Sometimes I feel like a great Momma, like when Lilly climbs something at the playground for the first time. And then there are the mornings like this one. Oh what a terrible morning we had. It started off okay, with great promise even. But Lilly decided that she was NOT wearing the outfit which we had picked out last night. She decided that she had nothing pretty or good to wear, she no longer likes the colors pink and purple (GASP! Almost everything is purple or has purple on it.) And nothing I suggested was going to work for her. She wanted something different but she did not know what. This child has a dresser full of clothes and nothing to wear. MAJOR tantrums ensued. On the parts of all parties involved. There was forcible dressing of a preschooler and then the subsequent undressing by said preschool. There was yelling; there were threats...Fine, you'll wear PANTS!
All the while, the clock is ticking and I am getting increasingly agitated by the thought of being late to work. I am crying, she is hysterical and Vinnie is not sure what to do with these two lunatic females screaming about clothes. Eventually, though a joint effort, we got Lilly dressed and off to school. Drop-off was a mess with the crying starting all over again. I called a little while ago and the director said she was still sad and clingy, but not crying. My poor bunny.
Was she making me late by refusing to put clothes on? Yes. Was she completely out of line in her behavior and words? Yes. I told her that I will not buy her new clothes until she learns to wear and appreciate the beautiful clothes she has. We also talked about the way in which she is allowed to talk to adults. I will be writing a social story about getting ready for school in the morning. A child does not have to be on the spectrum to need visual reminders.
Truthfully, as I have been sitting here processing the whole mess, I know that there are many times that I have a closet full of beautiful clothes and nothing seems to be right. And that usually there is a different, underlying issue that is really making me upset about having nothing "good" to wear. I am remembering that she is not even 4 years old, after all, and she is still learning to self-regulate her emotions. I know that she is actually a great little kid who is generally just amazing at being able to express her emotions.
I wish I could give her a big hug right this instant. I long to have those little, still slightly chubby arms wrapped around my neck.
I promise that I will learn from this morning's experience. I think I already did.