I vaguely remember not being thrilled when I had a loose tooth, and not wanting to pull it out. Jordan also didn't like to pull her teeth out, and she waited until they started to discolor. Usually, they fell out on their own. Afterwards, she was always so excited. She would giggle and laugh. I knew it was a relief to her, which in effect, made it a big deal for me.
Again, something as simple as a loose tooth, really put her through the ringer. She worried about it and talked about it, nonstop. Eating was a real treat. My instinct would be to tell a kid to stop talking about it, and just pull it out. But I knew better than to take this approach with Jordan. Once it did fall out, she would call and share the big news with her grandparents. It was so cute, as if she had won the lottery or something. After the 'Tooth Fairy' came, in celebration, she would begin making something artsy with the dollar bills. I was fine with this until she got out the glue. That's when I would ask her to put the money in her piggy bank.
One morning Jordan almost missed the bus because she was crying over a pair of pants. I'm not sure of the exact details, but most likely she didn't want to wear them, and didn't have enough time to change. Because again, at this point, I knew better than to tell her that she had to wear this particular pair of pants.The bus driver sat in front of our house beeping the horn. Jordan's stress level was through the roof. In a panic, she flew out the door before I even pulled her hair back. She was a wreck. Not a good way for either of us to start out our day.
This is when it hit me. She (or we) may be doing too much. At this time, she was participating in kindergarten, dance, swimming, and gymnastics. Jordan was the type of kid who enjoyed calmly creating things, while using her imagination. Having Kayla toddle behind, and lugging Kevin to all these activities, was anything but calming. And not many organized sports or lessons implemented (or expected) the use of imagination and/or creativity.
I guess we had begun trying to "keep up with the Joneses" (whoever they were). I don't think it was a conscious decision, but the other little girls in the hood were in dance, taking swimming lessons, playing soccer, taking horseback riding lessons... I figured this is what kids and families were supposed to do. Plus, I was a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom). How could I have allowed my children to stay home all day long, day after day? I obviously had the ability, and the time, to expose them to any and all extracurricular activities. So this is what I tried to do.
I slowly began to understand the correlation between our lack of down-time, and the amount of stress and disarray we were experiencing. I realized something needed to be done.
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