anymore." (Notice the outstanding parenting technique here, where I ignore his pain and regale him with parenting 101 tenets.)
"IT ISN'T JOY, IT'S CRASHING!"
"Hmmm. All right. Let's get you home and put some hydrogen peroxide on--"
"WHAT?! NO WAY! YOU'RE NOT PUTTING THAT ON ME! I ONLY WANT TRIPLE-ANTI-BIOXIDE!"
*giggle* "Um. Okay. It'll be fine, sweetie, promise. It will only sting a little. Probably not at all."
"IT BETTER NOT! AND CAN I HAVE SOMETHING TO DRINK? AND MAYBE I SHOULD STAY HOME FROM SCHOOL AND JUST LAY ON THE COUCH AND STUFF. CAN YOU HURRY? I'M BLEEDING, YOU KNOW."
The thing is, he really feels it. And I used to run all over myself trying to calm him down and help him see that things weren't that bad. But now--I realize that if I let him just express all those feelings, even in all-caps, it passes. Relatively quickly. It's when I try to fix his feelings RIGHT NOW that it drags on and gets worse.
Hmmm. So. Maybe there's a message in here. About just relaxing and letting things run their course and then seeing what is left before doing anything. Just . . . living in the moment. Respecting the feelings you (and others) are having. Letting yourself feel them, acknowledge them, and then letting them go. This is what ALL-CAPS-BOY does when I let him. And he always goes skipping out of the room, having forgotten what was wrong, and moving on to the next thing.
Feelings aren't bad. They're just indicators that something is bothering you. Figure that out, and you can move on.
So, I finally did talk the little dude into scootering to school. And I went with him. He spent the entire ride telling me exactly HOW TO RIDE A SCOOTER WITHOUT FALLING DOWN. We got there half an hour late, but we got there. And there are plans to scooter again tomorrow. AND IT'S OKAY, MOM. WE LEARN FROM THESE THINGS.