Two days ago it reached an all time high when she decided to protest pretty much everything. By evening I was mourning the loss of my happy-go-lucky, laid back girl. All night I pondered what to do to bring back my happy girl while not laying the groundwork for her to think tantrums get her whatever she wants.
Yesterday as I went to strap her in her high chair for breakfast, a tantrum ensued with her bucking against the straps and screaming. In that moment I knew one of two things was happening, either she was truly not hungry for breakfast or this was the beginning of another day of tantrums. I took a deep breath and said, "ok."
I took her back out of the high chair and put her on the floor. I put her breakfast back in the fridge and then I went back to the table and sat down to eat my breakfast alone.
She watched all this looking a bit confused. When she saw me eating, without her, she crawled over and tugged my foot. "Mama," she asked looking up at me like I had lost my mind. She crawled over between me and her high chair and looked from me to her chair and back again.
My daughter got to sit and wait until I was done with my breakfast, all the while looking very concerned and confused. When I finished I got her breakfast out and placed the willing baby politely back in her chair and fed her.
The same situation ensued when she did not want to lie still long enough to have her pants pulled up. She came back fairly quickly when she realized how the pants around her ankles impeded crawling. And it turns out that at nap time, if the choice is to be rocked or to have a fit alone in bed, she would rather be rocked after all.
By my saying, "ok"; the choice is hers. It turns out she usually likes the same choice I like once she knows the other option. Plus it takes the stress off my ears and maintains both of our sense of power.
I'm grateful to "give in". I'm grateful to say "ok". I'm grateful to give my daughter the empowerment of choices even while making sure those choices still meet the needed end result. I'm grateful my daughter is expressing herself and using her voice. I'm grateful that mostly she prefers the option that I prefer and we get to spend our time together. I'm grateful that as she grows more independent I can still find comfort in our moments of smiles and snuggles.
What have you been fighting that may just need an "ok"? How do you balance control with letting go?
May today remind us that sometimes letting go of the reins is better than holding tight. May we find creative ways to navigate the balance of power between ourselves and those we interact with throughout the day. Have a beautiful day!