John and Leslie took their 3 year old son Jason to Disneyland.
They had a smashingly energized time
Everyone was excited as they ran from Dumbo the Flying Elephant to Its a Small World — stopping for a visit with Mickey and Goofy along the way.
Then they carromed off to the Chip ‘n Dale Treehouse.
After having lunch at Clarabelle’s they hop skipped through the crowd until they reached Big Thunder Ranch. At the Big Thunder Ranch they eagerly petted goats, donkeys and pigs.
Next came a ride on the Casey Jr. Circus Train.
Then they hustled off to Goofy’s Playhouse. The day continued in this zip zap manner until . . .
Enough time had been spent in the park for one day
Time to cut out.
Time to relax.
Time to return to the hotel and get a bit of rest.
After a lot of cajoling Jason was convinced it was time to leave the park for the day and more excitement would be on the menu for tomorrow
Walking back through the musically accompanied streets, through lighted walkways, in the midst of the strolling crowd Jason danced then dawdled then darted then dragged.
Peace at the end of the stroll
The trio finally reached their room where John and Leslie expected Jason to lay his head on the soft pillow, close his eyes and drift off to amusement park dreams. (Did I mention that John and Leslie are wonderful, loving parents who are, none the less, quite naïve?)
Jason was tired.
More importantly, Jason was wired.
Jason could whine. He could cry. He could jump. He could cry. He could roll. He could cry. What Jason couldn’t do was let go of the emotions and excitement rushing through his very being.
So what should John and Leslie do:
- Rush back to the park and let Jason run it off
- Turn on the TV and plunk Jason down to watch action cartoons
- Turn the lights down low and read a quiet bed time story
Which did you choose?
If you chose the first answer you are more naïve than Jason’s Mommy and Daddy. The second choice is, well, you know – dumb.
If Jason is to calm down he must be put into an atmosphere of calm. Quiet time. Slow down to lay down.
Here is another story.
Amber was on her normal Saturday routine when she received a call from an animal control officer.
It seems that the dog she had cared for last week was injured.
What was wrong?
Why was animal control calling her?
The dog was fine the last time she saw him
She had gladly taken in the sweet dog when a friend’s friend had asked her to care for his pet while he went on a trip with friends.
Amber is known amongst her family and friends as a pet lover. She is often called on by those who know her asking for pet sitting favors. She loves it. She is happy to accommodate her fellow pet lovers.
The police were called
Now, the friend’s friend had called the police and reported her for animal cruelty.
A bit later the officer and the pet owner showed up at Amber’s house to “discuss” the issue with the injured dog in tow. Only minutes into the discussion Amber realized the animal control officer was flirting with the friend’s friend.
This was getting more and more ridiculous
A couple of hours later the officer, the friend’s friend and the dog had all left Amber standing in her yard wondering what had happened and what was to happen next. The friend’s friend could press charges and the officer was impressed with the friend’s friend’s story. The officer thought the friend’s friend could easily prove Amber had damaged his dog.
So what should Amber do:
- Call the friend (with the terrible friend) and let her have it
- Grab the keyboard and swiftly get her feelings on the screen
- Pick up her pen and her journal and . . .
Which did you choose?
Calling the friend with electric tension in the air would be akin to running back to the amusement park. Rapid click clacking of keyboard keys and ricocheting thoughts is much like asking children to calm down in the midst of a TV cartoon blitz.
Slowing the thoughts with the quiet and strength of ink to paper allowed Amber to relieve tension, regain control and think through her options.
Everybody calm down
Just as Jason needed and deserved a calm down time, so did Amber. Setting and atmosphere are important for wired children and overcome adults.
By the way, I’ve experienced the small child at the amusement park scenario as well as the friend’s friend scenario – complete with female animal control officer flirting with the dog owner.