Captain Sunshine Visits The Zoo

Do you have a redhead in your family? Our second daughter has the most beautiful hair. Strangers stop her on the street to comment on her color. It’s just the right shade of red. Couple that with her blue eyes and you understand one thing that makes her so unique. In fact, less than 2% of the world’s population has red hair and very few have blue eyes.

This gorgeous young lady is very mind-tempered. I know, the rumor is that redheads have fiery tempers. (I’m getting there.) But most of the time she is pretty chill. Definitely the mildest of our four children.

However, there are times when she can’t contain her frustration any longer be it with sisters, parents, friends, etc. Almost every time it is because she’s tired. That girls can do Tired like no one else. When she was in preschool she used to LOSE. . . HER.  . .MIND every night about 7pm. I took us a few weeks to realize that she was exhausted and needed an earlier bedtime. We started putting her to bed at 7pm and she was out in sixty seconds. Her personality keeps us on our toes but also makes us laugh, including her. She just can’t stay mad no matter how much she wants to. This dichotomy of personality has earned her the name, “Captain Sunshine.”

I only need to look at her when she’s yelling and upset and she starts to giggle. She hates this, by the way, but we love it. We’ll say, “I’m sorry, D, you just aren’t capable of staying angry. You can try and try to be mad but it isn’t in your nature.”

What IS in her nature? Animals. Animals are this child’s life. So, when we decided to take the kids to the Maryland Zoo this morning we thought she would be ecstatic, which she was. Until her sister tried to vacuum their room at the same time D wanted to get dressed.

Crisis. Meltdown. Crying. Yelling.

The issue was resolved and her sister cleaned another room first. However, she had been rebuked for her temper and was upset with me. (Someone is always mad at me these days.) We continued to encourage everyone to quickly finish their chores and get to the car. She asserted that she WAS NOT GOING. There may have been some tears but the alternative was to stay home and clean her guinea pig cage so, within minutes, she was at the car. She didn’t speak to me at the house or in the car. But, wouldn’t you know it, as soon as we stepped onto the zoo grounds and those little penguins came waddling over, our girl was back. Smiling. Cooing at the animals. Having fun.

Sometimes I get so into my upset that I can’t convince myself to DO what I should to bring myself out of it. I want to wallow. I want to suffer a little. Sometimes sulking just feels good. But it doesn’t help. And so, like Captain Sunshine, sometimes I need a push to do something I know I’ll enjoy. . . .once I get there.