We’re having one of “those” days.
You know the kind I'm talking about. The kind that begins with a tiny human in a bad mood, fake-crying to get what they want, and then real crying when their acting, to their very real surprise, doesn't get them what they wanted. And in our case, that leads to a nap, because we don't do temper tantrums in my house.
And the nap leads to screaming. Real, top-of-the-lungs, shrill, puncture-your-eardrums screaming that would make any horror movie director proud. Why-have-I-never-bought-earplugs screaming. Bang-my-head-against-my-desk screaming.
In my defense, I’ve tried every trick in the book to stop the tantrum and the crying. To absolutely no avail. So, I threw up my hands and gave up. I told the body snatcher who resembles the sweet, adorable boy that I usually watch that he could feel free to come downstairs when he decided to stop screaming/crying/throwing a fit and behave nicely. Which I probably should have done in the first place, but I had to try to fix it myself. And of course, it made me feel like a bit of a failure when it didn’t work. Really, you call yourself a nanny, and you can’t get the kid to stop screaming?
Until I remembered something.
Kids cry. And throw hissy fits. Sometimes for real reasons, sometimes for made-up reasons, sometimes just because it’s Wednesday. And that doesn’t mean we’re bad parents/nannies/people, it just means that every day is not perfect. It just means that kids, like adults, have good days and bad days, and kids are just not as good at moderating their behavior on bad days as (most) adults are. And sometimes, you just have to let them work through it on their own. Hard as it may be, you can’t fix everything yourself, no matter how much you want to.
Lo and behold, my tactic of just rolling with it actually worked. It took an hour and a half, but Gavin finally quieted down. I thought he had fallen asleep, but he came downstairs and said he had decided to stop crying. I told him that was a good decision, and now we’re watching Star Wars (at his request) for the umpteenth time while he eats a taco and all the green olives in the house. Thank God I like these movies just as much as he does.
Today’s lesson? Don’t expect perfect. And when you don’t listen to that and expect it anyways, don’t let it get you down when perfect doesn’t happen. It’s okay for you (and the kids) to have bad days. Just roll with it. You might be surprised how much better it gets when you finally do.