When I am out of the house for 8 hours and driving for over half the time… it’s probably not going to be a good day. The very best part is the drive only took 2+ hours each way and not a full 3 hours each way. Probably not going to be a good day because I’m in bay area traffic where driving appropriately has the people behind you shooing you out of their way the whole time and flipping you off and shaking fists at you. THERE ARE BUMPER TO BUMPER CARS IN FRONT OF ME. I CAN’T GO FUCKING FASTER YOU ASSWIPES.
AND IT IS ALWAYS WHITE MEN.
I find it pretty stressful.
But it would have been less stressful if I hadn’t had a panic attack at the museum. I haven’t had a panic attack in a long time. I wrote about the last one and it’s been a few months, yeah? That is super awesome for me. I’m doing really well with a lot of my anxiety symptoms. I’m making progress on hypervigilance, I’m having fewer panic attacks… this is big progress for me. My childhood was a hot mess. I’m doing really well. I have phenomenal control considering where I started.
Mostly the visit to the museum was nice. They had great exhibits, nice activities for the kids, and the art of Charles Schulz really is worth examining closely anyway. We always have a great time running around the garden with friends. The ice skating was kind of frustrating because a bunch of big kids took all the “assistant” chairs and that means I had to hold Calli’s hand the whole time and not once get up to speed. That makes my feet hurt a lot. I’m not used to ice skates and they are only semi comfortable if I’m really moving. Trying to maintain balance while moving at a snails pace gets sore really fast.
But that wasn’t the frustrating part of the day. *beat head on wall*
Shanna has been chafing at following distance rules lately. She wants to think she is 16 and totally capable of just handling everything. In my opinion, I’m cool with a long leash if you tell me where you will be. But she’s chafing at this. So she wandered off when everyone was out in the garden. She wanted to go play with exhibits inside the museum. My point was, if you asked I would have said yes. Instead you didn’t ask me and completely freaked me out and now I am pissed.
I had a chat with her and she apologized and I let it go. I was calm and collected. I didn’t show my freak out much. I was still basically in control of my emotions. “That’s not ok. Don’t do it again.”
Then we walked across the street to the ice rink. Between the street crossing (where I saw her and knew she was fine) and the building (which really weren’t far apart) she stopped paying attention to me. She stopped to look at something. So she didn’t notice us go into the ice rink. And I didn’t see her not enter with me because it was super crowded and my arms were full of cold weather crap and trying to get Calli to stop whining.
So I got into the ice rink and couldn’t find her after a few minutes and I flipped. I looked all over the building and couldn’t find her. I went outside and didn’t find her. Went back inside and didn’t find her. Left Calli with other parents I know so I could hunt faster. Went outside again and started screaming her name frantically. Eventually she comes trotting up.
I made her sit with me while I calmed down. I sat outside and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. I told her I didn’t know if I was up for more fun because I was so scared and being scared like that hurts my body so much. I told her that things can happen pretty fast and I need her to pay better attention to staying with me. I told her that losing her would be the most devastating thing that could happen to me. I told her that she and her sister are pretty much my reason for getting up in the morning and oh my god please don’t do things that scare me like this. Please. Please. Please.
Tell me before you wander off. I very rarely say no. I just need to know where you are. Please. Please. Please.
She apologized and hugged me and said she was sorry for scaring me. The second time really was an accident. I told her I understand, but losing her twice in one day is kind of a big deal for me. She said she understands and stroked my hair.
I got my shit together after 5-10 minutes. We hugged a few more times and apologized to one another. Then we went inside to play with our friends.
The drive home was not actually as terrible as the drive deserved to be because I brought the old iPod I bought from a friend years ago. I filled it with audiobooks and language lessons. We listened to fairy tales and practiced Hindi and Spanish before listening to Bowling for Soup. It was an entertaining and informative drive.
I kind of wonder if Shanna will be memorize all the language-on-tape stuff before me. She’s got such a phenomenal memory. Luckily I have a headstart with three years of Spanish study under my belt. *phew*
Yesterday was good and it was rough. But it was rough in a very manageable, can cope with it sort of way. It wasn’t fun but I didn’t react inappropriately. The only thing I screamed was her name when I was trying to find her. That’s not inappropriate.
I didn’t shame.
As we walked back to the car I told Shanna, “My mama used to tell me, ‘I never want to have to say to a police officer ‘I don’t know where my daughter is” and I want to have the same rule with you. I don’t want you to wander off without telling me. I’m very flexible about you wandering, but you have to check in so I know where to find you when I need to. Just check in.”
She promised to try harder. I believe that we will have more mistakes in the future but I also believe she will try. I think we don’t have these kinds of problems very often. Shanna notices that when she asks I don’t flip out or try to be too controlling. I just want to be able to say I know where my kid is at all times.
Some day you will be big enough that I don’t have to know anymore. Six isn’t the right age for that separation.
Most of my friends have stories about wandering off/crossing the street without permission and getting spanked. (Err, I have these stories too. I was hit a lot.) I feel proud of myself for maintaining control and not hitting just because I was so scared. I’m not saying all spankers are bad people but I don’t want to be a spanker. And this was the exact type of situation that prompts people to spank and I didn’t do it. Go me.
Today my nice gardener is coming over and we will do some heavy work together. I don’t want to try to move the flowering maple alone. It isn’t that big yet, but it will be heavy enough to hurt my back alone. Yay help! When he is done with the stuff I want his help for the kids and I will probably move the reading circle.
Then the yards will be ready for the remodel to start. Just plugging right along.
Today won’t be rough. Today will be fine.