Saturday, May 17, 2014

I want coffee

"I want coffee."

"Are you sure you won't spill it?" I said to my daughter. Knowing in the back of my mind that this was a bad idea.

She nodded her head.

So, I poured some milk in a cup and put a little bit of coffee in her cup. She tried to carry my cup, spilling just a bit. I grabbed it before I lost my entire cup and carried both cups to the table.

She was no longer interested in the coffee and went off to play (or make a mess, depending on your definition of play).

After our toast was made, she came back to the table. I was flipping through the newspaper while I ate and she was sitting next to me, watching Robots on her iPod while she ate her toast.

Then, in an instant, the relative peace of the morning disappeared.

She picked up her coffee mug and dumped it upside-down. Coffee everywhere.


Chair pushed over.

"Go to your bedroom."


"Go to your bedroom."

She picks up the chair.


She runs over to the little vacuum we'd bought less than a month before at the local trade show. Yesterday, she'd knocked it over in anger and it cracked, the contents of what it had vacuumed up all over the floor. Today? Same thing. Dust and garbage everywhere, mixed right in with the milky coffee slowly spreading across the floor.


She finally snapped into action and ran upstairs,

"I be calm, I be calm."

"Go to your bedroom. And close the door."

I started cleaning up the mess. Down came a stuffed toy from her room. Then a picture from the hallway that her brother had painted. Then her basket full of books.

I just kept cleaning. She came downstairs.

"Go to your bedroom."


She threw her iPod at me, which grazed my leg. I put it on top of the fridge.


Up she went again. For maybe a minute.

The floor was clean enough and I sat down. She came back over to me, hugged my arm and said, "I sorry. I not do it again."

"Okay Finleigh."

She picks up her ceramic coffee mug that's still stupidly on the table and throws it to the floor. By some small miracle it does not break. I take it away.

From here, it's a bit of a blur. She argues with her brother who comes out of hiding. I hear scuffling. I try to ignore it. She comes back and finishes eating her toast and looks like she's going to throw the plate at me. She tries to throw her mug again. She apologizes a couple more times. She hugs my arm. A bin of toys spills on the floor. When I stop her from throwing her plate a second time, she swipes it instead, flinging her leftover crusts onto the floor. At some point, some ripped papers were added to the mess.

We have not found anything to temper these reactions, it doesn't matter if I ignore her apologies, accept them energetically, or just say okay, we get the same reaction. So now, I just try to get through these times with my sanity intact, keeping calm so my blood pressure doesn't skyrocket.

Things have mostly calmed down now, but she's still walking around, hitting or throwing the odd thing that strikes her fancy. The odd wail escapes from her mouth... as if she's the one hard done by here.

There's a mess everywhere. If I try to have her help clean up... like would be the logical parenting thing to do, we'll end up with an equally long and powerful rant/tantrum/destructive event. Or I can do it myself, which truly doesn't appeal to me either.

She comes over to me again and hugs my arm.

"I'm sorry mommy. I try again tomorrow?"

"How's about you start cleaning up the mess you made?"

She quietly walks over to the homework table, picks up her marker container and chucks it across the room.

I guess I have my answer.

Happy Saturday to me.

I want coffee.

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