Thursday, March 13, 2008

Veevs--The Emotional Version

Usually when people tell me girls are so much more emotional than little boys, I kind of just give a noncommittal grunt and change the topic. Because you know, I'm totally not confrontational (my dad just fell over fainting) and I hate to disagree with people (now my siblings are all laughing hysterically) and I don't like people to feel bad (and here my husband joins in the cacophony), but really, I just don't see it. Veevs isn't super emotional. She's pretty predictable and even-tempered.

But some days. Oh, some days. Some days the emotions are in free fall over here. The trigger seems to be exhaustion, but who cares where the explosion originated from when I'm dealing with the fall-out? Like yesterday, for example.

After dinner (which was quite nice of me to feed them, don't you think?), I took the kids upstairs to watch a show. I always make a big deal out of it being a "SURPRISE" video that mommy picks, because otherwise we spend minutes, literally minutes, engaged in a contest of wills. And those could be minutes where they're glued to the television, so I bypass all of that and "SURPRISE" them with a video of my choice. I picked a short twenty-minute Little People show.

And then Veevs broke down.

"I haaaa-aaa-tttteee this shooooooooow!" I had picked this because I had thought it was a safe bet, but it just goes to show, doesn't it? There's no such thing as a safe choice with toddlers. I just smiled and pushed play.

"I haaaa-aaa-tttte it because it's a bbaaaaaaby show!" Veev's volume has now interfered with her brothers' viewing pleasure, so I intervene.

"Veevs. Calm down, sweetheart. You don't have to watch it if you don't want to. You can go in your room and read books instead." She gives me a look which clearly says that I am out of my head if I think she's going to go read books instead of frying her brain with television, and I shrug. "Your choice, sis."

She decides that instead of humiliating herself with a baby show or reading books, she will instead play with Wristy. After the show, I find I'm still ready to throttle anyone who speaks to me, so I put on Tarzan, which should, with any luck, take me all the way to bedtime. Veevs loves Tarzan. Except for the first part where the baby gorilla gets eaten by the jaguar/leopard (I can never tell the difference between those two unless they're side by side, and then it's SO obvious that I feel stupid) and the part where the jaguar/leopard tries to eat Tarzan when he's just a baby and the mommy gorilla has to save him. It's just a little too much for her.

But if I watch it with her, it's fine. Usually. But apparently not this time. Because as soon as she sees the mommy gorilla crying for her baby (we skipped through the "graphic" parts because I'm nobody's fool), Veevs loses it again.

"Thaaaaat baaby will never seeeeee it's mooooommmy agaaaain!" She works herself up to near-hysterics. "Daaaaaddy said that you and Daaaaadddy will . . . diiiiiiie toooo one day and it could be aaaany daaaay!" I make a mental note to thank Rhett for his precious lesson on the fragility of life, and eventually get her calmed down. It takes a while, because apparently, there's a lot of stuff to be sad about at the beginning of Tarzan. Seriously? What was that?

I'm relieved because I'm pretty sure we can make it to bed with no more meltdowns, and I'm congratulating myself on not losing it (although I did laugh at her when she was bemoaning the fate of Tarzan's mommy's and daddy's furniture, because, really? Furniture? Who cares what happens to their furniture?), when she turns to me and says with her face screwed up in repressed sadness, "Why did the goats eat all of my green beans?"

And bursts into tears. Again. Although it was perfectly clear to me what she was talking about, it occurs to me that you may not have any clue about her backstory on this one. So let me illuminate the mind of my four-year old for you.

I took Veevs to a farm and the lady who was at the cash register gave her a bag of alfalfa pills (hence, green beans) to feed to the animals. We stopped by the goat pen first, and in Veev's excitement, she accidentally dropped the bag in the pen and the greedy goats devoured all the pills right before our very eyes. She was very sad. Obviously.

What's that? You think I'm a wonderful mother for taking her to the farm? Yes, I know. That really was a good mother thing to do, wasn't it? Oh, you think we went to the farm yesterday? No, no, I took her to the farm over TWO YEARS AGO.

Yes, that's right. Veevs had a meltdown over something that happened two years ago. And she cried about it for almost ten minutes. It would have been heartrending if it hadn't been so ridiculous.

Do I need to tell you that we had an early bed time?


The Holcombs said...

Hah, now that is a perfect example of a girls ability to be moody. Maybe it is just a preview of your future. Then again maybe it was just a bad day though, who knows. Good luck sweetie. :)

Melissa Bastow said...

I have to agree with you on the moodiness of little's sufficiently rare and usually triggered. Which is why I don't get why people actually WANT to have boys. So torture is popular now? Caleb is the most dramatic person I have EVER met in my life, he is moody enough for about 47 of those mythical girls that people always seem to have. And then you add the wrestling, screaming and throwing on top of that......yeah, torture. I would totally take the exhaustion-induced crying over Tarzan! Although the goats may have been a bit much for my patience! :)

Ashley said...

I read on another blog that if anyone deserves an Oscar, it is a four year old girl who has been asked to clean up her toys. The senseless whining puts me over the edge. Fortunately I have gotten really good at tuning it out.

Celia and Scott said...

One of my favorite stereotypes which is often untrue, especially at my house, is that little girls are whinier than little boys. My best friend in Idaho Falls (a mother of two boys) who one day announced, "Yeah, I hope I never have any girls because they are so whiney." I looked at her and said, "Have you ever met my son?"

Henry often is the whiniest child I have ever met. So there. The case is far from closed on that stereotype.

Amy said...

I still have those days...there is no hope:) j/k. That girl is something else. She knows just what to say to provide you with the best blog material. Do you think I could borrow her for a day or two? Hope you are doing good:)

Janene said...

I love Ivy--she's the epitome of you and Rhett mixed together in an adorable little package. I can't wait until she's a teenager. ;)

Mique (as in M-i-c-k-e-y) said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting.
I just have to say here that I think you might have your daughter mixed up with my daughter. Or maybe they are twins separated at birth (ok, that might not work). Your description here is my DD to the T. And she is now 6. I wish I could tell you it gets better. Unfortunately they get smarter with age. And ask even more questions. Leaving them with more things to get hysterical about in the middle of a meltdown. Our latest was "MOMMMYYYYYYY I don't want to have a baby because I don't want to have a c-section that will get an infection." Thank you Jess-my sister who had my nephew via c-section and started that whole paranoia). Mothers of daughters unite!!!

tiger lamb girl said...

Ahh, the mind of a usually even tempered, but sensitive child who has nuclear meltdowns when tired.

I've got me one of those.

My son still freaks over the memory of certain events. Seriously? There are topics we just DON'T bring up in this family because we know what's in store.

Still. It always makes me chuckle a little. (Okay. A LOT) I'm sweet like that.

Carol said...

Ah bless her! I put Tarzan on one Sunday (eek!) morning when our church was in the afternoon cos someone was using our building. I thought Thomas would like it. Clearly I forgot about the very traumatic begining and he asked me every 40 seconds where that baby had gone. So much for Sunday morning peace!

Thumbs up to Rhett for teaching her responsibly that you and he could die anytime. Kids thrive on stuff like that!!

She's clearly just gearing up for adolescence! Good luck!

monkie mama said...

Oh that drama sounds all too familiar. We're dripping with drama over here, but it's more often from the boys. I think drama knows no gender. You should send Veevs over to my house ~ she'd fit right in and maybe we could make some wicked thespian art with all the theatrics.

Jen said...

That was nice of you to make dinner for them. I wish children understood just how nice it is for us to prepare food for them. Sometimes it is ten to twenty times a day for my small bird girl.

And I really feel for Veevs. When I have a period-ical meltdown, I remember every bad thing that has happened ever, and it all comes crumbling down on me. It's nice to have mommy to cry to, even if mommy is ready to rip her own hair out by the roots. Moms are the best.

Jill said...

When my daughter was 5, I was waiting with the other moms at her ballet class. One of the moms said "I am so worried that my daughter is bi-polar. She is happy and easy going one minute, then a few minutes later, she's screaming and sobbing hysterically!. I think I'm going to have her tested."
We all looked at her, laughed and said "Sounds just like my daughter"
My DD is almost 10 now, and the hormone roller coaster is beginning. She has always been dramatic, but now, everything causes her to burst into tears, Especially her brothers who have a special talent at knowing exactly what type of teasing bothers her the most.
I do have one son who is very dramatic also. He would throw these fall on the floor tantrums until we threatened to take away a dollar from his allowance every time he screamed. He has been remarkably well behaved since then.

Also, I think you are a fabulous mom for feeding your kids! Mine should be so lucky;0)

Yvonne said...

I can just laugh--because I SO REMEMBER THOSE DAYS!!! I'd love to say it gets easier as they get older, but that wouldn't be honest ; )

I love ashley's comment.

Matt, Karin and Sienna said...

Wow, Veev sure reminds me of my niece. She pulls things from the past that I have no idea how she remembered them in the first place or how she randomly thought of them. What an exhausting night.

It was fun seeing you today at the park. I'm glad you aren't moving. Matt told me he heard you were but it ended up being the Hamptons. Anyway, we should get together and play. I adore you and your kids.


Adrienne said...

Okay, so this is hilarious. I remember when cels and i didn't have kids, and Liz did, whenever they had meltdowns Liz would tell us how tired they were. Celia and I judgementally used to joke that her kids must have been exhausted 24/7! But now I cannot believe how many times I have defended my children's behaviors in the name of "being tired." And for the record, it is a legititmate excuse--you should see the way I treat Jim when he wakes me up, or how grumpy and impatient I am with my kids when I'm tired.

And I'm with Cels, I don't buy into girls being more emotional...yet. Maybe in the preteen/teenage years, but it's not always the case when they're younger. Case in point? When I was just in Utah with Liz's kids I told Christian (in a minivan full of kids) that Brooke told me he kissed a girl. Good grief, he went into such a crying rage (he's 8!!) I was dumbfounded! And even as a babe he was a wreck!

And to complete this lengthy comment, I loved the G-ma Hazel post. One of my favorite "Hazel-isms": playing golf, getting ready to swing, she would say "chin down, butt up." and her joke about "riding into heaven on Dan's coattails." Loved her....and was surprised that Grandma's golf balls didn't makeyour list. Those have become a staple on my holiday treats. What a fun post!

Julia said...

I have a child that is like that, only he is male. He completely melts down when he is exhausted. And has a memory like a steel trap, so no slight goes unnoticed. The daughter doesn't require fatigue to melt down, normal everyday activities can suddenly send her into a tailspin, which makes for an interesting life.
Here's to TV sedation though! When my husband is working late or nonexistent I usually let the kids chose between me reading them a story or a "movie" story. You can guess which one they and I prefer.

Sue said...

Ha! I love Veevs. I think we may be kindred spirits ;>

Valerie said...

I agree with Monkie Mama, drama knows no gender at that age. But it still is irksome none the less. I feel for ya. Thank heaven for early bedtimes! :)

Lippy said...

Hoo boy, movies come with previews, and so do little girls! I had to laugh because I tease my friends that women never let go of anything and bringing back the goat incident proves it :-D

Just a day in the life, huh?

TnD said...

Monthly, I have one of those melt down days, where I am moment to moment away from cursing or sobbing. I can never figure out what triggers it. Then, the next day I suddenly figure it out and remember why each month, AT THE SAME TIME, I just can't deal with life. I didn't realize the little women get this too. Maybe if could be boomerang effect from me all the way in NYC.