Thursday, May 26, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes

There is something very strange going on right now. While it is incredibly fantastic and super exciting, it’s still so new that I’m afraid that the very mention of it could blow the whole deal. But at the risk of completely jinxing myself, I am going to share with you the possible change in our household that has me jumping up and down like Rocky at the top of those ridiculously steep steps instead of hunkering down in a bell tower picking off unsuspecting pedestrians. I think…that Elyse…is growing up. Quick, someone rub a lucky rabbit’s foot, find a four leaf clover, or pound an entire box of Lucky Charms. Just please don’t make it stop!!!!

Why do I think this, you ask? Well I’ll tell you. Last weekend was crazy busy. We were moving nonstop and the potential for massive meltdowns was a very real and ever present threat. On Saturday alone Aaron had a soccer game in the morning, then there was a brief rest at home, followed by a make up baseball game. We hit up Dairy Queen and then finally got home maybe around 6ish, let the kids play in the yard for a bit, then herded everyone inside for showers and the bedtime routine. Whew! I was kind of on edge all day waiting for it to all go down, but it never really did. Sure there was some whining at the very end of the night, but considering what we had accomplished that day, Mike and I saw it as a total victory. Take that universe and your affinity for making us suffer. In your face!

Sunday was very similar and the running was nonstop, but still things were manageable. Everyone was decent, everyone mostly behaved, and I don’t remember fantasizing about escaping to a far off land even one time. Although, I will say that Sunday, thanks to my super awesome hubby and my incredibly amazing mother-in-law, I was able to escape for a little while with my mom and Angie to pick up Mal from the airport. So I’m sure that that little break contributed greatly to my overall feeling of well-being and happy, happy, joy, joy kind of mood.

But Monday, oh on Monday, the thing that makes me think that we could possibly be turning a corner happened. Aaron’s class was going to have a short program in the afternoon. The letter that came home informing us about it said that it would only be a fifteen to twenty minute deal and so still high on the victory of the weekend, I decided that Elyse and I would go ourselves; just the two of us, no one to help, no back up.

When we got to the school, we found out that his class would be performing in the cafeteria and the kids that were eating lunch weren’t quite finished yet, so we would have to wait in the lobby for about fifteen minutes. The lobby; urgh, that was the scene of many horrific, challenging parenting moments like this one that you may remember from last year. The thought of waiting with Elyse for fifteen minutes in that lobby made me shudder and I kind of wanted to stomp my feet and shake my fists and yell ,” But I don’t wanna wait fifteen minutes with HER. She’s CRAZY!!! No, no, no, no!!!”

And so we waited. But the weird thing was that instead of Elyse making a bee line for the fire alarm, she calmly walked with me to a seat AND SAT DOWN! She sat on a chair like a sweet little girl and talked to me like a human being. But I wasn’t about to let my guard down yet.

After a few minutes of sitting, she wanted to go over to the window to check things out. Instead of diving into the plants and almost knocking them to the ground, taking out a few other parents in the process, she simply walked over to the window AND SAT DOWN! I stood there looking at her much like the Grinch stood on the top of Mount Crumpit puzzling about why the Whos weren’t devastated that all of their presents were gone. Who is this person and what has she done with my child?

The fifteen minutes drifted by with absolutely no conflict. At one point she even stood right next to me holding on to my leg. But then we were ushered to the cafeteria where I was sure that it would all go to hell. It was hairy for a moment when Aaron and his class walked in because she wanted to go up and sit next to her brother, but then she got with the program, sat next to me leaning her little elbows on my lap, and watched the whole thing. By the time it was all said and done, I was exploding with pride for how well she behaved. I was all, “That’s right! This is my little girl and she was good for the whole damn thing! Mini dance in celebration of me! Whoo hoo!”

We walked out of the school hand in hand while I praised her the entire way to the van. She didn’t realize it at the time, but I probably would have given her just about anything that she wanted had she only asked; an ice cream cone, sure thing. A trip to Toys R Us, absolutely! A pony, ponies are lame Sweetie, Mommy will find you a magical unicorn that has rainbow hair and farts wishes.

I’m not saying that things have been perfect. Just last night, I was refilling her cup with some water. I handed it to her, she said thank you, and then she snatched the Britta pitcher off of the counter and poured water all over the floor. So we still have a little work to do, but these small glimpses of what things could be like in the years to come gives me hope for the future. Maybe everyone was right when they said that this wouldn’t last forever. Or maybe they were screwing with me and I just happened to catch Elyse on a good streak. Either way, I’ll take the sudden behavior change over the last few days as a wonderful break from the usual insanity. God knows we needed it.