Monday, November 5, 2012

It's so easy.

So easy to overreact.

Child comes home from school and goes to finish the rest of the lunch I sent in with her.

I did the stupidest thing.

I trusted my five-year-old with a spoon.

Not just a plastic one - we were out of them. So I sent her in with a real spoon for her yogurt. And a kid-friendly spoon, but those are so-so.

Comes home. Opens her lunch bag.

Where the hell are the spoons?

Not only are they not there, but she proceeds to tell me it fell on the floor.

So she LEFT it there. LEFT IT.

What the hell?

Who is this kid? This is not the child I am raising. What is it that makes it make sense to either toss a real spoon into the trash and/or leave it on the FLOOR?

I'm ticked and I'm frustrated and I'm overreacting.

I can rationalize that much. I know I can.

I know it's ridiculous and I yelled and I shouldn't have and I walked away because I didn't want to yell but I am human and when I hear that a move like that was made with INTENT, whether or not she is five (yes, I know, she's five - but hear me out - at five we know we don't leave spoons on the floor or put them in the TRASH. The TRASH!) it grates at me.

I probably shouldn't hit publish here. But I am human. And sometimes I need to let it out. Is it wrong to blog about a stupid spoon or two? Or does it make me more real to my readers and explain that it's so easy to overreact, and assume our kids will make the right choices when we expect them to?

Because I did. Because you know what? I've sent her with spoons before. And they've returned home. As it should be. As they should. Because she knows better. So now what? I stew and she feels badly and we move on? Or I send her with foods that don't need a spoon? I was proud of today's random pairings for lunch. I work hard to give her variety and teach her right.

It doesn't help that she is honest with me, it just makes me more frustrated. And yes, please know I really and truly appreciate that my child tells me the truth. It DOES help. It IS critical. I am teaching her something and that makes me see I'm doing something right here. She's a good kid. I do know this. Why am I making excuses here? I know the words running through your minds. I do. I'd probably be saying them if this were not my experience. My post. My kid.

But really, how could she throw away a spoon? How do I re-teach her what I thought was expressed as common sense? Or can I? Do I? Words of wisdom from moms of older kids wanted ... but don't come down hard on me for losing my cool, please. Sometimes it's the way the day is going to go. All it takes is a small trigger, and though I was and am frustrated, I recognize my over-reaction, for sure. I'm just not quite ready to let it go yet.

Bye-bye, spoons.

p.s. This post is pretty perfect for Pour Your Heart Out, so I'm thinking I'll be linking up on Wednesday.


Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

She threw it away because she's a child. It's as simple as that. :(

By the way, my kids just got spoons in the cafeteria to use. Have her do that!

Kimberly said...

Oh friend...I'm so sorry.
Just stop and breathe, sit back and assess the situation. #1. It's just a spoon #2 She's a son came home with 500 pebbles in his pocket and dumped them all in my house. 3 weeks later, I'm still stepping on them. I wanted to kill him. And yes I did get quite angry.
In retrospect, he was just being a kid.
There is nothing wrong in how you are raising her. Nope. Not at all. We all make mistakes and the same goes for kids.
Big hugs xox

Kimberly said...

Oh friend...I'm so sorry.
Just stop and breathe, sit back and assess the situation. #1. It's just a spoon #2 She's a son came home with 500 pebbles in his pocket and dumped them all in my house. 3 weeks later, I'm still stepping on them. I wanted to kill him. And yes I did get quite angry.
In retrospect, he was just being a kid.
There is nothing wrong in how you are raising her. Nope. Not at all. We all make mistakes and the same goes for kids.
Big hugs xox

doseofreality said...

You know, I would have felt exactly the same way and reacted just like you because...threw away your spoon!!

Someone once told me: kids sometimes just lose their minds.

I have confirmation of this just about every day from one or the other of them.

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Frustrating for sure.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I can so see myself doing this. I need to remember not to send in spoons next year.

Anonymous said...

Spoons @ Goodwill, 4 for a dollar. It was the only way I could resolve my no-plastic vs. kids throwing away spoons issues.

Now, ask me about the cleaning people throwing away my reusable keurig container. TWICE at $13.95. ergh


Julie G. Hughes said...

I had a teen-aged stepson who used to clear his plate into the trash (good thing) - flatware and all (bad thing). Used to make me insane!

Broke down and bought utensils - just for him - at the dollar store. Once they were only his, he took very special care of them.

Shell said...

Ugh. I'd be frustrated too- but kids mess up sometimes. Just like we do. ;)

Emmy said...

That would be annoying and it definitely is easy to get mad at the things like that-- heaven knows I do. But it is just things and in the end I try and often fail at remembering what is most important.

Robbie K said...

School cafeterias can be pretty rigid and stressful and she made a mistake. I always send plastic spoons which I was and re-use for quite some time. In college, I worked for an organization that helped blind and visually challenged. I set my office keys on my tray at Wendy's. I walked 2 miles home and realized that I didn't have the keys. I was sick. I went back and dug through the trash but couldn't find them...and the dumpster was full. I spent the entire weekend dreading what would happen. I KNEW I would lose my job. I couldn't eat or sleep. On Monday I told him what happened. He laughed and laughed and asked me to pay $2 for new copies to be made.

Ilene, The Fierce Diva Guide to Life said...

getting mad about a spoon makes you human. I have gotten angry at my kids for less. And I am certain that we are not the only two who have been down this path! thanks for your honesty.

Kimberly said...

Oh, they stress me out. The kids. The spoons. The peanut butter covered knives. We've all been there with one utensil or another. Be gentle with yourself :)

AnnMarie said...

I am a huge over-reactor. Huge. And I am a yeller so I have lost it, wanting them to know better on a lot less than a thrown away spoon. It's not even really about the spoon, it's about knowing better. Being frustrated because we expect them to know better. I get it.

Michelle Nahom said...

I am sitting here laughing. We've all been there! One summer, several of my steak knives got thrown in the trash. Really, kids? just because we ate outside using paper plates does not mean the knives were trash too! I rescued a few but we are still short knives now. Definitely one of those moments where you wonder what on earth they were thinking...oh yeah...they WEREN'T! It'll be one of those funny stories you laugh about when she's all grown up.

Julie Moore said...

Found you via The Dose of Reality.

Everyone has those triggers, those straws that break the camel's back. It might be tossing out spoons, flinging the cereal or spaghetti or non-favorite meal on the floor, drawing on the wall, playing in the toilet...So many things. Some days, we lose it. Other days, we can rationalize, take our breath and explain that is not how we do things. Life is a series of lessons, whether we like it or not.

Don't be too hard on yourself for yelling - everyone has at least one of those days. Just explain to her, though you were wrong to yell, throwing a spoon in the trash or just leaving it on the floor is NOT ok. Explain that she knows better, you've talked about this, and you really expected more from her. If she apologizes and feels bad, give her another chance to take real spoons to school, with the understanding that if the spoon doesn't come home again, then she's lost her privilege. That's what I've done when facing similar things with my kids (My boys are 10 and nearly 9, and I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter, too.). It's always a humbling experience for me as well as eye-opening.

We just expect them to get it first time around, we want them to be liked and kind and considerate...and when they are not, WE feel like we failed somehow. But you know what? It doesn't mean that. It means the lesson needs more work...Just like we do. We will always be a work in progress.

Anyway, I digress. When you're ready, offer hugs for loss of cool and have a chat about responsibility and expectations. It sounds like you are a good mom who just gets frustrated all of us. :)

Mothering From Scratch said...

{Melinda} I have SO had these moments. I completely hyperfocus on something pretty meaningless and it just makes me so frustrated and crazy. Then, somewhere along the line, perspective returns to my mommy brain and I realize I've got it pretty good! :)

Visiting from Dose of Reality. Love those ladies.

Chris Carter said...

Oh you are 100% supported!!! Who hasn't lost their cool with the stupid and thoughtless things our kids do? I have. I understand. Been there. And you said it best about how it depends on the day. It shouldn't depend on the day...but it does. It can be the littlest of things...and BAM. I lose it. Your post was the thought life of every mother out there...thank you for your transparency!! Honesty ROCKS.

Xiomara | Equis Place said...

I can relate! My son throws spoons in the trash ALL THE TIME. It took me a while to figure it out so now I watch him very carefully. I understand your anger though. It's frustrating when our children do things that we just can't understand. It makes no sense! And besides, we'd like to think we're raising them better than that. Thanks for sharing!

Carli Alice said...

We've all been there. Sometimes the spoon is on the floor in the house and they walk by like they don't see it. Even though they are the ones who put it there. My granddaughter Izzy does stuff like that all the time but I'm NOT one of those grandma's who does everything for them. I get frustrated and yell and walk away. Then come back and calmly try to get her to explain why she has done something so....silly? stupid? And I apologize for yelling. Because we are all just human.

If she gets allowance I'd have her buy a new spoon. That's my typical response once the yelling is done. :-) said...

Thanks for being an awesome mom. Only the awesome admit that they are not always awesome. :) Also. Mine once threw away a dinner plate. A ceramic dinner plate. I'm serious. She couldn't scrape the melted cheese off, so she threw the plate in the trash. And since we're being all honest and stuff - I had a fit when my son started talking to me while I was trying to watch something on Hulu. You know, because it's not like I can pause it and give him my attention. Oh wait...

Kristen said...

OK. See... that? That right there? I would absolutely lose my cool over something like that as well. Maybe because it's been forever and a day since I've been a kid, but I just can't wrap my head the thought process (or lack thereof) behind throwing away a real spoon.

yourfriendrobin said...

The floor!! So bad! I can almost understand the garbage, like if they are throwing away other stuff. But the floor!!! Hhahahahah! That is so like a child.

anotherjennifer said...

I have done the same exact thing as you. My son also threw a spoon away. Seriously, I reacted the same way. It was so frustrating! Later, I just talked to him about why we don't just throw good spoons away. I also got him his own spoon and fork that he's responsible for. Hasn't lost them yet!

Jen said...

Does it count that I have to have this conversation with my husband? That today I showed him how 9 of our 12 not cheap coffee mugs are MIA? and I don't drink coffee! I explained to him that leaving these very nice coffee mugs in his break-room at the park district was tantamount to saying "here is a lovely parting gift"! Then my son said, "Mommy don't yell at poppy." FAT CHANCE!

Mothering From Scratch said...

{Kathy} After 4 kids, countless school lunches I have to be honest about my first thought.
When my kids have done something stupid, yes I used that word, I freak out. Then, I have had some pretty enlightening moments after discussing these STUPID things with them. 9 times out of 10 if we change the system they are using---the STUPID gets fixed. For example, our beloved real, live spoons in their lunch boxes. Most would say give them plastic. If this is important to you (which it is if you freaked), then undoing the habit of throwing away things of worth is the one thing that you want changed in your 5 year old. That's noble.
How about saying to her, "How can you make sure spoons come home? Do they need a separate container in your lunchbox? Like chopsticks? If we put a cup out for every one you bring home after you bring 10 home (building the habit you desire), you get __________.?
She wants to please you. Give her a chance to come up with her own solution to do so. They LOVE that.

Kimberly said...

Dude..I just chased you over here to only be chased back here. Sneaky sneaky.
I remember reading this post and commented. Still a good one :)

Leigh Powell Hines said...

OH, Andrea. I know what you mean. I get upset a lot. Sometimes, I think it's just my age and patience or perhaps I'm expecting too much. Hopefully, she'll learn a lesson.
But, who leaves a spoon on the floor. Right there with you.