i am having a hard time with gd - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 08-31-2006, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i want to gd so bad but i keep screwing up! today when my 2 year old wouldnt go to sleep for her nap, i started yelling at her to get to bed when she was trying to crawl out and grabbing her and putting her back in bed.. i just hate myself for doing these things! how can i calm myself and gd, i can barely stop myself sometimes, especially when 2 year old pushes or hits my 10 month old, i just want to yell!! this happens almost once a day!! help~!
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#2 of 22 Old 08-31-2006, 11:58 PM
 
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No advice, just a big b/c I am right there with you -- I was actually coming over here to write that post! I believe SO firmly in all the premises of GD, but I manage to ignore most of them many days . I'm hoping some experienced GD'ers can give us some sage advice!

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#3 of 22 Old 09-01-2006, 12:51 AM
 
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Well, I'm hardly an "experienced GD'er" but I wanted to say that I totally understand that feeling, was posting about the same thing on a different thread. Naptime is especially tough for me, because I really look forward to my mommy break, even if I'm just laying next to her nursing, at least I'm "off duty" for a while!

When I feel like I'm doing a good job, I notice a few things:

1. I'm being mindful, as in the Buddhist practice of mindfulness--being truly present in the moment without judgement or attachment. This takes ALOT of work, which is why I fail at it so often, but the more I practice, the better it gets.

2. I'm providing good leadership to myself and dd. We act on consensus here so this doesn't mean that I'm being forceful or dictatorial. It just means that I'm able to keep a steady pace for the day in a way that balances activites and housework, connection and separate play, structure and unstructured time. I notice that things go so much better when we're moving and there's rhythm to the day, as opposed to those days when I am exhausted and flopped on the floor.

3. I'm focused on dd, but not *too* much. Maybe a better way of saying it is that I'm present with dd but unattached to her behavior or its outcomes. If I fall into the mindset "if you would just do XYZ, everything would be fine" (IE "you're tired, if you'd just sleep you would feel better"), I always wind up trying to force the thing that *I* think would fix the situation. For whatever reason, if I just hang with her and don't impose my will or desire, she always seems to "come around," and quickly, too!

4. I actively cultivate the belief and mindset that dd wants to do the right thing, is doing what it takes to get her needs met, and is doing the best she can with the resources and information that she has at the moment.

The thing that I'm missing, and the reason why I goof up so much, is taking care of myself. Time to exercise, meditate, breathe, refuel. All of the things that I just described take ALOT of work. They're worth it, and I don't beleive that they take any more work than being angry and coercive and un-gentle, but they don't come as naturally to me. So the battery needs to recharge somewhere. I think this is key.
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#4 of 22 Old 09-01-2006, 03:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Ally'smom
Well, I'm hardly an "experienced GD'er" but I wanted to say that I totally understand that feeling, was posting about the same thing on a different thread. Naptime is especially tough for me, because I really look forward to my mommy break, even if I'm just laying next to her nursing, at least I'm "off duty" for a while!

When I feel like I'm doing a good job, I notice a few things:

1. I'm being mindful, as in the Buddhist practice of mindfulness--being truly present in the moment without judgement or attachment. This takes ALOT of work, which is why I fail at it so often, but the more I practice, the better it gets.

2. I'm providing good leadership to myself and dd. We act on consensus here so this doesn't mean that I'm being forceful or dictatorial. It just means that I'm able to keep a steady pace for the day in a way that balances activites and housework, connection and separate play, structure and unstructured time. I notice that things go so much better when we're moving and there's rhythm to the day, as opposed to those days when I am exhausted and flopped on the floor.

3. I'm focused on dd, but not *too* much. Maybe a better way of saying it is that I'm present with dd but unattached to her behavior or its outcomes. If I fall into the mindset "if you would just do XYZ, everything would be fine" (IE "you're tired, if you'd just sleep you would feel better"), I always wind up trying to force the thing that *I* think would fix the situation. For whatever reason, if I just hang with her and don't impose my will or desire, she always seems to "come around," and quickly, too!

4. I actively cultivate the belief and mindset that dd wants to do the right thing, is doing what it takes to get her needs met, and is doing the best she can with the resources and information that she has at the moment.

The thing that I'm missing, and the reason why I goof up so much, is taking care of myself. Time to exercise, meditate, breathe, refuel. All of the things that I just described take ALOT of work. They're worth it, and I don't beleive that they take any more work than being angry and coercive and un-gentle, but they don't come as naturally to me. So the battery needs to recharge somewhere. I think this is key.
Wow. Ally's mom, everything you've said is so true for me, too, that I think it bears repeating. In fact, I think I'll print it out and tape it to my wall.
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#5 of 22 Old 09-01-2006, 12:24 PM
 
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toddlers are so difficult.

nothing wrong with you.

at least you KNOW , and are working on it.

that is all anyone can do.

i guess my advice is try to remember that ALL toddlers do whacky stuff, that drives us nuts.... it is our job to try to redirect that energy into positive behaviors and teach approiate alternatives.

take it slow.

weird advice: sometimes i try to make-believe that there are recorders or cameras on me...and it helps me to stay more in control. i know it is odd.

i guess i am too.
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#6 of 22 Old 09-01-2006, 07:42 PM
 
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"weird advice: sometimes i try to make-believe that there are recorders or cameras on me...and it helps me to stay more in control. i know it is odd."

I do that too!!
I guess I am one of those people that needs to be held accountable for what I do and pretending I have an audience helps me with that.
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#7 of 22 Old 09-01-2006, 08:58 PM
 
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Wow, that's a good idea! I, too, have a hard time sometimes with yelling. I'm reading this thread anxiously looking for suggestions. My 2 sons & I are all very intense, and very persistent (notice I did not say stubborn- I've just read "Raising your Spirited Child"!), and its so hard sometimes when we clash, but I'm working on it, just like you are.
One thing to remember. In the book, the authors point out several times that,as parents, we should strive for progress, not perfection. I'm so far from perfect, I can't even see it in the distance, but I can say that I'm always moving forward, getting better, and I'm happy with that.

Homeschooling mom of 2 rambunctious, loving, spectacular boys, wife to an incredible man who has been my best friend on this journey <3

 

 

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#8 of 22 Old 09-01-2006, 09:58 PM
 
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Oh man......I'm having the same problems.....to the point where I have spanked him. I DON'T WANT TO SPANK MY CHILD!!! I feel like a hypocrite because I SAY that I don't believe in spanking, I tell my parents (when I'm venting) that I don't believe in it.....yet I did it the other day!!! I admit, my anger got the best of me, I'd just had it. Rowan is very persistant, he knows what he wants and will get it, he is into EVERYTHING. I have nearly everything put up, but I can't keep every single thing in this house out of his reach. If I blink, he is into something. How do I go about normal business and manage to keep him out of stuff? I get him out of the house every other day, we play games, we read, we go outside in our yard, we have three dogs he plays with........ I'm sure he DOES get bored, heck, I do too...... But I keep thinking its boredom or attention seeking that he is doing when he gets into things. I talk to him, I sit him down and tell him why he shouldn't do whatever it is he's done, I try redirection, jeez, I even cried once because he did something naughty. Its all I could think to do......I was so angry that I didn't even want to talk about it so I cried. He said....."Whas wong mommy?"

I have a list of gd approaches on my refrigerator to help me when I feel at my wits end....but I'm ashamed to admit that yes I did spank him the other day. I hate that.
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#9 of 22 Old 09-01-2006, 10:19 PM
 
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I freaked out on my 3.5 yr old DS today, when he had started terrorizing my 11 month old DD for the umpteenth time. And I have done the same exact thing...gotten mad and yelling at him for not going to sleep. He pretty much stopped napping when DD was born though. But yeah, it especially gets me when he is being really mean to little Piper, I get very protective of her and very angry at him when is is purposefully mean. I'm working on responding and handling the situations instead of reacting. Sometimes it is very hard to do that, and sometimes I fail! I have an AP "Alternatives to Punishment" list on my fridge too, it can help when you are too angry to think logically.

 

 
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#10 of 22 Old 09-01-2006, 10:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Worldshakerz
I freaked out on my 3.5 yr old DS today, when he had started terrorizing my 11 month old DD for the umpteenth time. And I have done the same exact thing...gotten mad and yelling at him for not going to sleep. He pretty much stopped napping when DD was born though. But yeah, it especially gets me when he is being really mean to little Piper, I get very protective of her and very angry at him when is is purposefully mean. I'm working on responding and handling the situations instead of reacting. Sometimes it is very hard to do that, and sometimes I fail! I have an AP "Alternatives to Punishment" list on my fridge too, it can help when you are too angry to think logically.
It does help.
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#11 of 22 Old 09-02-2006, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks everyone for all the great advice, it is REALLY helping alot
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#12 of 22 Old 09-03-2006, 03:31 AM
 
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Okay, the biggest gift of my toddler is learning to come into his world of joy by keeping life simple. I breathe. I breathe consciously. Even if this is all I do for 20 minutes. Or I chant namemyohorengekyo until I feel better. Or I stretch if the tension is in my body until I feel better. Or I take my ds outside and hug a tree or watch the cars go by. I just stop. He has seen me "go crazy" and berate myself and when I see my son act from that place it breaks my heart that I selfishly forced him to come into my world of misery rather than being in his world of joy. Nothing is more important than love and life ... our breath connects us to that. And, my son usually breathes, chants, exercises or hugs a tree with me for a couple of minutes then goes about playing while I tend to my needs. This is new and I am practicing it more rather than act out. Hope this helps
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#13 of 22 Old 09-03-2006, 03:18 PM
 
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Something that helps, too, is instead of saying "I'm not going to spank" tell yourself what you do want to do when you're feeling frustrated . It's not enough, IMO, to say you're not going to do something if you don't have alternate tools in which to utilize.

I AM going to ________ when I am feeling overwhelmed with _________. It helps to remember that no one can make anyone feel a certain way---we are the only ones in charge of our feelings

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#14 of 22 Old 09-03-2006, 07:56 PM
 
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One thing that has helped me with my two "persistent" children is to remember that mostly they are doing what they need to do - there is often a developmental reason, or a cognitive limitation, that is guiding them.

Re: cognitive limitation. The analogy I most often think of is that although my son knows small "a," big a, the phonetic variations of a, that a is part of words, that words are part of stories, etc, he does not know how to read beyond some sight words and there are all kinds of nuances that he's not aware of - he knows a whole lot about the letter a, but not everything. So, in another example, he knows I don't like him running down the stairs because it's dangerous, but may not extrapolate that going down the stairs backwards is also dangerous. So a whole lot of what he does that annoys me, frustrates me, scares me etc, he's doing with a limited understanding and not "on purpose" (other than the purpose of exploration and testing personal limits). I regularly remind myself that partial understanding shouldn't be mistaken for full understanding.

Re: developmental reason. I like the Penelope Leach book "Your Baby & Child." I own the older version and there is research behind all of her assertions, and I read parenting books with a "take what I like/need, leave the rest approach." Anyway, in that book she talks about that annoying time period when toddlers will not go in a stroller/sling but rather insist on walking to the park. Then it's time to go and they're tired and walk very slowly. You (general) try to hurry them up by walking ahead - and they drop on their bum! I've experienced this and witnessed it. So frustrating - why can't they just get in the stroller/swing? Why can't they just stop being so stubborn! Well, they needed to walk because of emerging gross motor and self-direction skills. And the dropping on the bum? This is the coolest part to me: this is seen in primate behaviour - drop on your bum and mom will come back and get you!

Another example from the Leach book is that children, when playing outdoors, will track their caregiver. So, if you're sitting on a bench, your small child has an internal safe distance monitor and will not go further than that (unfortunately, neither of my children came equipped with this feature, but rather take a more canine approach of following whatever scent catches their noses : ). This factoid reassures me that their is actual "reason" behind some behaviours, even if I'm unaware of it.

I'm a bit strange in that I LOVE all the craziness of the toddler/preschool years. My son is nearing four and starting to show more of his older self, which I'm very ambivalent about. Although the 0-3 years seem to take forever, they're gone in a snap, and a child will never be innocent, trusting and full of wonder in that way again. I love seeing the world through my children's eyes.

I think it's easy to fall into the trap of seeing other children who "behave" or "heed" (whether they do this typically or you happened to catch them at a cooperative moment) and thinking "why can't my kid just xxx!!" I've had to let go of that (or I'm trying to). Children are constantly learning and developing, and some of those processes are extremely annoying and tiresome to adults, and some of the actual developments are "hidden" behind objectionable or inconvenient "behaviours." For example, learning that the world around them is so interesting that if they resist hard enough they can possibly avoid sleep, or dropping a toy repeatedly so a caregiver picks it up again and again (learning cause and effect).

Parenting is the hardest, and most joyful, adventure I've ever been on. My strategies have been to remind myself to try to see past the annoying behaviour (big picture), to take deep breaths, to walk around the room when I need to. Humour and sillies also work wonders to distract both of us from a negative spiral.

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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#15 of 22 Old 09-04-2006, 09:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by joensally
One thing that has helped me with my two "persistent" children is to remember that mostly they are doing what they need to do - there is often a developmental reason, or a cognitive limitation, that is guiding them.

Re: cognitive limitation. The analogy I most often think of is that although my son knows small "a," big a, the phonetic variations of a, that a is part of words, that words are part of stories, etc, he does not know how to read beyond some sight words and there are all kinds of nuances that he's not aware of - he knows a whole lot about the letter a, but not everything. So, in another example, he knows I don't like him running down the stairs because it's dangerous, but may not extrapolate that going down the stairs backwards is also dangerous. So a whole lot of what he does that annoys me, frustrates me, scares me etc, he's doing with a limited understanding and not "on purpose" (other than the purpose of exploration and testing personal limits). I regularly remind myself that partial understanding shouldn't be mistaken for full understanding.

Re: developmental reason. I like the Penelope Leach book "Your Baby & Child." I own the older version and there is research behind all of her assertions, and I read parenting books with a "take what I like/need, leave the rest approach." Anyway, in that book she talks about that annoying time period when toddlers will not go in a stroller/sling but rather insist on walking to the park. Then it's time to go and they're tired and walk very slowly. You (general) try to hurry them up by walking ahead - and they drop on their bum! I've experienced this and witnessed it. So frustrating - why can't they just get in the stroller/swing? Why can't they just stop being so stubborn! Well, they needed to walk because of emerging gross motor and self-direction skills. And the dropping on the bum? This is the coolest part to me: this is seen in primate behaviour - drop on your bum and mom will come back and get you!

Another example from the Leach book is that children, when playing outdoors, will track their caregiver. So, if you're sitting on a bench, your small child has an internal safe distance monitor and will not go further than that (unfortunately, neither of my children came equipped with this feature, but rather take a more canine approach of following whatever scent catches their noses : ). This factoid reassures me that their is actual "reason" behind some behaviours, even if I'm unaware of it.

I'm a bit strange in that I LOVE all the craziness of the toddler/preschool years. My son is nearing four and starting to show more of his older self, which I'm very ambivalent about. Although the 0-3 years seem to take forever, they're gone in a snap, and a child will never be innocent, trusting and full of wonder in that way again. I love seeing the world through my children's eyes.

I think it's easy to fall into the trap of seeing other children who "behave" or "heed" (whether they do this typically or you happened to catch them at a cooperative moment) and thinking "why can't my kid just xxx!!" I've had to let go of that (or I'm trying to). Children are constantly learning and developing, and some of those processes are extremely annoying and tiresome to adults, and some of the actual developments are "hidden" behind objectionable or inconvenient "behaviours." For example, learning that the world around them is so interesting that if they resist hard enough they can possibly avoid sleep, or dropping a toy repeatedly so a caregiver picks it up again and again (learning cause and effect).

Parenting is the hardest, and most joyful, adventure I've ever been on. My strategies have been to remind myself to try to see past the annoying behaviour (big picture), to take deep breaths, to walk around the room when I need to. Humour and sillies also work wonders to distract both of us from a negative spiral.
I LOVED this post!!! Thank you so much, thank you for reminding me why I had my beautiful boy and thank you for helping me to not take him for granted. I will keep this in my mind. This was wonderful.
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#16 of 22 Old 09-04-2006, 09:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by georgia
Something that helps, too, is instead of saying "I'm not going to spank" tell yourself what you do want to do when you're feeling frustrated . It's not enough, IMO, to say you're not going to do something if you don't have alternate tools in which to utilize.

I AM going to ________ when I am feeling overwhelmed with _________. It helps to remember that no one can make anyone feel a certain way---we are the only ones in charge of our feelings
I will take this advice, its wonderful! This is part of my problem, I am not prepared when I go into a situation where I may lose my temper, I don't have alternatives at the forefront of my mind. I will better prepare myself, thank you!
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#17 of 22 Old 09-04-2006, 10:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rowansmomma
Oh man......I'm having the same problems.....to the point where I have spanked him. I DON'T WANT TO SPANK MY CHILD!!! I feel like a hypocrite because I SAY that I don't believe in spanking, I tell my parents (when I'm venting) that I don't believe in it.....yet I did it the other day!!! I admit, my anger got the best of me, I'd just had it.
This is what took place tonight at bedtime. I just had it and spanked dd. I felt so awful and ashamed. I came right to MDC to seek sadvice and when i read this post I about cried. I am very thankful to have friends at MDC to talk to and share these "bad days" with. You guys rock!!

 Yoga loving momma to DD, Eden Raine 8/04 , DS Brett Edwin 2/08, DS Brantley Albert 12/12 and wife for more than a decade to Jason 
~Living to preserve Gods green earth~

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#18 of 22 Old 09-04-2006, 11:35 PM
 
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i haven't read all the posts on here, yet, and don't have time to tonight. i just wanted to throw in my two cents because nap time was a BIG issue for us for a long time. i ended up doing about the same thing you did (speaking harshly "lyla, we need to go to sleep, now!"/ begging "please just go to sleep"/ setting her down very hard on her bed and leaving the room / finally bursting into tears myself) that day i ended up calling her grandmother and asking her to come get dd because i was such a wreck. this went on for about a week. i posted 2 threads that related to these issues and got a lot of really great responses from all the mothers here.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=502921
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=495456

as far as the nap time thing, do you have access to a car around nap time? driving for about 5-10 minutes almost always works for us. everyday around nap time i say "let's go bye bye!" and we hop in the car and she's asleep almost immediately. i think by this time she's caught on to what it's all about, but i think it gives her a chance to give in without giving in, kwim?

also, the thread on parenting and rage helped me a lot! http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=394579

good luck. whatever you do, don't beat yourself up! i've learned that feeling guilty never helps me solve a problem w/ dd. recognize the problem and try to fix it, but know that you're a great momma just for trying your best!
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#19 of 22 Old 09-05-2006, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you all so much!! i am doing so much better, i have much better control over my rage and anger with these tips you all suggested and i feel alot happier with myself, and everybody who posted about there own experiences of losing their temper just rememinded me that i am only human! and that i should take my mistakes as lessons, thanks again mamas!!
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#20 of 22 Old 09-05-2006, 12:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sleepies
toddlers are so difficult.

weird advice: sometimes i try to make-believe that there are recorders or cameras on me...and it helps me to stay more in control.
actually that's great advice. sometimes i notice i "behave more compassionately" when others are around and i'm trying to set a "good example".

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#21 of 22 Old 09-05-2006, 12:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by georgia
Something that helps, too, is instead of saying "I'm not going to spank" tell yourself what you do want to do when you're feeling frustrated . It's not enough, IMO, to say you're not going to do something if you don't have alternate tools in which to utilize.

I AM going to ________ when I am feeling overwhelmed with _________. It helps to remember that no one can make anyone feel a certain way---we are the only ones in charge of our feelings
oh, lovely advice. thank you. that puts things more into perspective for me!!!

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#22 of 22 Old 09-05-2006, 01:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by edensmama
This is what took place tonight at bedtime. I just had it and spanked dd. I felt so awful and ashamed. I came right to MDC to seek sadvice and when i read this post I about cried. I am very thankful to have friends at MDC to talk to and share these "bad days" with. You guys rock!!
AWWW! Now THAT makes ME feel better too! I know I'm human, others' are in the same boat, and we're all learning. Its good to know I'm not alone in this struggle.
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