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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

You've got a friend in me

We pulled into the driveway and I gave a huge sigh of relief. Our morning had been spent talking up Aspen's first haircut at a kiddie salon. I had tried to explain to her in various terms that it would be a new experience, with nothing scary... just different.

None of my prep work did anything to avoid the catastrophe that unfolded when we got to the salon. As soon as Aspen picked a car chair to sit in, she started thrashing. She hit the stylist, she ripped off the cape, she screamed.

I tried to calm myself. Before I reacted to Aspen's tantrum, I reminded myself that it was a kiddie salon. They're used to this. When Aspen failed to respond to my words, I plucked her out the chair and took her outside. I fought back tears of frustration and embarrassment. I kept my voice quiet. I softly put my hands on her hips while she stood on the sidewalk and I crouched next to her.

Eventually we both calmed down enough that Aspen made the decision to go back inside and try again. She ended up making it through the haircut and was thrilled to receive a balloon afterward.

Regardless of the outcome, on the drive home I already felt spent. The daily tantrums, the loss of any quiet time during the day (for both myself and Aspen), and the late nights Kev and I spend working on the house is all adding up to more than I feel like I can handle.

So when we got home, I was ready to retreat into the house for the rest of the day. We got out of the car and I heard the pleasant trill of my neighbor calling out hello. She bounced across the street with her perfectly coiffed hair, her peachy pink lipstick and her cute, trendy outfit. She was a ray of sunshine.

We stood and talked in the driveway for a while and she invited me and Aspen to come over after we had our lunch. She's currently waiting on her VISA and therefore doesn't yet have a job. She's staying with her aunt and her husband often works out of state. She's casually invited us over before, but we never actually set a time. So today I went ahead and made it official. I asked Aspen if she'd eat lunch with me so we could go over and play on the swings at our neighbor's house. It was just the bribe incentive Aspen needed to go inside and eat.

We ended up making cookies after lunch so we could bring them over to our gracious hostess/lifesaver. We spent a couple of hours talking in and outside as Aspen dictated our activities. It was so nice to get to know her and to spend time not thinking about the troublesome morning we'd had.

I was especially grateful for the time spent with another adult because the rest of the afternoon proved to be just as trying as the start of the day.

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