We asked her if she had fun at school, and she said, "I had fun at school, but I just feel like crying right now."
It was really cool that she communicated how she was feeling. Particularly since, even as an adult, I often fail to communicate when I am tired and feeling sad. And, I really am not good at doing that when there is no good reason for how I am feeling (meaning, nothing really went wrong during the day -- I'm just in a bad mood). So, I told Kailey that. I let her know that it was really great that she was telling us how she was feeling, rather then just being cranky or whiny. And I told her that lots of times I'm cranky and crabby when I should just tell Kailey or daddy that I need a hug.
When we got home, I said that we needed to start dinner and Kailey said she didn't want to help. So, we switched gears. We crawled into bed for a 10 minute snuggle, even though I was starving and wanting us to all get the table set and dinner going. And, it did wonders for her mood. We talked about teamwork while we were snuggling and how it's important to take a break for a snuggle so that we can all feel better. And then I told her how it was also important to dig in and help each other get stuff done for the evening, even though we are feeling sad or cranky.
Kai asked how long we could snuggle and we looked at the clock and picked a time for when we'd have to get up and make dinner. And when that time came, Kailey popped right up. She set the table. She helped make food. She cleaned up afterwards. She took her bath. She played Memory. She was completely and utterly pleasant and agreeable all evening.
While we were eating, I told her how proud I was of her for pitching in and not whining. "I whined a little," she corrected. She makes me laugh.
Sometimes (maybe all the time), it's just about the simple acts of communicating and compromising.