Originally posted June 15, 2005
So, I was on my way toward the door to head to the office yesterday morning when the li'l munchkins lept out of bed and blocked the front door (looking rather whimsical, I must admit, with their big-big upturned eyes and dressed in their PJs -- it's also rather hard to make one's case ("Papa, stay home and play with us!") when one is tittering so).
Of course, you all know that it is impossible to reason with toddlers, right? Diane tried that tack, for form's sake: "Now, we must help Papa get to work on time!" So, after that produced none of the results we were hoping for, we tried distraction, instead -- Diane: "Let's get dressed to go swimming! YAY!" and with that, she and I raced off to the bedroom, knowing the children would follow.
But they didn't.
So, Diane said: "Maybe if we're having fun, the kids will come to see what we're doing." So, we started laughing and jumping up-and-down/up-and-down and were immediately rewarded with the sound of the pitter-patter of little feet: Elena Marie and Isabel burst into the bedroom. When Elena saw her parents holding hands and jumping up and down, she wished to do the same, so she turned to Isabel to hold hands.
Isabel still had a forward moment, which was stopped suddenly by slamming into an older sister, and then reversed when she fell, belly-first, onto the floor.
The mood changed rather quickly with Isabel wailing and screaming from surprise. Diane picked her up and put her on the bed to comfort her, and Elena Marie quickly exited, doors slamming to hide in her room.
See, Elena Marie has a very strong sense of order, and when something goes wrong, she feels it intensely ... when she realizes that SHE did something wrong, she becomes very angry with herself, losing control of her emotions.
Well, Diane had Isabel calming down, and soon laughing on the bed, so I rushed off to the children's bedroom to help Elena Marie.
The poor girl was desperately pushing against the door to keep the avenging parent from visiting a fate worse than death unto her: a scolding. But I was quick: "It's okay, Elena, both Mama and I saw you didn't mean to hurt Isabel; it was an accident: it's okay." and lifting her up into my arms rocked her (I wonder how many more years I can take this course of action to comfort my kiddies!).
This soothing action had an immediate calming effect; so much so, that she recounted the events from her perspective. I learnt that she and Isabel delayed coming because they planned on how to run to our bedroom: they would run, arm-in-arm, together into the bedroom and burst in and surprise us. And Elena Marie told me how bad she felt that Isabel fell down. So, we went back to the bedroom, and we saw Diane and Isabel on the bed laughing big belly laughs because they were rubbing noses (I guess rubbing noses beats watching a Jim Carrey movie hands down ... sorry, Jim ... but I not sure that it'd beat watching the "Big Bus"; I don't know what possibly could!). Elena Marie needed to join in, too: "I want; I want!" So we laid her down next to her little sister, and Diane rubbed noses with her, too.
As I left for work, I was followed by peals of laughter bursting forth from my darling ladies.
May your days be equally blessed.