My Photo
Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


The calm instead of the storm

As proof that a weekend away will do wonders for your mothering mood...

Yesterday Emily, Thomas, and I met some friends at the park for a playgroup. We hung out for a couple of hours in the morning, the ideal timing for a playgroup. When the kids get tired out in the morning they usually fall asleep either before lunch or right after, and I get a good couple of quiet hours to write.

We had an enjoyable time at playgroup. Nobody fell down, got into a fight, or cried over a toy. The moms and I chatted about this and that and two hours went by fast.

When we got home I started making lunch and Emily turned on the TV. I turned it off. "Sorry, honey, let's eat lunch first and then you can watch a movie while T naps."

She turned on the TV.

I turned off the TV.

She turned on the TV.

I turned off the TV, patiently repeating my earlier message.

She turned on the TV, threw herself on the couch, and starting sobbing.

I did not give in.

I turned off the TV and asked her if she wanted parmesan cheese on her noodles.


I did not get angry. I did not scream.

I asked her if she would like to take a nap, if she was tired from playgroup. I carried her into her room, took off her shoes, and gave her Blanket and Bear. "Honey, I think you are tired and you would benefit from a nap."

I remained calm. I did not demand she take a nap.

I returned to the kitchen and finished serving Thomas his green beans and pasta. I made Emily a plate and put it on the table.

She came back into the room and turned on the TV.

I turned off the TV.

She picked up Blanket and Bear and ran crying into her room.

Several minutes later I tiptoed down the hallway and saw her tossing and turning on her little bed. Emily doesn't nap regularly anymore but I assumed she was tired from the weekend with daddy and from the fun of the morning.

I returned to the kitchen to eat my lunch with Thomas.

About two minutes later Emily entered the kitchen with her shoes in hand. She was no longer crying and she came and stood close to me, prodding me with her small pink and white gym shoes.

I did not get mad at her for interrupting my lunch or for getting dirt on my pants.

"Do you want your shoes on?" I asked.

She nodded.

I brought her to the couch and up onto my lap and put on her shoes. When I was done, I asked again, "Do you want parmesan cheese on your noodles?"

This time she said, "Yes!" And she smiled at me.

I helped her into her chair and sprinkled parmesan cheese on her noodles. "Mama, you parmesan cheese, too?" she suggested.

"Okay, good idea." And I sprinkled some on my soup.

"Mama, Thomas parmesan cheese, too?"

"Another good idea, sweetie." And I sprinkled some on T's noodles.

And then we all ate our lunch in peace while enjoying each other's company.