Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Well Mannered Toddler and Managing My Emotional Eating

Our society has become tolerant of disrespect these days. I was raised old school when it came to manners. My parents made a lot of mistakes, but they taught me to say "please" and "thank you", talk politely, and obey traffic regulations. I've always wanted the same from Duckling. Malamute and I have come to the conclusion that if you want to teach a child something, you need to  pretty much start when they have popped out of the womb; immerse them in an environment that encourages a particular behavior and they will learn.

So when Duckling started to talk, we started teaching him to say "please" and "thank you". Duckling was an early talker so it's been a long road. We just kept plugging away asking him to say "please" and "thank you" and modelling it for him, even when he didn't seem to get it. We are finally starting to see the fruits of our labors. Duckling has been using his manners very frequently over the past few weeks. Yesterday when we were coming out of the grocery store after buying meat for our dogs, the automatic doors opened and Duckling yelled, "Thank you!" That's my boy!


I have been stressed out my entire life. I once saw a naturopath and he said he didn't need to test hormones in my particular case, he could tell just from my symptoms that my adrenal glands were severely depleted. Finding ways to effectively deal with stress has been something I have struggled with my entire life. 

Unfortunately, Malamute and I have had to work through a lot of issues (especially financial) since we got married and it has led to a whole lot more stress. Living with his parents has compounded that stress because from the temperature of the house to where we can put things, there is very little we are allowed to control about our living situation. There's a lot of baggage between us and them and really no way to fully resolve it until we get out and make a life for ourselves. Sometimes I've felt so many demands on my time, energy and emotions that Duckling does something small and I yell at him and then cart him off to Grandma for a bit so I can decompress because I just can't take the pressure of trying to hold our marriage, finances, and sanity together and get him another bowl of cereal at the moment. Often,  I made treats just to relax and do something  fun because life seemed so depressing. I used to stop eating when I was stressed, but since getting married I've gone the opposite direction. (And then Duckling asks Grandma for bunny crackers and I tell Grandma to give him whatever he asks for because my whole life seems to be falling apart and can't fight the battle of the bunny crackers at the moment, so then Duckling develops an emotional connection with the bunny crackers.) (In case you hadn't figured it out, this is not a blog a la Seriously So Blessed. Some people's lives seem to sound a whole lot more fun in Wordpress or Blogger. My probably sounds less. But that's OK because things are actually getting better overall!)

Two things have helped with this. First, Malamute and I have resolved that we are going to get the hell out of my in-laws basement instead of viewing it as something we need in order to survive in the world. We've finally realized that we don't need his parents to succeed. It's a very freeing feeling. We've had a long, hard road, but every day I feel like we discover some new treasure of insight into why we've made so many mistakes and what we can do to have the kind of life that will truly make us happy. The second thing is that I have resolved over the past week to eat when I'm hungry and not when I'm stressed. There have been particularly stressful times when I have actually felt my colon spasming, which does not seem to be a very good environment for proper digestion. But when I wait until I have calmed down, I feel better and enjoy my food more. 

I guess the sum total of both of these subjects is that it's often the little things that you do day in and day out that make a big difference.

1 comment:

  1. I think that's so funny that you include obeying traffic laws as something old-school because it is SO true!!! At USU we saw it get worse every year how many kids just step right out into the street with their earbuds in and don't even look to see if cars are coming. Or crossing and expecting all traffic to stop for them. Or plain just walking in the car lane. One of our pet-peeves!

    Good luck with the emotional eating - and emotions in general. I'm totally with you on those right now ;) Eating num-nums at night is what has been holding me together this last week!!