I had seen this before and really liked it but didn’t really “need” to see it like I did when it popped up on my Facebook feed last night.
The past few months with my son have been trying to say the least. He is a little over two and really testing his boundaries. What is the most difficult for me is that when I speak sternly to him, take away a toy or a privilege I am often met with laughter or a part of his body assaults my body. Last night I was headbutted in the eye socket for telling him that if he did not sit down and watch the movie (as opposed to jumping on our bed) he had to go to his bed. I know he is only two and that seems like a complex request but he does understand because he got mad at the mention of going to bed. He was in between Mr. Ram-a-razzi and I, leaned over to my pillow and POW!
I have really been struggling. Sometimes I have a child who blatantly disobeys my simple requests just because he is able to. Other times I have a child who is just plain mean! If there is one thing that cuts me deeply it is people being purposefully mean to me. I was not bullied as a child beyond the typical teasing from time-to-time…THANK GOD! When a person I love so deeply intentionally hurts me (usually physically) it stabs me in the soul.
I try so hard to be patient and understand that yes, life is hard for a two year old. Lately I feel like I have not done so well. I am not angry or irritated but deeply sad. Tonight I just let my emotions go and what happened surprised me.
My son was taking his bath and I was washing my face, brushing my hair and counting down until I could get into my own bed. I all of a sudden hear a flood of water. I didn’t want to look. He had taken his cup that we use to rinse his hair and the bucket that his toys go into, filled them with water and dumped them all over the floor. After I confiscated the cup and firmly told him, “NO! No water outside the tub” I sat down on the toilet lid, my socks soaking wet. The rugs were soaked, the water was dripping down the vent and I lost it. I just cried. I looked at my son and cried. I managed to get out, “You made Mommy very sad” between helpless sobs. It was not about the water.
His reaction eased my pain. He just looked at me as I cried and listened to my words. He knows what the word “sad” means. He could relate to me. He knows what it means to cry. It occurred to me that maybe the answer is not trying to make him act grown up but for me to act more toddler. I try so hard to control my emotions, to be even-tempered and a good example.
It occurred to me tonight, soggy feet and all, that I am doing okay. I am not failing him as I struggle but learning with him as we both strive to be the best people we can be.