Welcome to Kelly Martin's Blog! Here I share my stories from my blessed life as a wife to a super-talented man, Jason, mom to my precious kids, Lucy, Jack, and Connor, and friend to my amazing girlfriends who inspire me every day!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

There's no crying at Princess Camp

Lucy is enjoying her birthday present from Papa 'n Lady this week - Princess Camp!  Everyday from 11-1, she's been attending a royal party, dressed appropriately, and learning about princesses from around the world.  right.up.her.alley, right?  So, you can imagine my surprise yesterday when, at pick up, I found her puffy-eyed and with a tear-streaked face.

As soon as I scooped her up, she began crying again.  After asking her what was wrong, did anyone hurt her or treat her badly (no), she reassured me she "just missed mommy."  (heart.tug)  I asked her teacher what had happened, and she just told me that halfway through, during storytime, Lucy just got a "little weepy." 

(It's interesting to note how that very morning, Lucy had been in some of the biggest trouble she's ever been in.  It started when she wanted me to paint her nails; specifically, green on the bottom, with hot pink sparkly gloss on top.  Very Lucy.  I was able to get the green coat on before my student came for tutoring, but we were just short on time to do the glitter layer.  I told her that we'd finish it just as soon as I was done tutoring.  Well, about halfway through tutoring, while stepping downstairs to get a water, I surprised Lucy and immediately smelled the acetone aroma that now filled the air.  I knew instantly she had gotten into the nail polish bottle.  And sure enough, there was green (lime green at that!) polish splashed on our kitchen table (yes, the one Jason just built for us).  After interrogating her, "Lucy, you remember mommy's rule that you're NEVER to use nail polish alone, without at grown-up, right? (nods) And this mess came from you using nail polish ON YOUR OWN, right? (whimper:  yes)  Well, Lucy, you made a very bad choice because you were too impatient to wait for me.  I have thirty minutes of tutoring left, and then, when my student leaves you're going to receive the biggest spanking you've ever had."  (There, let her stew on that the next half hour!  Oooh, I was so mad!)  So, all that to say, it is interesting because I reflect on how this was a reminder to me that our children do not even come close to loving us any less when they're being disciplined.  It's healthy and responsible parenting, in my opinion, to give them clear boundaries and guidelines; let them know our expectations and punish them when they make bad choices, blatantly disobedient choices.  (yeah, yeah, I'm getting preachy, I realize :)  If anything, perhaps Lucy was weepy because she felt guilty for her actions that morning.  I don't know; I didn't bring up the nail polish punishment from that morning...)

But back to the story; she was fine within minutes of leaving camp.  However - and not unexpectedly - she began saying how she didn't want to go back to camp the next day, she just wanted to spend time at home with me and her brothers.  To diffuse an already emotional situation, I just told her we'd talk about it later when she felt happier.

So, when we revisited it last night, I chirped, "What are you going to wear tomorrow to princess camp?" and she replied that she didn't want to go.  It wasn't too dramatic, and she wasn't crying.  She just said she didn't want to go.  Talk about a teachable opportunity to empathize with her struggle, yet teach her how to handle those feelings and find a solution so that she can both enjoy camp and not be sad while being there - Yes!  I live for these moments!  :)  (I realize the instinct might be to just allow her to stay home, it's just princess camp, but I think allowing her to stay home would not only have been the easy way out, but it would have been a huge missed opportunity for Lucy to learn how to handle tough situations {tough for her, of course; it's not boot camp after all})

After thinking a few minutes about what I could give her that she could keep close to her as a reminder, I came up with this:

During a brief chat last night, I told Lucy that I was so sorry she had experienced a sad day at camp, that it's normal to miss me - "You know, I miss you too when you're gone!" -but that tomorrow would be a better day, filled with more fun stuff to do at camp.  Then, I told her I had made her something special to keep with her, and I gave it to her.  We read my note together, and I suggested that if she felt sad, she could just reach in her pocket and rub the puff ball and be reminded of how much I love her and how everything was going to be fine because we'd see each other very soon!  She lit up like fireworks, gave me a hug, and ran upstairs to pick out a shirt that had a pocket to wear the next day. 

It was actually pretty precious; all this morning she kept making sure she had it with her.  And wouldn't you know, when I picked her up this afternoon, she was all smiles and even announced, "Mommy!  I didn't even have to feel your heart once!"  :)

'Atta girl!

1 comment:

  1. Aw, that is such a sweet idea! I will have to tuck that away for future use! Glad it worked and she had a fun week.