C had a Moment today. She was holding S and hitting her in the back. This is extremely unusual behavior in our house. They sometimes swat at each other or call names out of frustration, but this was different. My mama bear instincts wanted me to swoop in and intervene physically, but instead, I yelled, loudly. C instantly let go and started apologizing profusely. She said she didn't know what was wrong with her, and she seemed genuinely distraught that she had hurt S. So, after I checked in with S, who assured me that her feelings were hurt worse than her body, and I held her for a while, I picked up C and I held her. She burst into tears and told me that her mood was changing every minute and she didn't know what to do about it. She could go from sad, to fine, to frustrated,...happy,...angry and not know why. She even said that she knew it was all coming from her, and not from what was happening around her. I said, "It's hard to be human sometimes. It's not just you," and we talked about why it might be especially hard to be seven years old. I think C is starting to develop a self-awareness that is sometimes awfully uncomfortable for her. So, I asked her to think of things that generally help her when her mood is difficult to handle. She mentioned listening to audio books, taking walks in nature, and going to Olbrich gardens.
I could have assumed ill intent and punished C, and focused all of my positive attention on S, but I think C learned much more about how to handle difficult emotions without lashing out this way. I also spent time with S, gave her extra love, and shared a raspberry soda with her. We had talked about going to Olbrich today anyway, so that's what we did to shake it off a little. Now, the girls are back to their usual nightly imaginative play, which lately involves them being the daughters of Greek gods and goddesses (a la Percy Jackson).
The tropical conservatory was such a welcome counterpoint to the brisk weather outdoors.