Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Saved by Santa

Tonight Tessa had a full on fit.

The kind with slamming doors, angry words, stomping feet, and growling. Yes, when Tessa is THAT mad, she growls.

I was at my wit's end. I recognized that she was tired after coughing half the night, but of course this behavior is NOT okay. We'd planned on driving by the Menasche house to see the lights; she lost that privledge. She pouted, stomped, cried, and yelled some more. Despite further admonishments, she then lost dessert for two days. It was getting really bad, and I was out of steam (and out of breath - just when I thought I was getting better, this took it out of me).

And Santa saved me.

Suddenly, out of the blue, Tessa stopped screaming at me (it was really ugly) and said, "Oh no, oh no, oh no, I don't want Christmas to happen! I wish it wasn't Christmas!" This caught me completely off guard, of course, but I had to ask what on earth she was talking about. Her answer? "I'll be good! Will Santa bring me coal because I was bad? Oh no, this is the worst Christmas ever......EVER......." and she commenced wailing.

First, I have to say that I have NEVER emphasized that part of Christmas. To me, Santa is all about the spirit of giving, love, and joy, and there's no way that I would have held him over her head like that. (Plus, I just didn't think of it. Tonight, if I'd thought of it, I was desperate enough to bring it up.) But she picked it up somewhere, and she was suddenly horrified by what could happen as a result of the evening.

This is interesting on several levels. First, that she actually DID have the knowledge that she was being bratty, despite her yelling at me that I was mean etc. etc. Somewhere deep down, she knew absolutely that her behavior was horrible, even if she wouldn't admit that in the heat of it. Second, that she apparently deeply believes in Santa Claus, even though I've dropped some hints about him. (She's not listening, apparently.) Third, I had no idea that Santa could save grownups. This might have been my Christmas gift, because Ryan's not home yet, and I'm tired, and dealing with a fit of this level was getting to the "I want to run away and hide" stage. Thanks for the gift, Santa. It was just what I wanted, and it fit perfectly.

Somewhere in her sobbing tirade, as Tessa wound down, she told me that I didn't love her anymore. Ouch. I made her look in my eyes and listen as I promised her that I ALWAYS love her, even when I'm mad. She told me that she believed me, but it broke my heart that she forgot how much I love her, even for a second. I tell her all the time how much I love her, and how nothing could make me stop loving her, and I'm horrified at the idea that she might have actually thought that I didn't love her in that moment. She was probably just yanking me chain, being melodramatic, etc., but that was hard to hear.

Yesterday all of this would have made me pass out, but today I was well enough to manage. Just barely, but well enough. I did some deep breathing meditation with Tessa, talked about how tomorrow was another day, talked about forgiveness and how Santa could see the fabulous girl that she is, and would probably forgive this transgression.

Sigh. Whatta day.

1 comment:

jennyward said...

ahhhh - little girls...Zoe pulls that one out of SOMEWHERE as well - that i don't love her .... heartbreaking yes - but i believe it is a way to turn the situation around....she KNOWS that i will pause and correct that no matter what.
and i TOTALLY have used the santa claus "thing"...did last night - and zoe is being an angel today.
yes - thanks santa!