I was hoping to write about a great fall weekend but as often happens around here my little Napoleon ruled the kingdom. It seems that the warm up last week put my daughter Julia in a horrible mood. Starting Friday at Smith Lake Park her temper and patience were extremely short. At some point I could see that she'd had enough of the heat and was getting upset so I suggested to her that we leave, but this was the spark that ignited the tinder and she got really angry with me. (You've probably had your kids meltdown and have a fit at some point, and I'm sure a few of you will nod at what I'm about to describe because you are in the trenches as well).
I think that she blamed me for feeling hot/bad and expected me to make everything better, and seeing that I couldn't (or wouldn't) she started trying to pinch, scratch, and hit me. Having done karate for a few years I can block well and I can take a hit, but her breaks with reality/control are rather feral and she's fast so I do sustain some scratches and bruises from the twisting pinches she does. She also learned last year, when she first started going through puberty and began having these meltdowns, that grabbing someone's shirt by the collar and pulling is a really effective way to get their attention and basically gain some control of the situation.
So last Friday our trip to the park was cut short with Julia hanging onto my shirt while pinching and scratching, and me dislodging her and moving us to the car. I found out that day that the best way was to just jog a little ahead of her... I give you permission to laugh at this odd picture: grown, man running away from an almost five foot tall eleven year old girl screaming at him incoherently. Now some of you are probably horrified, others chuckling, and some nodding in commiseration.
Saturday brought more of the same, and before you ask, "Why did you take her back to the park?" the simple answer is that she is obsessive compulsive and wants/needs to go to the park NOW when she asks for it on her iPad... *cough* So, we went back to the park a few times Saturday (we live nearby and had nothing better to do). A couple of early morning trips went well without incident, and I'm guessing it was because the heat of the day hadn't set in yet. But two visits later on were rather unpleasant even though I brought some cool, wet cloths and extra cold water. The result was a few more scratches, a shirt stretched a bit from her hanging on it the first trip, and the same shirt getting basically shredded the second trip. Awesome. I honestly wonder sometimes why most bystanders don't ask questions or intervene... it probably has something to do with not wanting to get involved or maybe because they see I'm defending myself and she's out of control *shrug* Who knows, eh?
Sunday I decided to take a different approach, and when the heat set in I put on an old, heavy weight karate GI top. It's the kind of thing that puts up with abuse and she could hang on that all she wanted. It seemed to work; she appeared less satisfied grabbing my collar because I didn't defend my clothes from getting destroyed. I didn't need to, and it's thick enough to prevent most of her pinch and scratch attempts from doing harm. The downside is that I was extremely hot... heavy, black, long sleeved thing in 90 degree heat... ugh. But at least a shirt didn't get ruined yesterday, ha! Ahhh the things we must do ...