It’s my new catch phrase. I use it whenever one of the kids starts to go a little nuts. Freaking out over a ponytail is my latest example. This morning was going great, everyone was up and happy and content. Sam got dressed, ate, did everything he was supposed to do with a smile, Julianna even managed to haul herself out of bed early and got dressed super fast so she could come drive them to school. Jessica Mary, my angel girl, had gotten up super early and was bopping around her room, completely content. I took the younger two out to the car, and was in the middle of buckling in the baby when Jessie came roaring out of the house, hair all over the place and sobbing with rage and frustration that she couldn’t get a ponytail to work.
Knowing that Sam will lose his mind if he’s late, I told Julie to get into her seat and shut the car door. Then I guided Jessie in the house, speaking calmly and trying to diffuse the emotion. I pulled her hair into a quick pony, and then walked her back out, still completely ignoring the fact that she’s still crying and devastated that her hair is too short and she “just doesn’t know what to DO.”
Once we got in the car (Sammy had buckled Julie in) and got on the way, I finally got Jessie to calm down. And then we had a discussion the whole way into school about how each of us has our own craziness – things that make no rational sense to anyone else, but make us go nuts. It’s important to recognize the crazy – understand that it’s got power to make us miserable but also that it’s just crazy, it’s not real and it’s not rational, and we should try and not let it make us insane.
My new rules are to recognize the crazy, keep it at home (special rule for my Sammy, who likes to let the crazy out wherever), and not give it so much power. It’s okay to have your mind scream that your hair is horrible, but you need to step back and remember that you had days you hated your hair even before your haircut, and that if everyone else is telling you that you look beautiful, then maybe it’s just the crazy talking. It’s okay to panic because you’re late for school, but if the worst thing that happens is that you get a late slip so that when you’re marked absent, it can be corrected – then maybe it’s just the crazy talking again.