Since little Miss N was born last September, I have made numerous mistakes in my interactions with Miss A, who's now almost 4. Mistakes that leave me wondering, "Who am I?" "What is going on in me to cause this type of reaction? "How can I repair what I've said/done?" "What do I need in order to feel taken care of?"
I try to remember how Thich Nhat Hanh puts it, every morning we have twenty-four brand new hours before us.
“Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”
I can start over again and try to do it differently tomorrow.
Usually when Miss A is acting out, she's either hungry or tired. Two things that have simple solutions but solutions that are impossible to force on children. And believe me, the controlling side of me has tried to force, with very little success. When I have succeeded in forcing her to eat or sleep, I believe that in that moment, I've sent her the wrong message about how to achieve what I want.
In the moments that I find myself feeling intolerant of her normal 3 year old behavior and behave poorly myself, I know that it's time for me to restore and renew. In doing so, I repair my own suffering/pain and I pick myself up by the boot straps and I just try again. Sometimes I am met with an angry little girl who wants to give me a taste of my own medicine and other times she so tenderly tells me how she felt in the situation and we hug and kiss. What an amazing teacher she is and I'm pretty certain her ever smiling little sister has a full lesson plan for me too!
Breathe. Restore. Smile. Renew. Be Kind!