It’s hard to stop the chaos train, once it pulls out of the station.
- Bad sleep because coughing hurts and I wake myself up every hour or so, coughing.
- Daughter 2 wants to cook sausages at 7:53 am, and we leave for school at 8 am. I say no, too late, have something else. Daughter 1 puts her two cents in as usual…
- Daughter 2 gets mad, goes into hissy fit mode – “I won’t eat, then” leaves kitchen seething. Finding a jacket, backpack, socks all go wrong for her, as she’s completely in lizard brain now.
- Daughter 1 starting to stress out about being late to school (what do you think will happen if you’re late?).
- I get the dog, two daughters, myself in our 1960s Wagoneer, pull out the choke, start it up, wait a minute, 1st gear, let the clutch out slowly…stalls. Try with choke in – stalls. Try again revving engine – stalls…Get it finally to stay on when I rev the engine…stalls when I get into gear. Try various combinations keeps stalling.
- Daughter 1 starting to cry! (It’s okay, let it out, cry if you want to, I say)
- Daughter 2 seething in backseat.
- Daughter 1 wants to call Dad – so I give her my phone, she calls.
- Husband can’t tell me what I’m doing wrong! I’ve driven this car countless times! Argh.
- I give up on the car, tell the girls they should walk to school.
- Daughter 1 pretty much sobbing, now. Both girls get out, start walking to school.
- I get the dog back in the house, jog down the street to catch up with them…I want to help them handle things, calm down! Boy, we need a bit of emotional intelligence training…
- I get to our corner, just see them a block ahead already, running, turning the corner…too late to catch them.
- I head back into the house and try to recover from the last 20 minutes…
I know it’s all going to be fine! They’ll come home and be back to normal, loving girls. And this is something we can LEARN from, like all fails.
I’ll have a talk with them together and separately, though, to explore what triggered it, what their patterns are, whether being late to school was as bad as they’d feared, what we could do differently next time and how to deal with emotions.