trying to be a yogini

by humanmama on June 7, 2012

I think they can feel that things are getting close. The children, I mean, or should I say The Children of the Corn, since I am pretty sure I must have left my own, truly sweet and listen-y children somewhere some time this month and accidentally taken home these two. They look the same, but they’re not. They’re a ball of tantrums and not wanting to sleep and craziness and the reason I know they’re not my kids is that–although they look the same–we already went through all this with both our kids so it should be over now. Right? Right? …right?

If only. That’s not how life works, unfortunately, and I’m not sure what has triggered normally patient and kind (albeit a little rough) little girls into terrorists. They now both have been known to scream “I don’t like you anymore,” and, if that wasn’t bad enough, actually put that into action by showing me, for hours, how that sentiment plays out. Usually it’s been during the afternoon, when I’m feeling absolutely exhausted, and lasting until dear ol’ lovely bedtime. I love them. But I think that they’re my little locusts, my little velociraptors. It’s like they can feel a weakness in the link and try to use it to their advantage. It’s not just them: it’s all kids. And it’s not in any way meant to be mean, it just seems to be how kids function.

breathe.

When I was a therapist (read: had no kids and therefore knew everything about raising them), I used to tell parents all the time not to react to their kids’ tantrums. Often the parents would reply “But if I don’t say anything, then THEY ARE WINNING!” And of course, being so wise, I’d say “No, you are winning because your kids are not getting the reaction out of you that they want.”

Curse me, because those words come back to haunt me as a parent every. single. day. I often think, “Do I really have to listen to myself?”

I, as all of you, try my hardest not to react, to stay calm, to not search for pet barbiturates in the store in order for nighttime to be an easier process. I really do try. And oftentimes, I succeed and things are splendid in the end. But it’s especially hard now, with 4 weeks left to go, to just put on that patient Mother Theresa face and relax. It’s like Yoga, when the teacher is telling you to Relax into the pose and you’re thinking ARE YOU KIDDING ME??! My legs are about to give out, I can’t breathe, and I haven’t moved like this in 20 years. And now you want me to relax? And breathe? and just GO WITH IT?!? Dammit, woman, can’t you see I’m suffering here?!

Yes, yes. It’s exactly like that. Because if you react, you’re setting everyone up for failure, misery, and just a bad time. But if you can keep your breathing regular, really lean into that terrible moment and just remember that in an hour it’ll all be over, it will. And you’ll be happier. And the kids will too.

Curse me. There I go again.

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