Friday, January 28, 2011

My "Fake Positivity"-Day 3

In case you're wondering, I managed to keep relatively positive for the rest of our snowed in day yesterday.  In fact, we managed to get outside after nap time and create this lovely snowman.  The babe and I had a ball, while the little guy whined pretty much the whole time, except when I pulled him around the yard in a sled.

What I wanted to write about today is "fake positivity."  I have discovered that when I am on the verge of losing it, I have been going into "fake positive" mode where my voice goes up a notch, my blood starts to boil and I try to communicate my message in as few words as possible.  To me (and my husband) it's obvious that I'm losing my patience and ability to remain positive, and I'm sure the babe can see through it as well.  But for now, as I adjust to this new way of thinking, I am going to have to let it slide because it's gotta be better than yelling at my kids, right?

As I mentioned yesterday, the babe and I have a new thing to fight about: clothes.  And the clothes thing has brought out a lot of "fake positivity" in me.  I'm grateful she can dress herself now, but a part of me is really missing the days I could grab her clothes, put them on her, and be done with it.

Today I asked the babe if she needed help choosing her outfit for school (thank goodness it wasn't cancelled today!).  She was preoccupied with getting a band aid for a minor wound which did not need a band aid, so she replied that yes, she'd like help.  But I was to chose "only pink things and skirts."  My heart sunk.  Where does my little girl get this from? 

The text book for my new class mentions that little girls are exploring what it means to be girls, and sometimes that comes out in the choice of pink things with lots of accessories.  So, after explaining that there was indeed some pink in the shirt I chose for her, the babe ended up in pink socks, pink leggings, a purple skirt (as she doesn't own a pink skirt), a shirt with lots of pink (and other colour) flowers, a purple headband, and a plastic necklace.

I have to go with it.  I have to let her explore this side of her personality (and ask my Mom if I ever went through such a silly phase).  I just wonder how much comes from the girls at school, because it is not coming from me.  Sadly, the days of buying gender neutral clothes both my kids can wear are gone forever.

Another issue we're facing is changing our clothes all the time.  I feel like we are experiencing a serious surge in laundry.  As much as I protest, she doesn't seem to care how much extra work it is for me when she decides to throw on a new outfit every few hours (did I mention she manages to get them all dirty?).  This brings out my "fake positivity" when I ask if it's really necessary to be changing our outfit again.  Is this something I fight over?  Do I just suck it up?  Because I really don't think positivity and patience are going to solve this problem.

And if you think I should start having her do her own laundry, well maybe you're right.  But I honestly don't have the patience right now.  I have to save my patience for the things that really matter (like sleeping, eating and bathing).  The babe wants to do everything on her own now, but I'm frankly not ready to let her get her little hands on my new front loading washing machine! 


Kim said...

interesting!!! I feel like I am always talking about books but I just have to mention that I am now reading Peggy Orenstein's "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" and it is SO interesting and gives lots of insights into princess and pink obsessions!
btw we are still waiting for our power to go back on (48 hours and counting!)

Mamabeing said...

Good for you! It' so hard--I'm just really starting to experience how hard it is with two, and one who is fully in the NO I DON'T WANT TO part of life. I lose it regularly and do things I am not proud of but I find when I do, it just makes things much worse. Have you read "Hold on to your kids" by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate? I am just reading it now. The chapter on "counterwill" has been really helpful in letting me see things from my boy's perspective--that he needs to be able to learn what he wants and likes, and so he just "puts up a wall of NO" so that behind it, he can figure things out and develop into his own person. They emphasize that this is totally normal and that the more you meet it with punishment or attempts to overpower your child, the strong the counterwill will be. I really recommend this book--it is not so much about parenting "skills" as it is about a way of being and understanding your relationship with your kids and how important you are. You are doing GREAT honey--you have a very smart, strong little girl. I went through a phase where I only wanted to wear a certain fancy red dress every day. It's over now, obviously! Maybe she's just reacting to her sense that you don't like the pink frilly stuff.