Asher got mad at me last night. It seems he was hungry and wanted a snack. I began to warm up some leftovers for me and the boys to eat for dinner, as we were going to have to leave home very soon to make it to Lucas’s piano lesson. Apparently I didn’t act soon enough because he started to melt down.
Asher asked, “Are you going to feed me a snack?”
“No. I’m feeding you dinner. It’s chicken meat,” I said confidently, knowing that he devours the stuff.
“I don’t want dinner! I want a snaaaaack!”
A moment of quiet passed. I put the food on the table and walked into the living room with a sinking feeling.
He was standing on the window seat ripping down the snowflakes we had made and hung together. He stood with a crumpled mess at his feet. He knew just exactly how to hurt me. He knew I loved them.
I will absolutely grant you that it’s silly to cry over ripped paper snowflakes, but that is exactly what I did. Sometimes parenting is really hard. Sometimes children do rotten, hurtful things. And as much as I’d like to say I am above being insulted or hurt by their capricious natures, I am not, even though I try to be. There’s no point in taking something like this personally.
But that’s an interesting dilemma in my mind. I personally infuse so very much of me into my parenting. How much more personal can a 24/7 job be? Is it possible to operate so very intimately, so personally, only when things are okay, and then just blithely duck and weave when the “snow” starts flying? Maybe. But maybe not all the time.
Objectively I know that Asher is on the cusp of being 4, or in the prophetic words of the subtitle of my favorite parenting book series, “Wild and Wonderful.” He is feisty and willful and he wants what he WANTS! He is in control of very little in his life, and he is developmentally compelled to try to control it all.
I think seeing mama’s tears flowing because of something he did was a powerful moment for him (arguably both good and bad). He sobbed and remembered some of the right things to say.
“I’m sorry, Mama. I’ll never do dat again! We should forgive ourselves.”
Yes, I suppose we should.