three and a half

This month has been crazy chock-full of good things.  Visits, travel, friends, work and more work, and lots of plans turned completely upside down.

I started to get an eye twitch yesterday, which is a sure sign of stress for me. I had to stop and ask myself what do I have to be stressed over? So, I have made it a priority to take some deep breaths whenever I feel overwhelmed. Deep breaths and a note to self that most everything that is unfolding is wonderful. A whole lot of wonderful.

Kelcey Loomer
Mixed Media
12" x 12"

And that is what I wish I could have conveyed to Lili when she had her absolutely WORST, all out blood-curdling screaming fit today.

It happened like this:
We were on a walk with a friend of her's up at the top of our road (about 30 feet from where that last picture of her was taken actually). Her friend stopped to pick a wineberry and Lili insisted that she couldn't pick it because it was going to turn into a blackberry (she was wrong). And when her friend went ahead to pick it anyway, Lili grabbed her arm and they started to have a frantic tug of war. I dragged Lili off her and set her down and then she proceeded to scream. and scream and scream with ALL her might. At first I was in shock at the force. And then I started to laugh (which she didn't like) and then I just crouched next to her and tried to remain calm. Meanwhile, I was holding Seo because he wouldn't let me put him down. I hovered there with her screaming for a while wondering what to do because she was completely out of control.

Thinking about what the neighbors must think (is someone being murdered?)
Wondering what was underneath this (because it obviously wasn't about a berry)
Debating between hugging her tight and leaving her there to work it out and come home. 

And then my brother-in-law David came jogging up the hill to help (looking like an angel). He had heard her screaming from way down the road and had come to help. He scooped her up and held her upside down and jogged with her in his arms back to our house. Lili's friend, Seo, and I followed. By the time he dropped her off on our doorstep she was laughing. Of course she immediately broke down again about something equally as mystifying, but at least we were home.

After writing this (and having a nice talk with my sister-in-law Ema tonight) it seems clear that her breakdown is probably a reaction to all of the out-of-routine things happening in our lives and me being gone for a week. So far the only remedy I have come up with is extra hugs and patience.

Have you heard of the terrible 3 1/2 ses?


liz said...

hugs to you, mama!
i have a certain 3 1/2 year old with emotions very close to the surface lately too. i think the only thing to do at some of those intense moments is (as you said) remain calm and just BE there.
and breathe!

Mandy said...

In our house, 3 was MUCH worse than the terrible two's...I'm not looking forward to when Lilah turns 3, as so far, two has been pretty terrible. Patience is certainly the key (if you can find a way to maintain it in the midst of everything...)
laughter...not so much helpful, but definitely one of my coping mechanisms.

Jill said...

I get the same eye twitch!!
Sounds like you are a great mommy and summer time is hard for us too. It goes between having nothing to do and having way too much to do!Have a happy 4th!

Nicky said...

I have two children ages 20 & 15 but I do remember those moments. You feel so helpless but its good to know that you are surrounded by love ones who are they with you. I really love your art work on the page. I am taking an Intro to Visual Arts class and I would like to use your blog to help me understand Art better.