This morning I had several things show up for me that have really tested my patience. First, it was my 3 year-old not listening and screwing up the settings on my new laptop. Second, it was something trivial, but a pet-peeve of mine: my husband using all of the ground coffee and not replacing it. Like I said, trivial. He brews his coffee super strong and uses an entire grinders worth of coffee for just one pot. I always have a pour over in the morning because I only drink 1 cup and it’s fast. It’s so aggravating to me to grind some on Monday morning, that will last me the entire week, then get up Tuesday morning and find that he used what I ground in the AM for his evening pot of coffee. (And no, he doesn’t do this every night. And no, he doesn’t stay up working late. He came to bed at 8:45pm last night.) Anyway, like I said, I know it’s trivial, but it really gets to me. I feel like there have got to be some coffee-drinkers out there that understand!! 😉
The third thing that showed up was at the grocery store. I was there for an hour (!) because they rearranged everything and I couldn’t find what I wanted. That in and of itself wasn’t a big deal because my daughter is in daycare today so I had extra time. When I went to check out I used the self checkout like I always do. I scanned everything, had my coupons added, then I swiped my card and found out that the signature portion of the pin pad was broken. The woman attending the SCO didn’t know about this either and she took a very roundabout way of processing my tender. Had I been in a hurry this would have been infuriating, but I knew at the time this was all happening for a reason. As I walked out of the store I knew all of these things are showing up for me to test my patience. I’m not using the word “test” in a negative context like we so often hear it. I mean this in the sense of it being a learning experience.
I did pretty well with my toddler. I raised my voice to get my point across, but I didn’t yell and I stayed in control….This has been one of the harder things for me to accomplish. Toddlers (3 year-olds especially) can be so difficult, but for the most part, mine is such a joy. She’s funny, smart, polite, adorable, and kind. When I choose to approach her with love and compassion during these times of misunderstanding or when she is so over-tired or hungry that she can’t control her little emotions, things go so much better for everyone. If I yell and loose my cool, it only makes things worse. This is such a hard thing to change. I found myself understanding this intellectually long before I was able to put it into practice.
If you are reading this now and nodding in agreement that your toddler can be a handful at times, take note of how you are feeling when they have their meltdown moments. Are you calm? Are you upset? Are you yelling? Are you approaching them from a place of compassion and love or from a place of annoyance and frustration? I guarantee you that if you approach your toddler when they are upset from a place of love and compassion their behavior will change and so will yours. It won’t be an immediate change, but I promise it will happen. Start small, and as always have patience with yourself and with them.
Lastly, I’m proud to say that even though I did feel a flare of anger at my husband for what I interpret as inconsiderate behavior, I took a second, closed my eyes, and took some deep breaths instead of texting him a picture of the empty coffee container with nasty remark. I can tell you with full confidence that had this happened even 4 months ago I would have been very angry. Probably muttering curse words to myself, or sometimes a bit louder than just to myself. And a year ago? I would have sent that text for sure.
Why am I sharing this embarrassing bit of me with you? To show you that no one is perfect and it takes time to get to where you want to be. I’m still working on myself, but even little steps are better than no steps at all.
(That’s my daughter hugging and kissing a tree! )