I was arguing with my three year old. Rookie move I know. You’d think I’d know better, especially as a Kindergarten Teacher. However, it’s an easy trap to fall into when you have a child with fantastic language skills. One minute we were having a lovely conversation about the differences between palaeontologists and archeologists, and the next he pulled a classic toddler move and became completely irrational.
I stated my intention to stop conversing after I was clearly getting nowhere in calming his toddler tantrum, and was asked, “But who will cheer me up now Mum? There’s no one else! Daddy is away on his business trip. I need someone to cheer me up. Who will cheer me up?”
I did my usual spiel, the one I’ve used for years on my Kindergarten children. “You need to learn how to cheer yourself up. Only you can make yourself happy. What do you think you could do to make yourself feel happy?” At which point he looked at me with his big brown eyes and I caved. I caved big time. We had cuddles, played firemen, read stories, and built a train track. Mainly because he’s three and I need to remember that, and because I was missing Daddy too, and sometimes I’m irrational. Also, because I know self regulation is a skill children learn around the 4-5 year old mark and it’s a skill that needs to be taught and modelled.
But mostly, and here’s the kicker, I knew there was a box of chocolatey cereal in the cupboard with my name on it, and that said cereal would be consumed as soon as my son went to bed.
Hi, my name is Angelina, and I am an emotional eater. It was that moment when I was looking into my son’s big brown eyes that I realised I’m an incredibly big hypocrite. Literally and figuratively.
It was then over the bowl of said chocolatey cereal that I wondered how I got to that point. I still have no idea. All I know is that I could be experiencing a debilitating panic attack, eat something, and then magically calm down completely. Why wouldn’t I repeat that action. Especially after a stint with Post Natal Depression.
So I asked myself the same question I asked my son. “What could I do to make myself feel happy?” All the answers I came up with involved needing other people to play a part. It was like a lesson in Me 101. Except the only person who could teach me was right there, eating that massive bowl of cereal.
Eventually, and with much wailing and possibly gnashing, I looked at the books around me, the pens and paper, the computer, and realised I’ve been doing what I love and what makes me happy for a long time. I just hadn’t given it credence or the time. I hadn’t committed. The reason for that would be a separate post entirely. Fear of failure? Fear of happiness? Fear of being present in life? Fear of looking too closely at personal traumas? The feeling that I am undeserving?
Like I said, a whole new post is needed to open that bag of personal crazy.
It was mid wail and gnash that I noticed the invitation to join a writing challenge hosted by the Romance Writers of Australia. I registered immediately and without self depreciating thought or fear. Those two things are not welcome anymore.
I’ve committed to writing 50,000 words in 30 days. At day 4 I have written 9,944 words of my new manuscript. I’ve begun a journey that has provided me with so many wonderful experiences already. I feel like I am part of a community of people who get me. I feel bliss. I feel like my heart is being filled daily. I feel like I am home.
For further information about the challenge you can follow the tweet stream at #50ks30days.
For further information about featured irrational toddler please visit maxpepperneale.com. He has his own picture book review blog. I know I’m biased but he and it are a bit gorgeous.