So apparently, when your child's behavior is controlled by anti-seizure meds, you're not supposed to yell at her for it. Which sucks. As a general rule, my parenting style is pretty straight forward: Misbehavior met with swift retribution. I learned it from God. But now I'm being asked by paid professionals to greet Kathryn's uncontrolled bursts of anger with "understanding" and "redirecting," even though the only thing I can think of to redirect her toward is the television and the reminder that the cable that came free with our house probably won't be free much longer.
On Saturday, Kathryn asked if we would paint her room blue. I don't blame her for asking. Right now her room is pink. We didn't paint it pink; it came that way. Just like the bathroom came pink-ish. I try not to think about it too much. Still, nobody had planned to keep Kathryn's room pink for the past year and a half, least of all Kathryn, but since the room is not a Webkinz, Kathryn kept forgetting to talk about it with us. Until Saturday, that is, when she said she wanted it painted blue.
She wasn't angry when she made her request, which caught my attention, but I told her no anyway since I like to stick with what I know. Kathryn didn't ask again, but the rest of the day, Kathryn kept coming out with these bizarre statements, like "I need a snack because I saw orange," or "I'm hyper because of my red shirt," and it didn't take more than 73 of those before I figured out what was going on: Some hippie must have gone to her school and given the colors-and-feelings speech. Damn hippies.
"Kathryn," I asked in a quiet moment, and by quiet I mean the ten minutes between ice cream trucks passing outside, "why do you want to paint your room blue?"
"Because blue makes you calm." Kathryn looked at me. "I thought maybe if my room was blue, I might not get angry so much." She batted her eyelashes exactly once.
You might be thinking at this point that I'm a good dad, trying to do what little is in my power to give Kathryn some more control over her wild emotions, but the way I figure it, I'm just a second coat away from getting to yell again.