We’re back on a regular diet for her, after our gluten-free spring and summer, thanks to the advice of a pediactric GI specialist. In order for any testing to be done–and accurate–Cora needed a minimum of four months on ‘regular’ foods.
So we’re four months in at this point and waiting to talk about next steps.
Until then, she’s been hot. And cold. Short-tempered. Quick and loud one minute, loving and cuddly the next minute.
We’re not sure how much is related to her stomach discomfort and how much points to genetics. But I’ve read and read and read some more about how to handle bossy children, what to do when kids are strong-willed, and how to parent appropriately when one kiddo seems to control the temperature of the house.
Over and over and over again, I’m finding that creating distinct boundaries is huge.
I’m finding that recognizing and identifying children’s feelings is huge.
I’m finding that continuing to shower those kiddos with love is huge. Even though it’s sometimes really, really hard.
And right about now, when the winter doldrums are setting in and we are all in need of some sun and warmth and happy places, the bickering and short tempers have been a-rockin’ over here. We needed some help, and I was starting with my tiny one.
Here’s the skinny:
- Quick Trick– Showing Love With Flowers: So this Quick Trick is my first deliberate attempt to throw in a little love over here, as corny as that sounds.
We are all big fans of flowers–flowers for any and all occasion. Flowers for no occasion.
And we’re big fans of surprises.
So when Cora and I were at the grocery store the other day, she said, Mommy! Let’s get some flowers! and that was all I needed to hear in order to give me a simple–but meaningful–way to start the soon-to-be lovefest under our roof.
Cora prepared her vases!
I said, Oh my gosh, Cora! That’s a super idea. But if we’re going to get flowers, who should we give them to? It’s totally cool to get flowers for yourself–but these flowers are going to be special. Let’s make them Surprise Flowers.
Maddy! Owen! exploded out of her mouth immediately, which I thought was so amazing since only an hour before she was bickering with them at breakfast. And Daddy! And Brady! she continued.
Perfect. You pick the color, and we’ll surprise everyone when we get home. You are a sweet and loving girl, Cora. Maddy and Owen are lucky to have a sister like you.
So she smiled the entire way through the grocery store. And occasionally she smelled the pink flowers she decided on.
When we got home, I pulled out some tiny vases, and I grabbed a mix of ribbons.
You choose the best ribbon for each vase, I told her. Make sure that each ribbon you choose is perfect for each person you’re giving it to.
She counted carefully how many vases we would need and how many ribbons we would need. And then she made her choices.
Cora counted how many flowers and vases she would need.
We left the groceries in bags on the floor while we filled each vase and cut flowers–she was that excited. I tied the ribbons onto vases, and Cora placed the flowers carefully into each vase.
And then she started her travels around the house, putting a pretty pink flower in a super-special vase in each person’s room, skipping along the way.
A flower for Owen’s room. . .
. . . and a flower for Maddy’s room (while she stopped to point out a baby Cora).
And she put a flower in the powder room (because everyone will see it there!), in my room, and in her own room.
Literally, all day long, she was tip-toeing and dancing, and skipping around the house; she was that excited for Maddy and Owen to come home, and she was that excited for her dad to come home. It was wonderful.
Instead of dragging her feet up the hill to school, she ran ahead, calling to me that I wasn’t quick enough. And she waited at the doors for Owen and Maddy to come out of the building, saying Maddy! Owen! There’s a surprise for you at home!!
Everyone ran into the house, dropped their backpacks, tore off their shoes, and followed Cora to their rooms.
Momentarily, the bickering stopped. Everyone was smiling. It didn’t matter that the surprise was a single carnation–they could tell that the vases were different, that the ribbons were special.
And I really, truly believe that everyone likes to get surprise flowers for no occasion–even the little guys.
It was a sweet way for my tiny one to fill her heart–and her siblings’ hearts–with a little love. Buying carnations certainly does not break the bank. They may be the least expensive flower out there, but they’re beautiful nonetheless. Especially when you’re not expecting one.
And who doesn’t love surprise flowers in their bedroom?
So that’s it–a little, tiny Quick Trick that reminds me of our Neighborhood Notes and that I hope hope hope will be repeated without my prompting. And I hope hope hope it will remind my littles of how good it feels to be nice and do sweet things for others.
Only time will tell.