What do you do when you have a bit of a Woo?

14 Comments 23 November 2010

She's having a Computer Woo.

This is not just an expat blog, this is a blog by an expat who is also doing the parenting thing, the family thing, the getting on with making a life thing. And today it’s kind of a parenting blog. Or maybe a family blog. I’m being a Cybermummy today, anyway.

We’ve had a few Woo’s in our house recently. An A Level Woo, a Computer Battery Failure Woo, a Too Much Cat Sick On The Carpet Woo, and an I Don’t Have Anything To Wear (Because You Forgot To Put It In The Wash) Woo.

I know you’re dying to ask, ‘What’s a Woo?

When my daughter was little she developed a certain type of crying that sounded like ‘woooooooooo!’ This crying was reserved for situations where she felt frustrated and grumpy and a bit out of sorts.

‘Woo’ developed into an adjective in our house and any time someone was feeling like this it would be called ‘having a woo’ or ‘feeling a bit woo’. It isn’t the same as feeling sorry for one’s self, but sometimes it comes close. It often occurs when the person begins to spin out of control in ascending decibels of complaints: ‘and then I did this, but he said THAT and THEN I TOLD HIM, but when HE SAID THAT I WANTED TO JUST–‘

Sometimes when the Woo is big enough we’ve even been known to warn other family members, ‘there’s a whole Woo Cloud around him!’ as if a grey miasma has settled all about the poor person. Then we do our best to clear the Woo Cloud. A New Age person would describe this as having something wrong with one’s aura.

Sometimes just identifying the emotion as a Woo helps because then people give that person a cuddle or do something to try to help them get their mind of of the Woo-state.

As a parent there is pressure to not have Woos. At least not in front of the kids. I believe its healthy for kids to see us in all kinds of moods so they know it’s normal to have moods. I don’t mind for kids to see my husband and I argue sometimes–just so long as they also see us make up (well, some of the making up). This way they know that you can argue and still love each other. But the Woo is different. It is such a quiet, almost sad mood that it’s hard for the kids to not take it personally or worry too much.

To hide a parent Woo probably goes directly against my philosophy about kids seeing us in all kinds of moods so they know when they feel the same way, that its normal. Sometimes I’m having a quiet Woo and my daughter will ask me ‘do you feel a bit Woo?’ and I say ‘no, I’m just tired.’ Which is probably true as well, as often being tired brings on a Woo.

Why can’t I just tell her, ‘yes, I feel a bit woo, let’s have a cuddle’? Why is it ok for me to express some anger in front of her but not Woo? The mysteries of parenting.

I’d like to add that we also use the term ‘woo-hoo!’ (like many people) where the ‘hoo’ makes all the difference, as if a Woo has been reversed.

What do you do when you have a bit of a Woo? Do you think it’s ok for kids to see you having a Woo?


Your Comments

14 Comments so far

  1. Mother Hen says:

    Woo not! They are called melt downs in our house and happen at really odd and bad times. 5 minutes before leaving for the bus, 10pm in front of the printer that won’t print off tomorrows homework, in the dark of night when the puppy runs off into the field and I am standing in my pajamas.
    We all have them and laugh them off later.

    • Michelloui says:

      Laughing them off later is definitely a good habit!! Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving neighbour!!

  2. Star says:

    Yes I do. I think it’s important that the children see you showing emotion just so long as it’s not too much and frightens them. There’s nothing wrong with the stiff upper lip either and in some circumstances, that is better.
    It’s all part of the natural way of things and children learn that they can comfort the parent too when it’s necessary. That way they feel included and important.
    Blessings, Star

    • Michelloui says:

      Yes, living in Britain has taught me that sometimes the stiff upper lip is quite appropriate. Sometimes!

  3. Expat Mum says:

    If I understand “woo” correctly there’s a difference between that and an argument, losing one’s temper or melting down. A “woo” seems a bit more personal and “close to the edge”, in which case I tend not to share with the kids. I had a bum day last Sunday (possible because I was recovering from a cold) where I felt lonely and bored, even though I had tons to do. I didn’t feel it was fair to share too much with the kids because there was nothing they could do, it wasn’t their fault and it was up to me to shake myself out of it.

    • Michelloui says:

      You’ve understood Woo perfectly. And it sounds like we deal with it the same. Hope the Woo has passed!

  4. Great post! I have a lot of woo days lately. Bamburgh misses you. They’re switching on the Christmas lights this weekend and they’re so pretty. If I can, I’ll get down there and take a photo of them for you.

    CJ xx

    • Michelloui says:

      Why so many woo days lately?? It’d be lovely to see Bamburgh this time of year…its been years and years and YEARS since Ive been there in winter.

  5. Lucy says:

    I let my son know if I’m upset or annoyed, tell him why (as long as I know it won’t worry him), then get back to my usual self. He is six and has Aspergers, so it’s important for him to recognise and understand feelings, however he worries excessively so I like to draw a line under negative feelings once explained (even if inside, they continue!!!).

    • Michelloui says:

      That sounds like an excellent plan that we all should follow–but I can see why it is especially important for your son.

  6. Diney says:

    When I have a Woo it is usually because I’m tired or someone/thing has upset me,and I just don’t feel full of fun; I call it having a bit of a moodie blue. My daughter is so tuned in to me that she immediately asks what’s wrong and won’t give up until I say that I’m just feeling a little moodie blue but a hug from her will do the trick. Usually it does, and I do the same for her.

    • Michelloui says:

      A moodie blue! Cute. That works too. And how lovely that your daughter knows a hug will work.

  7. Of course she can see me woo-ing. She actually does, once a month. The upside: mummy is much more inclined to turn on the tv and give in to the calls for chocolate. Woo! Woo!

    • Michelloui says:

      You’re teaching her to just accept the situation, and not fight it–what a good mum!

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An American writer in the UK for over 20 years. Lives in Essex. A pretend extrovert.

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