She was angry. There was no doubt about it. Her words, "You stupid egghead," made it clear ... even if they proved to be an oxymoron. After all, it's common knowledge that eggheads are smart, right? Well, at least to all of us over the age of five.
I swiftly placed her on our designated "thinking spot" and set the timer. I knew she needed a few minutes to calm down; that her anger had to subside before we could really talk about her words.
Five minutes later, the timer beeped. And there I was, sitting next to her.
"Savannah," I said, "Do you remember our verse? 'In your anger do not sin'?"
She nodded, ever so slightly.
"You were angry at your sister, weren't you?" I probed.
Again, a nod.
"Did you act unkind when you were angry?"
I hate to admit it, but I haven't always been intentional when it comes to helping Savannah process her anger. It's not that this type of heart-probing conversation was a foreign concept for me. I'd read the books on it. So you'd have thought I had this thing down by now. You know, since she is our third kid and all. But I didn't. Our first two never struggled with anger to this degree.
It threw a definite curve ball Ted and my direction. Even though she was only in kindergarten and couldn't spell the word "anger," she felt it — and still feels it a year later — intensely. When things don't go her way. When we tell her "no" instead of "yes." When one of her sisters doesn't listen or choose to play with her.