Once upon a time, there lived a Queen who tended to react quickly.  A subject would say something, and the Queen would just start incoherently rambling- and these statements were not always Queenlike…….See, the Queen was not good at thinking before she spoke.  What she excelled at was over-reacting.   This got the Queen into a lot of trouble, because we all know words often hurt more than anything, and words said in the course of over-reacting……Oh- they could be ugly.

As the Queen got older, she realized that she should really try to control her tongue.  Yelling at people and saying long, rambling mean statements was probably not in her best interest.  So she began a quest to tame her quick responses- she would try to hold her tongue for 5 minutes before she said anything.  Now, she realized that this might mean cutting her tongue out- but if that was the price she had to pay to be a better person, so be it.  And think of all the good customer service experience she might get if she was just a tad less quick to judge the level of their competence…….

The Queen was taking baby steps.  She tried really, really hard at not spewing venom.  Luckily, nothing had broken in the royal apartment, so she had little interaction with service representatives.  She still freaked out at her Mother- but if you heard the ridiculous things her Mother said, even someone taking a vow of silence would not be able to hold back.

One day, the royal family was eating dinner.  The Queen and the Princess got into a rather heated debate about PSAT preparation and books.  No- they did not argue about studying in general- the Princess is extremely studious.  The argument centered around the quality of the review books- Princess felt the review book in hand was inferior, and the Queen said to just finish the present book and then they would buy another.

What happens when two strong willed women argue?

The Princess used some not very Princess -like language at the Queen.

The Queen was not amused- but she took a deep breath.  She got up and began clearing plates.  (this was a sign- the Queen did not call to the servants to take away the debris from dinner- she did it herself)  The Queen then started cleaning up the kitchen.  She did not utter a word.

After about 3 minutes, the Princess went and hugged the Queen.  She apologized.  A true, honest apology.

So what did the Queen realize?

  1. The Queen would have made the situation a lot worse by yelling or saying mean things
  2. The Princess does not normally act in this manner- this was an anomaly
  3. The Princess is stressed about standardized tests- if saying a not so nice word is her way of blowing off steam, the Queen is OK with it, because there are far more destructive ways to blow off steam
  4. The argument was about PSAT books
  5. The Queen/Princess dynamic is a tough one- the boundaries are always being tested

The Queen begrudgingly admits she’s not perfect…..and knows she will never be perfect.  She just wants to be a slightly better person.

48 thoughts on “Take a Minute

  1. Being a mother to daughters is challenging sometimes. SO GLAD you have learned early that it is BETTER to walk away then to feel you have to be the victor. Also, as I have strong minded daughters (if they are studious this is good, because it means they will always be able to fend for themselves in the big bad world), I found that when my daughters were acting as yours did what they REALLY WANTED was a HUG! As you mentioned, they are stressed and need to learn to vocalize their words… daughters DO love and appreciate their mothers. So… next time this happens (my daughters are older than yours and I learned this), I would immediately say, “We don’t want to fight. WHAT is REALLY bothering you? One day you will have a roommates in College and a boyfriend and you need to be able to talk to then about your feelings, not go into attack mode. I am your mother, I have to love you… but they might run away and not come back. Practice with me to vocalize your feelings nicely.” IT WORKED! ALSO, when they started like this, I would say, “I think you need a hug. Let’s start with a hug, then we discuss this.” THAT WORKED TOO! YOU ARE A GREAT QUEEN!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah… my second daughter was extremely TOUGH, always wanting to be the victor in an arguement. I don’t like arguing, so I decided one day that I wasn’t going to do it anymore. THEN I went to hug her and she stood like a soldier. I told her she was half Italian, Italians always hug… so, this hugging situation could take 1 minute or 10 it was up to her. 10 minutes, because I had to keep put her arms around my waist and she would let them fall down. Up, down, up down. THEN I said, “Did it ever occur to you that MAYBE I was the one that needed the hug? It would be nice if you showed a little love and compassion for me.” THAT WAS FUNNY, GOD SENT ME THAT LINE! Suddenly, she hugged me… still wanting to be in control it was a “weak hug,” but still it was a hug. After that, what I reazlied was that school was tough on her, she didn’t feel she had any friends. At school she HAD to be nice, by the time she got home she didn’t want to be nice and all her frustrations came out. Your daughter is under a lot of pressure right now. Give her a physical hug every day. For us, it became a GAME. I would say when she got home, “Do you want your hug NOW or LATER?” She would give me a bit of an evil eye and say, “later.” This was our game. NOW, she graduated from College and she is ALWAYS saying, “Mama, I need a hug.” I smile and say, “OH, do you remember when you put me through hell and now you ask me for hugs.” WE BOTH LAUGH… and give each other a hug! I tell my daughter that those High School years were my toughest, but my goal was that she talk to me respectfully, because I treated her respectfully… for this reason I never backed down. I just kept thinking in my mind, HOW can I make a break through with her…. FOR YOU, deciding to clear the dishes was BRILLIANT, because you were able to see from your daughters hug that she DOES LOVE you and didn’t want to hurt your feelings! Give her a hug every day, make a joke out of it. You’ll appreciate the hugs too. Have a great day!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you for great story and smile and advice. Iypts sooo hard for them not yo think that everything will be the end of the world. I go in her room at night after she washes up, and we have tea and discuss the day. It’s the best way for me to show her that I care and it will be ok. And a big hug. It’s funny because I’m not really a physically demonstrative person, but I do hug her or squeeze her hand in solidarity. Thanks for being a source of sanity!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Admirable!
    I feel like after becoming a mum, I’m simultaneously infinitely more patient – to heroic proportions, and epically more short tempered!
    It’s really messing with my head!
    But I like your pause and then react strategy. I have started doing that,too

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I love this! One of the greatest strides I’ve made to bridge the gap in raising my three sons was when I began to go back and offer genuine sincere apologies to them after some of our arguments. Not every argument, but those that I made worse by over-reacting instead of ‘taking a minute’ before I responded. To see the look on their faces when I told them that I was sorry and I was wrong to speak to them that way was priceless. Before long, they were offering up the same apologies when they spoke disrespectfully to me as well. I only wish I had learned this lesson sooner in their lives …but hey, better late than never, right? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. So many of these posts bring back memories of my 3 kids jumping through all these high school hoops. I either never saw, or tried to cover up (for whose sake I don’t know) all of the stress associated with high school in general and college prep specifically. As one queen to another, I know that you will find a way to manage, inform, encourage, and come through the other side. Please pass on to your princess that (while unimaginable now) life will even out and honest to god, one day none of this will matter for she will find her place and it will be the right place and she WILL wonder what all the fuss was about.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the name of your blog! And, boy can I relate! Midlife hit like a bomb and I am still sweeping up the debris! Everything is slowly getting better and I can relate to your moniker “a work in progress”. Me too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One of ours has left home – the other has been living with us over the summer but goes back to Uni next week. I’m looking forward to it. In the next year or two I’m hoping he will develop into a human being so we can hold conversations without having to plan them in advance.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s