Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Great Orange Crayon Meltdown Of 2012

Husband is out-of-town, so for the next three days it's just me and my girls.  We're going to stay up late watching chick-flicks and eating ice cream out of the container. We might also give each other make-overs and talk about boys we like.  I haven't worked out all the details yet.

And I really feel like I need this quality time with my kids.  I've been focusing so much on my studying lately, that I haven't been engaging with them one-on-one as much as I used to.  I have to push them aside to continue pouring over old notes and textbooks.  In a very small way, I already feel like I'm back at work.

All of this is probably what led up to the great orange crayon meltdown of 2012.

You see, around 8:30 last Friday morning I called out to my girls "Let's get our socks and shoes on! It's time to go to school!"  Preschooler bounds to the steps and eagerly jams her shoes on her feet.  Toddler is dawdling by some pictures they were drawing in crayon.

"Orange crayon," she says.

"Ok," I say, "Finish drawing with your orange crayon.  It's time to go."

She makes some marks with the crayon, and then says a little louder, "ORANGE CRAYON."

"Yes," I reason, "You've drawn with your orange crayon.  Now it's time to go."  She pitter-patters up to me and starts to wail, "Ooorrrange crayyyyyooonn."

"Come on, sweetie, we have to go."  I start putting her socks on, and she runs away screeching, "NO! NO! ORANGE CRAYON! ORANGE CRAYON!"

And as her wails reach a crescendo in my ears, I hear a second voice chime in, "NO! NO! STOP IT! AAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!"

Poor Preschooler is especially sensitive to her sister's feelings, and hearing so much angst emitting from her sibling's mouth was enough to send Preschooler into utter hysterics.

For five straight minutes, while I wrestled socks and shoes and coats on them, my girls screamed until they were both red in the face. The amount of unnecessary noise was staggering, and I would've cried too if the whole thing hadn't been so ludicrous.

Later that day, I did talk to Preschooler about some other coping strategies she has when Toddler cries. We talked about how she can cover her ears, or she can go to her room where it's nice and quiet.  I wasn't sure whether any of that would stick, but she seemed to take it to heart.  A couple days later, when Toddler started pitching a fit about something, Preschooler announced, "I HAVE TO GO TO MY ROOM!!!!"  She scampered upstairs and about 5 minutes later she came back down with a smile on her face.  "I feel better!" she said. "That's great!" I announced.  "See!  When Toddler cried you were able to go up to your room where it was nice and quiet." "Or the toy room!" she agreed.

So maybe there is a silver lining after all.