Sunday, December 12, 2010

Patience is a virtue. I'm just not very virtuous.

I'm not a patient person. I get frustrated easily, and I don't do very well when I'm frustrated. I'm starting to see this quality in my daughter, which has me scared silly. This is part of the reason that I've been thinking so much lately about my influence on her. If there's a behaviour pattern or quality that I would like her to develop, she has to learn it from somewhere. And since she's looking at me 14 or so hours of the day, I guess I'm somewhere.

So today I took on the day with the sense of calm that I mentioned a couple of posts ago. No rushing around getting all worked up over nothing, no overreactions to minor incidents, in short - no bad behaviour. And I think I rocked it.

When E woke up crying just as my head hit the pillow last night at 11pm, I calmly sat in her room, using my "soothing voice" to urge her back to sleep.

When she had a poop explosion a half hour later the likes of which I haven't seen since she was a wee baby with the stomach flu, I calmly removed my fecally contaminated housecoat, peeled back the sleeper and onesie and the completely useless diaper, serenely sponge bathed my filthy child, and ever so patiently rinsed all of said clothing before dropping it all into a bucket of Oxy Clean.

At 1:17am, when she finally dropped back to sleep I followed suit, buoyed by the knowledge that my peaceful exterior had not cracked.

When she had another episode of explosive diarrhea this morning just after I had changed her diaper and gotten her dressed, I simply removed the now sodden clothing, disregarding the warm plop I felt as the poop hit my leg and dripped down to my foot, shrugging it off when I realized that I was tracking poop through the apartment on the bottom of my foot when I went to rinse the clothes, and went through the routine again.

As AB and E battled over toys and who would feed who next, I was a firm but gentle negotiator, restoring peace rather than fanning the flames.

When E woke up from her nap and whined for 45 minutes straight because AB was still sleeping and she wanted her to wake up, I simply explained that if she couldn't let AB sleep then she wouldn't be able to come over anymore and made myself available to her, letting her get it out of her system without getting wrapped up in the drama.

When E looked at me funny and that little alarm bell went off in my head just before she vomited all over herself and the foam tiles, I uttered no more than a resigned "Oh, man" before slipping off her third outfit of the day and grabbing a roll of paper towels.

I am pretty proud of myself today. All that and I still managed to get my Christmas baking done. Supermom, indeed. For one day, at least.

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