I Am A Real Person
I was just 2 minutes too late to pick up my son from daycare. I pulled up just as he took a spill down this very small ramp that the kids ride down as they sit on a board with wheels. One child rode behind him and then ran into him thrusting the board into his back and knocking him onto the cement where his elbow caught his fall. I walked up right after this happened and my son was on his way into the building for an ice pack and attention. The scrapes were very minor and he did great even walking to the car to leave.
Once in the car, it is like the flood-gate of emotions tumbled out of his big heart. He couldn’t stop crying and it even got to the point of scream-crying. I drove home trying to console him but he couldn’t be consoled. I think sometimes kids are so strong and then something small just bursts out all of the tears or emotions they have been holding onto.
We got inside and I just held him on the couch as I made sure the crying was pure emotion and not broken bones etc. Noticing how completely filthy he was, I suggest a bath or shower so he can get clean and feel better and he wails, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”. He is now doing the “I’m so tired I can’t function” crying (know that one?). I stand firm that he can choose but one or the other is happening and that I will help and that I want to take care of him and help him to feel better. We proceed to go through an agonizing bath experience full of resistance and tears and I wrap a towel around him and hold him. I ask if he is feeling any better at all and his answer... “I wish I was with my dad.” Wow, those words cut like a knife. I just spent the past hour and a half loving on this child despite his horrible tantrums and tears and he wants his dad. (Perspective Meg…perspective.) I get him in his jammies and ask him why he wants his dad. His answer: “My dad would never do that to me. He would just let me cry.” I said, “Oh I see. Did you want to keep crying?” He said, “Well no, but I didn’t want a bath.” So, we called his dad. His dad proceeded to tell him that I was doing the right thing and he would have done the same if not told him to stop crying when it was obviously not a pain issue. That he may have been more “suck it up” with him and my child looks at me after the phone call and says, “Okay, I’m glad I was with you. I’m sorry that I hurt your feelings.” *sigh*
Can’t kids just make you feel crazy sometimes? One moment you are worried, and then you are compassionate because your deep love for your child hates to see the tears, and then you are baffled as to why you are being pushed away! Didn’t I do everything right? Didn’t I react calm and collected, while emotionally safe for him? It is in these times that our children are watching our reactions the most. They are learning how their words and actions make people feel. If they can’t see it, we need to tell them. Be honest about how their actions make you feel. My mom pointed that out to me once; that as kids you sort of see your parents as indestructible and capable of handling anything. They almost don’t seem like real people who make mistakes and have feelings that can be hurt. I believe this night; my son learned that his actions and words can hurt his mom. I am a real person.