Monday, January 11, 2010

"You Happy? Smile!"

Jaden's most famous quote. Whenever the tone of my voice changes AT ALL, I'm asked/told, "Mom, you happy? Smile!" Jaden is very sensitive. She is totally aware of my feelings at all times (whether I realize it or not). She has become very upset when I've been angry (with her or someone/something else... doesn't matter). If I'm tired, she'll bring me her blankie and tell me to take a nap. She tells me to be careful when I'm driving and it's snowy because she overheard me once say I was scared to drive when it was slick. She is just very in tune to my feelings and emotions.

We are potty training Jaden right now. It started off really well right away! I was like, "Hot dog! She got it!" Then, I tried to put her on the big potty away from home. Not good. She was terrified. So much so that she did not go to the bathroom that day AT ALL until 5:00 in the afternoon. We've seemed to take a step backwards. I tell her, "Mom will be SO HAPPY if you go potty in the big girl potty!!" I try to hype it up and make a huge deal about it. Then, when she accidentally goes in her diaper/pull-up, she apologizes over and over. I'm trying to teacher her what "accident" means. I want her to know that sometimes things happen (like knocking Mom's gorgeous hurricane candle holder off the coffee table, shattering it into a million pieces) that we can't help. I feel like we put too much pressure on her to be perfect (I really don't expect her to be). She's only 2!!

Another thing we are working on with Jaden is her "terrible twos" tantrums. I have sworn up and down that I will NEVER hit my kids. Some people believe that spanking works and use that as their choice for discipline. I, on the other hand, believe that hitting my child only teaches her that it is ok to hit someone when they do something wrong. I don't want her to hit other kids when they take her toys from her. I don't want her to hit her sister or myself or her dad when she isn't getting her way. I will never hit/spank/slap my girls.

A couple of weeks ago at the grocery store, Jaden ran away from me. She took off, thinking we were playing, and ran far enough away that I could not see her. I got very mad. I caught up to her and picked her up to carry her out to the car. While I won't hit her, I have no problem raising my voice at her... BUT there is a time and a place and the grocery store is not one of them. She immediately asked me, "You happy? Smile!" I told her I was NOT happy; I was very angry. That sentence immediately opened the flood gates. She started crying... very LOUDLY. When we got back to Mike and Taylor and our cart, I stood her on the ground, got down on my knees and started to help her into her coat. I had not raised my voice at all... yet. I told her she was not to run away from Mom and Dad EVER because there were a lot of people at the store and I didn't want to lose her. I was trying to talk to her and explain to her why it was important to stay with us when out of nowhere, a woman comes up to us. She kind of put her hand up to me as to say, "I got this," and proceeded to try to talk to Jaden! She was saying, "oh, are we having a bad day?" EXCUSE ME! I was trying to get her coat on and get her out of the store as quickly as possible. The lady was seriously trying to reason with my crying 2-year-old. Why on earth did she think that it was her place to do so??? THEN, if that wasn't bad enough, she turns to me, holds onto my wrist, and said, "I'll pray for you today." You could probably literally see the smoke blow out of my ears, I was that mad. Mind.Your.Own.Business.Thankyouverymuch. We see this lady often at the store on Sunday mornings. We go to have a donut/bagel and coffee/chocolate milk at the cafe before doing our weekly shopping. She is among a large group that (we assume) comes after church. Both of our groups are regulars. Jaden has always been good. She listens to us, eats her breakfast politely, and has never acted up. This lady has NEVER said a word to us until Jaden cried on the way out of the store. It just made me mad. The next week, we went in, got our breakfast, and were perfectly fine. Church lady was there and never said a thing to us. Yesterday, we went to the store, got our food, drinks, and magazines. We had a lovely breakfast and were getting ready to start our shopping. Jaden wanted to go say hi to Ruby, the cafe worker (as she does every Sunday morning), when out of the blue, church lady decided to step in her path and try to talk to her. Normally I wouldn't mind since we see her there every week, but after the incident we had a couple of weeks prior, I felt a little weird (not to mention she was TOTALLY in J's personal space). Jaden became a little uncomfortable and tried to get around her to say hi to her friend. Is it just me? Why am I so distraught about this woman? I know she has good intentions, but still. It's like she is trying to cause a scene or something. When she tried to step in the middle of me and J a couple of weeks ago, I felt like she though she was acting all high and holy and I was in the wrong. Sometimes I feel like Mike and I are looked at as "young and dumb" when it comes to parenting our girls. We may not be as old and as life-experienced as some parents, but we LIVE for our girls. Life isn't solely about him and I anymore. Everything we do is with Jaden and Taylor in mind. Just because one of them might cry doesn't mean we aren't "doing our job".

Wow. This is totally not the direction I was going with this post. I guess I just needed to vent... if you made it to the end, thanks for listening!! I'm open to suggestions on how to react to our lady friend. Do I say something to her next time? I don't want to start a kind of "West Side Story" tension in the cafe every week, but I also don't really need her to go all Dr. Phil on us either.


Chris Thompson said...

Wow, that woman (church lady) really seems to have no idea about: 1) rapport; 2) understanding kids.

I have no idea what kind of hilarious response I'd give someone if they did that to me. Maybe I'd say, "Oh, fantastic, thanks for offering to solve this problem for me. When you're done my dry cleaning needs to be picked up. Here's the slip".

Get in touch with me if you like. I'll shoot you a copy of my program to review on your site.

Chris Thompson

Lala said...

You have every right to vent! This woman has no clear sense of boundaries and if she should step in again, please do say something to her. I can understand why you would feel rude to do that, but this woman obviously doesn't know what rude means since she clearly is challenged in social skills.

If the same scenario occurs where Jaden wants to go say hi to Ruby, you could come up right behind Jaden when this woman tries to talk to her and say, "Oh, actually, we're on our way to say Hi to a friend. Thanks!" and immediately guide Jaden around Crazy Church Lady. Or, if she tries to intercept when you're handling a situation like the one in which Jaden was crying, you could say, "Thanks, but we've got it covered" then keep doing what you're doing, ignoring the woman from that point until she gets the hint.

It's possible she won't pick up on these subtle cues like typical people. If that happens and she continues to do these things, you will have to be firm and say, "NO REALLY, WE'RE FINE" and just blow her off. It's so unfortunate to come across people like this who INVADE your personal space and act inappropriate only to make you question yourself because it's so uncomfortable.

Just be strong about who you are and knowing that you are an AWESOME mom. You don't need to defend yourself in anything that you do. It's clear you're an amazing parent to J and T. Be confident in who you are and don't let anyone's social retardation make you feel uncertain about that. xo