So, my children all had birthday parties last weekend. Three children, three parties, argh!
My oldest child is my biggest lolly monster and at her friends party on Saturday evening she ate her body weight in green jelly beans. There was trampolining, table tennis and table soccer. She had a ball.
Every now and then when she raided the lolly bowl, I said gently “take it easy, sweetheart”. To be honest my concern was as much about her teeth and health as it was about the likelihood of her throwing up in the car on the way home, I’m a good parent like that. I still remember me throwing up after a particularly decadent Easter Show as a nine or ten year old.
When she was on her billionth lolly raid I realised that my suggestions were not only going unheeded, but also she actually seemed to be relishing grabbing a handful of lollies, grinning at me and running. So I stopped, no more suggesting she take it easy.
There is nothing like lived experience to really teach you something. Say what? You know how you nag children to finish their dinner “so they don’t go to bed hungry” or is that just me? Well getting hungry really isn’t the worst thing our children could experience. It’s a fantastic teaching moment and it helps them learn that their bodily signals should be listened to.
So there she was ploughing her way through lollies, playing, running, jumping, until about 15 minutes before the party ended. Pale faced, quietly she came towards me and said, “mum, my tummy hurts, I feel sick”. I did my best not to fist pump and instead gave her a hug. We managed to get home without vomiting, she needed to recline her seat and roll the window down. We had a chat about listening to your body and treating it with kindness.
Lesson learnt, for now. Trust your body, it’s a radical act of Self Compassion. More on that later.