Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Miscellaneous thoughts on miscellaneous feelings

Yesterday I took Dancer to a doctor's appointment. It was at a clinic that's only open in the mornings, so she had to miss school. The clinic, of course, was slow. We needed blood work done. Then I discovered I didn't have Dancer's insurance card, which was okay for the clinic but not okay for the lab. As my brain scrambled, I talked out loud, trying to figure out how to come back without having Dancer miss another morning of school. My daughter said, "Mom, calm down!"

I didn't think I was all that agitated, but then self-perception isn't everything. Sometimes what matters is how your kid perceives your level of worry.

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Long ago I gave my kids permission to tell me to stop if I start to rant. They do this. It helps. There are occasions when I get going and have a hard time stopping, but to have a kid comment, reasonably objectively, "Mom, you're ranting!" does tend to put a cork in it.

There are better ways to express frustration and anger than ranting. They're not easy to think of in the moment, but if someone points out what you're doing (and you don't want to be a ranter), you can usually hold it in until you think of a better way to handle your feelings.

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I hate nagging. To my way of thinking, to nag is the same as to take on the role of being someone else's frontal lobe. I don't want that job. I want others to have their own, functional frontal lobes. I am willing to prompt my kids. I am willing to remind them once, maybe twice. I am willing to work with them to help them figure out how to remind themselves. But I get annoyed if I have to nag.

I would buy supplemental frontal lobes if they sold them, like external hard drives. Wouldn't that be awesome?

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