Today should have been Day Twelve of no yelling. Instead, I am restarting on Day One.
I blew it last night.
It had been a really good day. Laying on a blanket in the grass with the girls, reading books and enjoying the sunshine. A splurge on pizza for dinner. My girls were happy, and I was happy. Chris was at a class all day so it was just us three.
And then Savannah got sleepy. For the past few weeks she has really been fighting going to bed. Arching her back, screaming, spitting out her paci, biting me if I try to nurse her to sleep. It takes a lot of patience and lullabies to get her to sleep. She's just like I was as a baby (and a kid) I never wanted to miss anything. So the best way to get her to sleep is to have a quiet surrounding.
With a 2 1/2 year old? HA!
Nevaeh is usually so good about keeping her voice down when I ask her to. She'll come running into our room in the morning and if she sees that Savannah is still sleeping, she'll put her finger to her lips and whisper, "Shh! baby sister still sleeping!" Likewise, if I am trying to get her to sleep, Nevaeh is usually good at being relatively quiet.
She was last night too, during the hour it took for me to get Savannah to sleep. Rocking, bouncing, walking, butt patting, shh'ing, singing. Putting her down in her crib once to use the bathroom and hoping she'd just fall asleep (hahaha...ha). Finally her eyes grew very heavy and she stopped fighting. Stared at me with a sleepy grin while I sang her Her Song.
Just a little more...her eyes were almost closed....
There. Thank God. She was asleep.
Instant awake. Crying. Stress.
Without even stopping to think about why Nevaeh had screamed my name, I shouted, "DAMMIT Nevaeh! She was asleep! I just got her to sleep! You just woke her up! ARRRRRRRGGGGGGG!"
That's all it took, was one moment to completely lose my cool. I was so beyond frustrated.
I sent her to bed. A bit nicer but still loaded with frustration. I told her I would be in to get her into her PJ's when I got Savannah back to sleep. Which took all of 5 minutes. She was already so sleepy, it wouldn't have taken that long to get her back to sleep.
So why did I yell?! I snapped. I didn't even think about it. I was just so frustrated for that hour, working to keep from getting upset at my sweet little baby. Then I finally had that relief of her falling asleep, and then it was undone. And I just snapped.
The yell snuck up on me.
I laid Savannah in her crib and went in to Nevaeh's room. She had a super sad look on her face, and my heart was so broken. Her feelings were hurt. I realized I had never even asked her what she needed earlier when she yelled for me.
"I am so sorry Nevaeh. I am so sorry that I yelled at you."
"It's ok, Mommy. I forgive you." She looked me in the eyes and I felt that unconditional love pour from her. I cried. Here she was, so ready to just love her mommy and forgive having her feelings hurt for no good reason at all. My sweet, sweet girl. I hugged her to me, told her I loved her a million times over. I lightly explained that Mommy had been frustrated, and should not have taken it out on her. She stroked my hair and gave me hugs back. All this compassion in such a small little girl. I felt so undeserving at that moment! I snuggled her until she fell asleep, then sat myself down to reflect on my undoing.
It was unfair. I yelled for nothing. I'll never know why she shouted for me. Probably to show me something she did or made or saw. Something innocent and sweet, I'm sure.
Today is Day One, and I have a new determination. I don't want to see that hurt expression on her face. Ever, especially when I'm the one that caused it.
Day One, Orange Rhino. I can do this!