Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Bad start, good ending

Biscuit was a weepy mess this morning. He had a hard time going to sleep last night, and it was very clear that he hadn't had enough shut-eye.

Jeff had to wake Biscuit up, and that's never a good start to the morning. They came downstairs, and Biscuit crawled into my side of the bed. I was getting ready in our bathroom and actually walked right past Biscuit and into the kitchen to ask if Biscuit was up yet.

"Yeah," Jeff said. "He's on your side of the bed."

So I went creeping back into the bedroom and with a silly voice said, "What are you doing in my bed? I don't let little boys sleep in my bed."

"Mom," Biscuit whined. "I just can't talk to you right now. I'm really tired, and it just makes me a little bit sick."

"Come on," I told him. "You and I are going to the kitchen to eat breakfast."

"Eating breakfast would make my stomach burn," Biscuit said. (Where does he come up with this stuff?!)

Then he got to the table and realized that Jeff had made him oatmeal. And it was bad. Major tears started streaming, and his face was as pitiful as I've seen it.

"Mom," he said. "I didn't want oatmeal. I wanted cereal." And of course with all the snubbing, each word was about four syllables.

"Dad didn't know, so just have oatmeal this morning, and you can have cereal tomorrow morning," I told him.

"Can I have the oatmeal AND cereal?" Biscuit asked.

So Jeff grabbed a little bowl and poured Biscuit 16 pieces of cereal. You know how I know how many pieces were in there? Because Biscuit had a big ol' meltdown about it.

"Mom, I only wanted SIX cereals, and Dad put more than six in there," Biscuit whined.

I counted the pieces of cereal. "There are 16 in the bowl. Eat what you want and leave the rest," I said.

"But Mom, there are WAY too many cereals in the bowl. I only wanted six," Biscuit said.

The conversation inside my head was going back and forth between the part that was trying to be patient and the part that wanted to shake him by the shoulders!

"Eat the cereal or don't eat the cereal," I said, "but don't sit here and whine about it. Dad was kind enough to make you breakfast, and you should say 'thank you' to him instead of crying about the fact that he didn't know how many pieces of cereal you wanted."

As soon as I said it, I wished I hadn't. But I was near the end of my rope.

"Is Dad mad at me?" Biscuit said with even more tears streaming.

"No, baby," I said, "Dad is not mad at you. Just eat your food so we can get you ready for day care."

One of Biscuit's day care teachers learned about this method of calming kids down when they're upset. The acronym is STAR, and it stands for Stop, Take A Deep Breath and Relax. And Biscuit responds to it very well.

"Take a deep breath," I said to Biscuit.

He sucked in a deep breath and breathed it out, "Shhhhhhhhhhh."

"Take another deep breath," I said. And he did.

He was finally calm enough to eat his breakfast. And he ate six pieces of cereal and left the rest.

Jeff dropped off Biscuit at day care this morning, and when he got to work, I asked him how it went.

"Well," Jeff said. "The teachers forgot to remind the kids about Splash Day, so only a few of them remembered to bring their bathing suits. So they decided to cancel it for this week."

My heart dropped because if Biscuit was still in the very bad place he was inhabiting at the breakfast table, I could picture a pool of sobbing Biscuit on the floor.

"How did he take it?" I asked Jeff.

"Oh, he was fine," Jeff said. "We went into the 'rain room' in the back to change from his bathing suit to his regular clothes, and he was excited about showing me around the room."

The rain room is actually the room for the school-agers for after school care. But when it's raining, the younger classes use it as a recess destination because it's the biggest room at the day care, and they can still get some physical activity.

But the main point is that Biscuit was fine.

I picked him up this evening, and he was in a good mood. I told him we had to do some shopping, and he seemed fine with that. So all three of us were in the car together when we got to the store and saw a safety festival going on in the parking lot. They had a bouncy house, two miniature horses and a rabbit from a local farm, snow-cones and face painting for the kids. There were adult things, too, like an area offering makeover tips, a home alarm system demonstration, a class doing Zumba and some other businesses.

Biscuit asked nicely if he could do the bounce house, so we took him over. And of course he had to see the horses. 

As we were walking into the store, I was explaining to Biscuit why we needed to wash our hands before we did our shopping.

"Any time you touch an animal, you have to wash your hands," I said to Biscuit.

"Kim?" I heard a voice say behind me. I turned around to see the P.R. person at a local theater. "I thought I recognized your voice," she said. "And that's a great explanation about the hand washing after touching animals. I've had the same conversation with my little girl."

We got our shopping done then cashed in a restaurant gift card for dinner.

The rest of the evening went well, and there was not much drama at bathtime or bedtime.

Here are some pictures I took at the safety event:

The woman from the farm was very good
with showing the kids how to hold the rabbit.

I'm opposed to the miniature cowboy hats the horses
were wearing, but other than that, they were sweet animals.

No comments: