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Posts Tagged ‘bean’

pipe down

funny face at the center for the arts

in the last few weeks my beanie boy has taken up a new version of a temper tantrum.  this must be the almost four year old version.  when he gets upset about something (usually not something big) he has a screaming crying fit.  the thing is, the crying is forced (not the old aligator tears of the two year old tantrum) and i have the feeling he is just expressing his upset with vigor – not vigorously upset.  if that distinction makes any sense.  i will admit that it has been a very challenging thing for me to hang through.  there are a few reasons for this:

i don’t handle prolonged loud noises well at all (i was always the first one out of the dorm when the fire alarm got triggered).

being that we are living with my mom it upsets me that it is irritating her.

i know he could (emotionally speaking?) be quiet but he is choosing to scream and cry instead.  literally scream.

it upsets me that things are not going “my” way.

i feel confused and frustrated that he is tantruming like he used to when he was younger.

i have been flailing around in how i respond to these tantrums as my frustration with them builds.  sometimes i would hold him and try to make him feel loved.  other times i would try actively to distract him.  of course there were several times when i got so well triggered i went ahead and yelled at him, “stop screaming!”  (this is SO effective.)  i had no theory behind my reactions and nothing i was doing seemed to be helping him or me.  frustration continued to mount.

i mentioned my struggle in this particular area of parenting to a friend of mine in an email the other day and asked for her advice on it.  in her reply she made the distinction between how she handles things when she is “centered” and when she is “not centered.”  i read her reply and it made sense but it wasn’t until a few hours later when bean launched into the day’s first scream fest that i suddenly got the importance of her words.

what i want to do is fix the situation so that bean is not so upset so that he is not screaming so that i will not be upset by the screaming.  but, i am so so so far from getting there.  i am utterly lost.  in the face of being so lost the best thing to do is the same answer that is always given in response to any issue that arises in relationship – i can do my work.

in the moment of being a mama to a screaming, crying, carrying on like all get out, almost four year old, spirited, sensitive, boy, what i can do is try to silence all the voices in my head that are freaking out about his freak out.  i can not let his upset get me so upset.  i can remain truly, seriously, honestly, calm and balanced while he spins out of control.

because i am some one who really likes details when it comes to the nitty gritty of  how to parent i will tell you exactly how this went.  when bean started his tantrum i was standing about two feet away from him.  i walked to him, wrapped my arms around his waist from behind, and pulled him into my lap on a bench that was right there.  i held him silently while i had a chat with the voices in my head.

ok, the bean is screaming and we are going to see if we can stay calm.

i don’t feel calm.

you feel worried that this tantrum is somehow not ok?

yes.

what if you decided that it is ok?

maybe.  but, i know it is really bothering my mom.

well, it might be bothering your mom but that is her problem not yours.  your only problem right now is you.

ok fine, i don’t like how he is screaming.  the noise is upsetting me!

if the loudness is bothering you too much we can find a way to walk away from him and get some space without removing our love.

ok.  well it feels better knowing that.  but, i am also annoyed because i want to be getting us ready to go outside now.  because that is what we are doing next.  soon it is lunch time and i don’t want to miss our time outside because of this.

ok, well you don’t have to miss outside time.  going outside if part of the rhythm and it is ok, probably even comforting, for the bean to know the rhythm carries on.  so you can calmly give voice to that or you can just do it.  you can start to get the pea ready and then perhaps bean will be calm enough to get ready.

ok, this feels much better.  i feel much better.  i am not as upset.  but wait!  he is still screaming and upset.  maybe i am failing as a parent because i have not managed to make him feel better.  maybe i should sit here and try to convince him to calm down for his good.

maybe.  we don’t know that for sure.  but we are not going to get upset again because that might be better.  you want to try to stick with the rhythm and see how that goes.  you will have many chances to try handling this different ways.  right now try the way you want to try.

ok.  ok that might be ok.  i feel removed from his screaming.  i am not freaking out about it.  oh, there is my mom again.  i bet she is really annoyed that he is still screaming and crying.

well, that is her thing.

right.  nice. *

at this point i took a break from talking to myself and took action.  i gently transfered the bean to the bench we were on and i told him very quietly that i was going to put pea’s shoes on so we could get ready to go outside.  i told him i would then find his shoes so he could also come outside.  i walked away from him and he continued to be upset but he didn’t get more upset.  i got pea ready and then i walked past bean on my way to finding his shoes.  he quieted immediately when i passed him and he said, “i want to go outside too.”

i said, “yes, we are all going.  i am getting your shoes.”  i grabbed his shoes and helped him put them on and he remind very quiet.  we stood up and he held my hand as we walked to meet the pea at the door.  when we got outside he let go of my hand and within a few steps he was smiling and skipping around.  i caught up with him and gave him a hug and told him i loved him and then we all went to the sandbox area and played.

i am not saying i have this all figured out or anything.  i am not saying this is the final solution of how i want to handle his emotional tantrum moments.  it is surely a work in progress.  but this experience, this ability to not get sucked in, to talk down my own anger, to handle my self better – it felt like a huge step in the direction that is right for us.

it turns out that i as much as i want him to pipe down i don’t need him to.  i need me to.

*note: as i read this over before publishing it occurred to me that a lot of what happened during the internal conversation was a shifting of feeling inside me. tension releasing in my body as i expressed my upset and found ways to answer to it. a lightness taking over in place of the dark anger that was first arising. a feeling of being detached in a freeing way – instead of being sucked into the turmoil which made me react in ways i was not happy with (like the yelling). i am keeping the conversation above strictly verbal but i wanted to add the note here about the emotional and physical components that were also taking place incase it wasn’t clear enough from the dialog.

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the last few nights the bean has been coming into the bed with me sometime between 11 and 1.  he arrives in the room silently and i only know to wake up and find him because i have heard his door opening on the monitor i still use with him.  i wake up slowly and turn to see him standing silently by my bed.  he only speaks once he sees me open my eyes and turn to face him.

“mama, i need to tinkle.”

i sigh, rise from my cozy bed, and take his hand.  in the bathroom i unzip his pajama’s (he insists on footies because the pea has them) and put him up on the toilet reminding him not to start peeing until he is sure his penis is pointing the right way.  it is rote for me, we do this almost every night.  when he is done i help him get his undies and jammies back on in the darkness.  then i take his hand again and he says to me, “i want to be in your bed.”

sometimes, if the pea isn’t sleeping well, if he is sick and i have the humidifier on in his room, or if i have fallen prey to the “should’s” in my own mind i tell him we need to go back to his bed.  i tell him how cozy it is and i get in with him and lay there while i wait for him to fall asleep.  or i bring the pea’s monitor with me and i fall asleep too.  once i am sure he is sound asleep i get up and tip toe out and back to my own bed.

other times i just nod and rearrange the pillows so he can have the one i like to use, pull back the covers and pat the side i want him to lay on.  then i snuggle in with him and say, “good night beanie.  i love you.  time to sleep.”

of course, there are nights when he fidgets and fusses and generally makes me wish for morning to come so i can stop feeling so cheated.  but recently he just closes his eyes and holds onto my finger with his small warm hand and goes to sleep curled up into me.

then as the night goes on we cosleep in all its beauty.  this is, to me, the bliss of cosleeping.  the bean and i have always slept well together.  like our bodies instinctively know how to snuggle in the most comforting and comfortable ways.  the pea, she likes to sleep draped on top of me.  until she gets tired of that and then with a huff wants to move to her own space.  then back on top of me and so on in a confusing daze of hours spent wondering if she is happy.

but the bean, he slides up into me and turns away in the smoothest movements.  drapes his legs over mine which are curled up around him.  slips his small warm hand under my neck into it’s perfectly fitting spot.  when he sleeps well and sleeps with me it is magical.  it is comfortable and sweet and bonding while we dream.  we move into snuggles and out into our own space without really waking.  in the morning he presses his body tightly into mine and puts his head on my shoulder as he opens his beautiful huge blue eyes and asks me sweetly, “is it morning time?”

and i kiss his forehead which is right there in position to be kissed and enter the day with the same excitement as he has.  “yes my love, it is morning time.”

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a picture post

yesterday when i was done with my post the bean came over and noticed the picture of him and chickpea in my banner. he told me he wanted me to take that picture again. he was insistent that we try and little ms. pea was having nothing to do with it:
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eventually she managed a full escape and he still wanted to pose for me:
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and thank you for voting. i took the plunge:
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hats and faces

i made a hat for her:

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he likes to make faces:

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bye bye:

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baby wearing week

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i don’t write about babywearing much but i don’t write about breathing much either and i am doing them both pretty much all the time. today we walked to the center of town for a little festival that is going on there and chickpea rode there and back on my back, and she slept for the ride home. if you look in the back of my car you’ll probably find a soft structured carrier, a woven wrap, and my reusable grocery bags. you usually won’t find a stroller. and it is not because i have any problem with strollers or anything. but, the bean sure did, he hated them, and it is like he trained my brain. i just don’t ever grab for a stroller. i grab for a piece of fabric that will hold my baby up snug to my body. where i can feel her breathing and she is pulling at my clothes and we are both seeing the same things.

it is not that i take issue with other people doing it any other way. i own two lovely strollers. and you can find them, gathering dust, in my garage. i am just a baby wearer. i am. i wear my baby. and god bless the loving universe for that one day when i was pregnant with the bean and my google search led me to some didymos retailer who helped me chose my first wrap. i had NO idea what i was doing. what a wrap was. maybe i should be blessing the horse that fractured my vertebrae when i was nineteen because it was that old injury that had me thinking i better find something easy on my back.

i remember bringing the bean home from the hospital and opening up the didymos instruction booklet and trying to figure out what the heck to do with the ten million miles of fabric. i taught myself two carries in those first weeks and once i was capable of tying him on my body without breaking into a sweaty freakout i was hooked. he loved it. i felt – i felt, safe. my baby was right there in my arms, my cloth arms. sometimes i felt like a little bit of a freak because the baby bjorn is really the only carrier you saw used occasionally in these parts back then. but mostly i just felt like i had found something that really worked for my little bean who thrived on mama’s touch.

we have come a long way from those first two carries and our beloved iris (i would love to share a picture with you but you know they are on my broken hard drive). the bean actually sat in a stroller today that flash pushed to town. but still, i am a baby wearer. and the pea was on my back for the walk there, the strolling around the fair, and the walk home.

and she is on me now. wrapped to my front snoozing away while i type. i am a baby wearer. this is my last baby. and you can bet that as long as she is happy with it i am going to savor it.

a piece of cloth, my child, and me.

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little things

sometimes the smallest shifts in energy make space for us to breath. to be. to feel a little bit alright. all right. part right.

today we took a short walk in the fields with my mom and her dogs. the bean held rhyson’s leash (the corgi) with such joy and care. they ran together – their little legs like the perfect fit. my heart welled and it took a deep breath.

we found a few small pinecones which we picked up and carried home with us.

i would like to have a nature table. i would like to get rid of more plastic and create a waldorf inspired play space. i would like to do more hand work and have zero tv.

more inspiring though. more to the point in this time is the idea of our rhythm being an in breath and an out breath. there is something i can be guided by. that is what we shall do.

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trim him

this morning i trimmed his hair. then i let him eat a cookie. i confess.

(my laptop decided to kaput yesterday. i am hoping the apple people can save it and i haven’t lost everything. meanwhile iphone posts will have to do.)

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