I have been on the struggle bus this week (more like this whole month.) With the older girls starting school, it has been an adjustment for all of us.
Transitioning from staying up as late as we would like, being able to roam the neighborhood, spending time outside until the streetlights come on to being in bed before it is even dark yet. Transitioning from sleeping in until we want to get up to those 6 a.m. alarms. Transitioning from no real responsibilities for the girls to routines, homework and expectations.
Like with any big adjustment comes a lot of mixed emotions. The girls’ excitement for a new school year mixed with the crankiness of having to get up four hours earlier than they are used to. The anticipation of all the new extracurricular activities coming up mixed with frustrations from not being able to just play with their friends all day. So, there is no wonder with all these mixed emotions that my daughter might have gotten a couple of them confused and by doing so, made up an innovative word.
After a long day of school (3 hours), an afternoon of playing with her cousin, who I also pick up from school, and picking up her big sister, she just wanted to enjoy a relaxing evening at home. Any other day of the week that most likely would have been completely doable, but this day was “dance day” for her.
Instead of getting to lay on the couch and watch television, it was time to get her dance bag packed, tights, leotard and tutu on and head out the door.
After getting buckled up in the car, I looked back in the rearview mirror and noticed she had her lip out, brow furrowed and arms across her chest. So, I asked her what her problem was.
She said, “I am stressurated.”
I asked, ”Stressurated? So, are you stressed or frustrated exactly?”
She said, “Both! I am STRESS-U-RATED!”
I knew better than to laugh at this moment, at least aloud, if I wanted to avoid the wrath of a four-year-old. Plus, I knew exactly what she meant. I had been feeling pretty “stressurated” myself that day.
Sometimes, it is hard to remember that kids are human, too. We expect them to wake up the second we say so, like we did not just put off getting out of bed for the last 15 minutes. We expect them to not whine when they don’t get their way when we want to curl up and have a good cry when we have a difficult day sometimes too. We expect them not to get angry when we don’t always keep our temper in check ourselves.
Kids have hard days, bad attitudes and feelings just like adults. We aren’t robots. Sometimes, when life gets hard, we need a break or a little grace. Same thing goes for kids. We don’t always need a lecture or good talking to. We need a hug.
So, when she hopped out of the car to head into dance that’s exactly what I did. I let her know I understood why she was “stressurated,” gave her a big bear hug and told her that after dance class she could come home and take a nice, hot and relaxing bubble bath. I mean a bubble bath always fixes everything right?
(Paige Nash is a wife, mother and digital journalist for The Webster Parish Journal.)
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