The kids have been *dying* to make a snowman. There hasn’t been much of an opportunity this year, since the few times there’s been snow, it’s been too cold and powdery for snowman building. In addition, we got a “frosty the snowman” kit for Christmas from Grandma Kathy, which included a hat, homemade scarf, an actual corn-cob pipe*, a button for a nose, and two lumps of coal for eyes. Believe me the kids were itching to use that kit.
*I remember playing with this pipe when I was a kid. Mom, why did we have a corn cob pipe, and were the ’80’s such a different time that we were allowed to pretend to smoke? My how things change.
So finally the conditions were right, and we didn’t want to miss the opportunity.
Not pictured is Evie, who was having a sobbing fit.
Poor Evie. On the days where she goes to school and then has to stay in aftercare until I can pick her up, she is completely wiped. She can barely hold it together for the few hours until she goes to bed. In this case, the snowman was just too much. (And to be fair, I’m not necessarily at my best either at about 6:00 after a hard day of work and a long commute.)
The thing is, I know she really wanted to make a snowman. All winter she’s been asking about it. But first her snowpants didn’t feel right. Then she didn’t know that Sara and Ollie had already made the snowballs, and she was pretty upset about that. We offered to make a second snowman with her, but that wasn’t really good enough. We offered to let her put the accoutrements on the snowman, but that wasn’t good either. She didn’t understand we were trying to help her, trying to make it better, and honestly I don’t think she wanted to be helped. I think she just needed to have an emotional outpouring in the form of an absolute meltdown.
So, instead of a fun little thing to do in the snow, it ended in nobody really having a good time, and Evie being carried inside kicking and screaming and making grand declarations like, “I HATE THE SNOWMAN! I’M GOING TO GO BACK OUTSIDE AND RUIN THE SNOWMAN!” Ollie was just kind of confused by all of this.
::sigh:: This is such a hard situation, and one we haven’t really come up with a good solution for. When a kid is that tired, absolutely nothing is going to go right until they get some sleep. If something fun, like making the snowman you’ve been dying to make all winter, goes this poorly, you can imagine how well something like taking a bath or eating dinner goes. On the other hand, it’s not really appropriate to scream your vocal chords out or hit someone or break something because the snowman didn’t go the way you wanted it to. By nature I am very no-nonsense about this kind of behavior, so even though I know it is the result of over-tiredness, I have trouble going lightly on the poor girl (for anything) (ever).
Unfortunately, this is not such an uncommon way to end the evening at our house these days. I can only imagine what it will be like when she’s going to school 5 day s a week…