Today was a day when I was rudely reminded that life is not always ‘Pinterest perfect’. Sometimes things do not go to plan and it’s at that point I find patience is really tested. You have to decide whether to take a deep breathe and keep smiling or completely flip your lid. I decided on a combination of the two…
A few weeks a go, I spied these little Christmas trees made from lollypop sticks and thought it would work really well with twigs. It would be more rustic but thought it would fit in well with our general theme at Christmas which has quite a lot of natural decorations.
We had a lovely time gathering sticks before having a late brunch at Cafe Milk. Katie was sold on the idea that we’d be using them for craft. I remembered to dry the sticks out before home AND we had a playdate planned in which the craft could be completed. Perfect or what?!
I should not have been so smug.
The playdate seemed to be going really well – no tears or arguments and the girls were playing nicely. At the moment they wanted to go out in the cold garden to play I figured – craft! The girls both readily agreed that ‘making’ Christmas trees was a superior option so came to sit up at the table.
Or at least Charlotte did. Katie wanted to sit at the opposite end of the table amongst all the gathered junk. She did not want to move.
Whilst Katie sulked about this, Charlotte had lined up all her sticks into different sizes and was ready to glue them down. Brilliant.
Katie however had a full thunder face going on. As much as I tried to cajole her into sorting out the twigs, she was determined that it would not go to plan.
I was fine as she stuck her twigs on in a random order. I was kind of fine that she did this with the biggest pout on her face imaginable. However, the moment she upended the whole lot getting glue all over the table – it was time for a ‘conversation.’ Obviously this was just a recipe for tears and a further tantrum, but eventually she did return to the table to complete a tree of sorts. It just really wasn’t what I had originally imagined.
At the time I said to my friend Megan that this was exactly why Pinterest is deceiving. I could write up this whole activity as an afternoon of delights and no one would be any the wiser.
But something she said has stuck with me:
‘Every time someone else’s child acts like this makes me relieved that it’s not just mine!’
Children are unpredictable. They do not always act as we would wish. Sometimes you can’t fathom the rhyme or reason – they just dance to their own tune. I could repeat the activity at another time on another day and Katie would be the perfect one. Sometimes she’s very much her own version of perfect and that really should be ok. Sometimes it’s very nice to know that I am not alone!
As adults we aren’t always smiling and having a brilliant time. I can definitely think of times I’ve been required to do things in a way I would rather not. Children don’t have the inhibitions we have as adults and so will far more readily express this. I wonder if that really is such a bad thing? It’s definitely exasperating but I don’t think I really would want her to suppress her emotions in general. That would be kind of creepy!
Overall, Katie had a lovely time playing with Charlotte despite her grumpy behaviour at times. Thankfully, I know that as old friends they’ll most certainly forgive Katie for her strop!
To illustrate the changeable mood of a four year old, Katie has remembered we’re seeing Santa next week and has been bouncing about the house. She’s utterly taken with Happy Feet 2 and has helped decorate our Christmas tree – tantrums entirely forgotten.
By all means, please pin this for later… even if it isn’t perfect!