Monday, March 28, 2011

"I feel like I am worrying about something that hasn't happened yet."

posted by Melissa
Last night as I was turning off the lamp to get Tallulah to sleep, she turned to me and said,
      "Mama, I feel like I am worrying about something that hasn't even happened yet."

It reminded me of my blog post from the other day when I  was all worked up over everything I had to do, assuming it was going to be awful, before it even happened.  In her case it was that she was thinking about how her brother Levi often has a fit over something or another every morning, and she was thinking about that before bed.  And in her case, the thing she was worrying about, mostly likely would happen.

How do you explain to a 5 year old, that you didn't even know had the capacity to come up with that statement, how to let go of those worries?

by Melissa
One way I thought of was the slow walking.  It wasn't a way to directly answer her question, but as something to add to all three of my kids day that would help them calm down.  To give her a tool to use that would help her body and mind not get so worked up.  Lord knows, everyone in my family can use a bit of that.

This morning before I set the timer to 5 minutes, I asked my kids if they would like to join me in my slow walking.  An emphatic "NO!" resounded through the long narrow hallway to the kitchen where I stood.  I continued on, starting the timer and taking my slow steps.  Heel to toe, left to right, knees slightly bent, breathing slowly in and out through my nose.
(Note to self:   Next time, do not walk toward the children. Positivity, in any form, seems to piss off the "tweener" child.  As does calm talking.)

Next thing I know, Levi is yelling at me,

"Mom! Stop it!  What are you doing?!" in his whine/cry high pitched desperate way his voice gets.

"I am slow walking, Levi, like I told you.  It is calming, let's your body know everything is ok." I replied.

Levi walks past me into the bathroom, "Slow walking is stupid!" as he pushes me.

Tallulah has me cornered in the hall, arms stretched out so I cannot walk any further.

"Tallulah, pumpkin, please move so Mama can keep walking." I said in a calm, self-help CD kind of way.

"No, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama!  Stop.  Stop.  Mama!", she cries back at me, still arms outstretched, not budging.

The thing is, walking slowly doesn't build up enough momentum to knock her over.  So I turned.  She scurried to that side of me and held out her arms again, repeating Mama without any reason for needing my attention.  All the while Levi is still yelling at me from the bathroom.  And it's 8:30am, half hour til we leave for school, and Lily isn't even out of bed.

Oh well, one less child to yell at me, I am thinking.

Somehow I managed to get my 5 minutes in.  I wasn't able to consistently breathe slowly, but I did keep my cool.  Now there's a novel idea for the Baumgarts.  Maybe I have to slow walk all day.  Maybe we all should.

The calming effect didn't last long.  By 8:50am I was yelling at Levi for being on the computer before school, yelling like no one else was watching...until I realized our front door was open and my neighbor was standing right outside.
"Good morning,"  I said, sarcastically, with a big wide smile.

How was your morning?



sophanne said...

You are an awesome mama- slow walking, yelling, or otherwise. Those chillun's may not want the tools you're using but they are learning to search for tools to cope with being human. You rock!

Melissa said...

Thanks, Becky. I do my best. But I have to say on mornings like this...I wonder where it is getting us. Looks like my kids think yelling is the most appropriate tool in their human coping toolbox. that and screaming and crying. Your encouraging words help me to bear it all :)

Matty said...

Bumbumbum-bum-ba-bum, bumbumbum-bum-ba. Slow-walk-er....she's a slow walker. Again, with sincerity, inspirational.
-Matty the Music Man

Melissa said...

so, does that mean that you too are joining the slow walking movement, Matty? Right now, I only do it in the privacy of my own hallway, but I could step out with you one day.
thanks Matt...thanks for reading the blog, it means a lot.