This morning was rough. Really rough.
I had a few last-minute work things to finish before waking Teal up for school. They took longer than expected resulting in me being 10 minutes behind schedule. As you know as a “getting a kid to school” mom/dad, those 10 minutes are precious. So precious. And looking back…boy do I regret putting work before Teal.
Anyhoots, 10 minutes late, I “quietly” charge into her room and greet her quicker, and probably louder, than normal. We skipped the normal 5-minute snuggle time/talk about your night and dreams. We didn’t rock 20 times in her chair and greet the morning sun together. We didn’t greet the lake and honor the wind. Nope. None of it happened because I was 10 minutes late. It’s no shocker here…she felt it. She knew from the get-go that I was off my game. And, she mirrored it right back to me.
She fussed more than normal. Did some major pouting. Cried. Got in some well-landed swats on mom. And, to top it all off, she would NOT eat or drink with her bib on. NO. That was a hard stop. And, as all parents do when they’re stressed and a child isn’t performing, I pulled out all of the tactics:
- I tried to force the bib on to just get to the eating part. FAIL
- I tried to reason with her. FAIL
- I tried educating her on the benefits of cleaning pj’s when she wears her bib. FAIL
- I tried emphasizing that she needed energy for her day at school. FAIL
Nothing. Nothing worked.
To pour salt on my open wound…she wasn’t even in the mood for eating. Her attempt to not put on the bib had nothing to do with the bib, it was her telling me she just wasn’t hungry. Now, as a stressed-out, late-for-the-day mom, I ignored all signs and attempts to communicate and still tried to feed her. No joke. I think it took me 20 minutes to get one bite in. And, don’t kid yourself, I had to pull out all the stops for that 1st bite. I got out the macadamia nut butter and offered her spoonfuls of it. Win! I figure it’s high calorie/high fat. If she’s only eating 2 spoonfuls it’s better than nothing.
Alright, before we continue…I’d like to honor a few things that I did do right!!
- Thank goodness I remembered our episode on Human Design with Kaydee Desjarlais, (https://www.forourspecialkids.com/22/), when she told me that Teal does not always like to eat at the same time every day. So, deep breath and a small win there…she just wasn’t ready to eat. Now, this realization took me 25+ minutes of crazy-ass negotiations but I eventually remembered that she just might not be hungry. Sigh.
- Laura of MamaSystems (https://www.forourspecialkids.com/34/) would be so proud!! I had prepared Teal’s lunch the night before so at the very least, I wasn’t freaking out about getting that done. Yeah! A win for me!!
Now, on to the most profound part of this story…you’ll be so happy you kept reading!
After giving in/up, we got dressed, put snow clothes on, packed the school bag, remembered the talking board, and we were downstairs getting in the car seat for school. We were only 10 minutes late! (note, those precious 10 minutes from above…damn it all!)
Just as I was about to close her door, she very purposefully held her hand out to me. Something told me to wait, to pause, to take notice. As I took what was in her hand, she looked straight into my eyes. Deep into my soul. She waited. She paused. She took notice.
In her little hand was a small paper Christmas angel from our tree. I took a deep slow breath and listened for her message. I asked, “Are you telling me I’m your angel?”
Teal slowly nodded as tears streamed down my cheeks.