Being a Fairy Princess can make everything more manageable

E. is having a difficult week. If I didn’t know better, and if she wasn’t 2, I would think she was about to start her period. She cries over big things. She cries over things that seem small to me, but must be huge to her. She gets inconsolably angry if I give her juice but don’t give it to her in a big-girl glass.
She is so bright and fun almost all of the time, and I love interacting with her because she is such a people person. This is a tough bit, but it will pass and she won’t always get so frustrated about her glass of juice. My role right now is to try to help her to move through it with as much grace as possible.
This afternoon when I got her home, we began the trial and error. Eventually sitting at the table she wanted, in the chair she wanted, with the right juice (diluted with the right amount of water), in the right glass, E. was still very distressed. So I said to her, “Would this moment be better if you could dress up like a fairy princess?” She thought about it for a minute, and said very quietly, “Yes, Mommy. I wear that.” And you know what? It was better. We sat for a while and chatted while she drank orange juice and enjoyed feeling different. Sometimes (though certainly not always), I think that the key to moving forward through overwhelming bad feelings in a given situation can be simply having the imagination to think about yourself behaving differently.

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