After the storm

After a day filled with ups and downs, choices and consequences, attaboys and a behavior write-up at school, three nights of homework so we could attend the school concert tomorrow night, fierce hugs and fierce fits, attempted bargining over the amount of dinner eaten in order to get dessert, Little Man acted like a sullen teenager , stomped through the house like he was making wine, whined and wailed like a banshee, successfully put on pajamas, brushed his teeth, got his clothes out for tomorrow and beat the timer by 13 seconds in order to avoid the dreaded no bedtime story. 

Story was read, giggles were had, second story requested and denied, and the yogurt hit the fan.  There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Wait – haven’t we already survived the years of the toddler tantrums?  It appears we both have more endurance than we used to.

I knew what he was doing.  Boundries were pushed and held as they had been all night. 

“If you would only let me have the second story, I wouldn’t be acting this way.”

Oh heck no!  “I understand your upset.  However, you are chosing to act this way.  You have the power darlin.  You can choose to be upset and go to sleep or you can choose to say “maybe next time” and go to sleep.  You do not get to throw a fit out here.”

He snarled / sobbed something unintelligable.  I went in to find out what it was.  After several “I can’t understand you when you’re whining” and “if you want something you need to ask nicely” he bellowed:

“I ONLY WANTED YOU TO TELL ME A STORY INSIDE YOU AND AND I CAN’T SLEEP WITH OUT YOU!”

“I wanted to cuddle with you to…”  “Why didn’t you anyway?!?!” 

“Because, I’m not going to stay in a room with someone who is being mean and yelling at me.  How do you think that makes me feel?”   “Saaad” 

“Mom, will you please (hic) sleep with me for a few minutes?”

“I would love to.”

“Mom?  I know you love me even when I yell at you.”

As a lay there, feeling the sobs leave your body, your ragged breath, your little arm holding tightly to mine I felt incredibly blessed.  You are going to experience hurts in life much greater than the lack of a second story after a roller coaster day.  I’m not going to always handle things with the amount of grace I would desire.  There are going to be things I can’t fix.  There will be times when even I am unable to see how the situation fits into the bigger picture of our lives.  And through it all, I will be the person you can rail against because you KNOW I love you even when you yell at me. 

Here’s to fierce hugs and peaceful sighs after the storm.

“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you. ” ~Robert Fulghum

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