Wow, it's been one of those days. No, no, not one of THOSE days, it's been one of those days where activities and relationships are effortless, full, and deeply satisfying. One of those days where the schedule flows organically from one thing to the next with only the loosest of plans in place to guide us. Everything is working, everything is fun, everything is relaxed and new discoveries are being made, new experiences are being had. Look, maybe it's just me, or maybe it's just my kid, or maybe everyone with a 3 and a half year old child (especially if it's a boy child) can relate...I don't know. I just know we don't have many days like that lately.
Last weekend was tantrum city. And to give you an idea of what that really means please allow me to demonstrate: it's like when you wake up in the morning and the screaming starts. It starts for no discernible reason. It starts because you ask your kid if he wants apple juiceor chocolate milk and his response is to scream and throw himself on the ground. And then he doesn't stop screaming for about the next hour which is absolutely NO EXAGGERATION. Then you get a little break from the irrational meaningless hurricane that is wreaking your ears and your sanity and sometimes even your living room. This break lasts anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes until you do some other outrageously cruel and torturous thing like suggest your child put his shoes on before he ride his bike (how could you??) and the storm resumes. For another hour. Or two. Rinse and repeat for the rest of the day. The drinking begins at 2pm. You stare at your spouse in utter disbelief at the "second child" idea he had not 2 days before. You know, it's like THAT. You... You know, right? Please tell me you know what I'm talking about...that you can relate. (I have this sinking fear that anyone reading this with kids will say, "Um, actually NO, I DON'T know what your talking about".)
Oh sure, he looks happy now...
Yeah, that's one of the crappy things about being a parent, at least for me...I tend to parent in a vacuum so I sometimes have no sense for what is normal, what is typical, or what is actually bat shit crazy behavior. Look, all kids are little psychopaths until around age 6 when the moral center in the frontal lobe finally fully develops. Until then if your kid says he's sorry to someone or gives someone a hug he's doing it because at one time or another you told him it was cute or good or nice or that you approve. It's true. I read it. Somewhere.
Anyway, here's another thing that's hard: not being attached to a particular outcome. Setting the stage, cultivating the environment, gently laying down suggestions and ideas, and then having to fully commit to the idea that whatever he does with it is what he does with it. Like right now for instance...we had lunch, a little milk, we talked about nap, we said goodnight to scooter the fish (for whom it is also nap time) and the child got into bed. It has been about 20 minutes and I'm pretty sure he's still awake in there. See, I have to say its nap time. I have to make him believe I expect a nap to happen. I have to make every effort for the nap to happen. And then deep down inside my soul and psyche I have to simultaneously be totally prepared for the hokey pokey to take place instead. I have to be ready for this possibility without resistance or disappointment. This is "not being married to the outcome". Ok. That's ok. Bring it. Because it's been one of those days and that's means that I'm totally ok with whatever happens today. Even more so than I was yesterday, and especially more so than I was last weekend for god's sake. Because its been a really good day so far, and I expect we'll have even more fun after nap. Or after the hokey pokey. Whatever!