Underwear vs. Inner-Ware


I couldn’t quite bring myself to use a photograph of underwear–might be a tad too obvious, so maybe a little baby-doll dress might work? This is a post about babies and babies plus just a few years, anyway. (Hang on, there’s a point in this post somewhere.)

dressWhen things go awry–even a little awry–something inside me rings out like a four-alarm fire-call. (Not the fire, just the call.) My awry-ness had to do with my laptop. A glitch. Not even much of a glitch! But there was still a four-alarm fire-call. Some people hardly notice a blip on their-inner screens when these things happen. My inner-ware? My inner-ware is hard-wired for high alert, but there is a degree of comfort from having learned that I am far from alone.

You can find all kinds of advice here on the web about anger-management, stress-management, behavior-management, and the whole package. There is not so much about prevention. There are a few brilliant parents out there who are masters of prevention. Their kiddos are l-u-c-k-y.

Some possible scenarios:   

1. Child #1 grabs the green-frosted cupcake before Child #2 can get to it.

  • Child #2 cries.
  • Adult notices. Picks up child #1 and puts her in time-out.
  • Child #1 now cries
  • Child is left in time-out until she stops crying.
  • Child learns “I can never have what I want. Nobody cares. Next time I will be sneakier.”

2. Child #1 grabs the green-frosted cupcake before Child #2 can get to it.

  • Adult notices. Adult has had a rough day and feels the same anger as child #2.
  • Adult shouts and shames Child #1, and puts her in time-out.
  • Child is left in time-out until she stops crying.
  • Child learns “I can never have what I want. I am bad. I should never have what I want. Next time I will disappear so I can’t see what I want.”

3. Child #1 sees the green-frosted cupcake and asks politely if she can have it.

  • Adult sees the child and almost trips over her.
  • Adult says loudly, “I almost tripped over you! Can’t you see I’m busy? Go play!”
  • Child learns “No one cares. I’m worthless and annoying. Next time I will try extra, extra, extra hard to be good and see if the adult will be nice to me.”

4. Child #1 sees the green-frosted cupcake and grabs it before Child #2.

  • Child #2 screams.
  • Adult notices. She smiles a little, seeing how distressed they both look.
  • Adult bends down and grabs both of them in a big hug. She holds them back a little so they can see her smile and hear her calm breathing. She just holds them. Gently.  They struggle. #2 is still yelling, but not quite as loudly.
  • Awww, says the adult. You both wanted that cupcake, didn’t you? (They nod.) You feel very disappointed…and probably hungry. Are you hungry? (They nod. Child #2 is still pouting.) It’s sad when you both want the cupcake and there is only one. I know it’s hard to share, especially when you’re hungry. Maybe I can help. Would that be okay? (They don’t answer-yet.) I still have some cheese and crackers in the pantry, and I would be happy to make two pieces out of this cupcake and put it on two little plates with your cheese and crackers. Do you want some juice, too?
  • Children learn “People care. I can trust them. I can ask and I can get what I need. I can have bad feelings, but they’re just feelings. What is real is that I can have bad feelings, they will pass, and I will get what I need, if I can be calm and wait a little.

When my laptop has a glitch, I’m sure I can find a solution. Breathe. I remember that nice adult. 🙂

Underwear can be nice. It can look good. It can seem good, but it’s the inner-ware that counts. Yes, it takes a little more time. Yes, it is absolutely totally worth it.



I am not a licensed therapist and will never claim to be such. I am just a new retiree from the world of education, with the benefit of a lifetime of experience and a spaghetti-brain full of interconnected information (and a laptop!). Most importantly, I care.





4 thoughts on “Underwear vs. Inner-Ware

  1. Haha, no doubt! I was a little afraid to pick these little guys up–to carry them over the carpet and through to the tub. “The now infamous mud bath”! Thanks so much for your courage to keep reading!😉😁

    Liked by 1 person

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