Friday, April 16, 2010

Button Pushing

It's one of my oft-used phrases. I say it two ways:

"She (or he) is pushing my buttons"
"they are pushing each other's buttons".

I saw an episode of Supernanny the other day. I rarely watch it but it was the only 60 minutes this week when there was no NHL playoffs on and instead of doing anything productive, like cleaning a toilet, I watched it.

I used to watch it a lot because I could always say no matter how bad our days were, we were never as badly off as any of the families we saw. Then one day, I watched and a boy was very, very, very similar to Jackson and it scared the crap out of me that we could be on Supernanny and I have barely watched it since.

Anyway, on the show, there was an aunt who was the caregiver for her 4 nieces. The four year old was particularly spirited and resistant to guidance.

The aunt said "Samantha is pushing my buttons today."

The Supernanny tried to suggest that Samantha was just being a four year old who was never disciplined and without ever having any real consequence she saw nothing wrong with bouncing from one bed to the next all afternoon long.

The Auntie said "no, she just likes to push my buttons."

Nanny Jo said "so you think Samantha is saying to herself 'well, I know it would drive Auntie Donna crazy if I jump from bed to bed and when she asks me to stop, I won't listen because it will drive her crazy.'?"

Auntie Donna defiantly said "that is EXACTLY what she is doing."

And then I realized how crazy that notion is most of the time. The kids aren't doing stuff just to make me crazy. They are just reacting to their own moods, circumstances and how much they feel they can get away with and the making Mommy crazy is just a by-product. (Though, Jackson will actually do things to get a reaction out of me and will tell me so, but that makes me very competitive and always makes me CALMER and RESISTANT to losing my cool.)

This is a timely lesson for me as this week as I have not felt very composed. The kids have had an okay week. Jackson has had the occasional freak-out over a minor frustration, but overall his mood has been pretty tolerable. Sydney has been a little pouty at times, but she always makes up for it in adorable behaviour.

I, however, have felt on the edge all week. And I know it's about me. And I have accused them of pushing my buttons. But really, I just not feeling on the top of my game** and I need to take responsibility for that.

**except for Thursday morning which I also credit Supernanny with.

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