I got back to gym today, yay! During my workout I watched most of an episode of, “Bones”. I’ve seen a couple before, and don’t really like the show, but keep hoping to like it more, due to the presence of David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel. But really, I find the writing and character development to be extremely sub-par. You can’t just SAY that a character is lacking in emotional insight, or socially awkward. You have to create characters whose personalities and habits speak for themselves. You can’t just say, “This is the hero. He is handsome and incredibly perceptive. You shall love him on sight!” You have to create a character who is, in fact, perceptive, smart, whatever else you’re having other characters describe him to be, or point out the ways in which their descriptions don’t actually match the reality of the character.
It reminds me of the show, “Friends,” in which the writers decided that Ross was a Nice Guy whose pursuit of Rachel was right and proper, because he’s such a nice guy, don’t you know, despite the fact that he was an asshole to his sister, never stuck up for her with their parents who were emotionally abusive toward her, was an asshole toward the woman he supposedly loved, and who was so driven by his ego and narcissism that he was unable to understand his motivations or other people’s needs. But he was the main guy, the hero, and so he was spoken of by the other characters in the show as though he was something he never showed himself to be.
And that’s leaving out all of the rampant fat hatred in the show that made me cringe on a very regular basis.
If you want more anti-Ross analysis of “Friends”, see the series on Shakesville.
Hazel has been throwing incredible fits lately, but I think that Emily, as she gets older, will give Hazel a run for her money. Emily screamed so loudly at my nanny this afternoon (when she told Joanna to get off the table) that she had to cover her ears. Five minutes later, Emily’s laughing and happy. I suspect that as she grows she will have powerful emotions but not be a grudge-holder. Hazel, like I was as a child (and sometimes still am internally) is an, “It’s not fair” kid. Of course, sometimes she’s right. But it’s becoming clear to me that at least some of the lessons Hazel will have to work on are the same ones I have.
Bedtime was pretty stressful. I have to find the space between giving into Hazel’s demands when she ratchets up the emotional drama, and giving her a loving response that’s got understanding and compassion at its core. All I can say is that I am learning that those few and far between moments when I feel I am doing the right thing as a parent are moments to treasure, even if they turn out in retrospect to have been NOT the right thing.
I looked up a series my sister mentioned on child development. The book for age 5 is: “Your Five-Year-Old: Sunny And Serene”. The description at this moment does not seem apt.
So what do you do when you’ve set a condition that your child can do X when s/he calms down, but calming down begins to seem impossible? I get stuck in that place often, refusing to give in, but seeing that Hazel really can’t process, can’t talk. I see her work herself up, and can see how she’s so attached to being upset that she’d rather be upset and continue to insist that life is unfair, rather than calming down and/or being comforted. So I am beginning to think that I can set that condition, but not for anything involving affection from me. Saying that she can come snuggle when she’s calmed down doesn’t work when she needs comfort but I’ve set the rule that she can’t receive that comfort until she’s not screaming any more. *sigh*
Sometimes I wish I could ask her to stop for five minutes so I could figure out what to do. It is, of course, not that easy.