November and December were great months at my house. Tiny and Buba were in great spirits almost all the time. They talked and laughed all day long and were great at entertaining each other when I needed to be doing things around the house.
But, HOLY COW, have things changed dramatically in the last two weeks or so. There has been lots of crying and shrieking and whining, along with hitting and kicking and pushing and grabbing. Someone took a toy that the other one was playing with, or someone didn’t get the color bowl that he/she wanted her snack in, and (my personal favorite) someone is doing something that the other one said not to do (“No no say beep beep!). Not good times.
Now, of course, this is not happening all day long (though some days it feels that way). But in those awful, awful moments it can be really hard to keep my cool. And sometimes I lose it. And I yell. And then I feel awful. Because I really do love my kids. And because of the three of us, I should be the one most capable of controlling my frustrations in these types of situations. Guilt, guilt, and more guilt.
But yesterday morning, as Tiny was screaming about something- something that I could not determine then and still don’t know now- I decided that I needed to reinstate the one cup of tea rule. The one cup of tea rule was something that came from my caring for multiples class. The instructor, a nurse and a mother of 6 (including a set of triplets), told us that sometimes babies cry. That’s just what they do. So, if you know they’re clean and dry, they’ve been fed and burped, and they’re not sick, and you’ve done your best to soothe them, it’s okay to put a screaming baby down and have just one cup of tea before trying to soothe the baby again.
I have to say, I rarely ever used the one cup of tea rule when Tiny and Buba were babies. But it seems perfectly appropriate now. And so that’s what I did yesterday morning. Tiny could not be soothed, and it was the type of situation in which the crying and screaming only got worse with each attempt I made to calm her. So, I walked away and made myself a cup of tea and sat down at the kitchen table to drink it. By the time I was finished, so was Tiny (thankfully!), and we continued about our morning as usual.
Perhaps, it’s an early onset of the terrible twos (we’re currently at about 22.5 months), or maybe it’s just been a series of really unfortunate events. But in either case, I would love to know what you do to keep your cool during high stress, high frustration moments involving your kiddos. How to you keep your composure when your kids are not at their best?
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