“Your child is not giving you a hard time, your child his having a hard time.”
It’s one of those bits of wisdom that faithfully appears in your facebook newsfeed and sucker punches you right in the face. Oof.
So often, when one of the Wild Things is giving “me” a hard time, I can only think about myself. How the crying is stressing me out, how I want to be doing something different with my time. Rarely do I stop and put myself in the Wild Thing’s teeny tiny shoes.
One day recently Five Year Old was driving me crazy. Like capital Cr, captial Azy. Absolutely everything seemed to reduce him to tears. Little things, like begging for cookies all day but refusing to eat anything of nutritional substance. Things that were, seriously, not a big deal.
At least, that’s how it seemed to me.
By the afternoon we were both exhausted of each other and he finally raised his cute little hands in the air, and with the saddest sad face you ever saw, complete with sliding tears, he said
“I’m just having a bad day!”
*insert pitiful wail here*
Oof. Another shiner to the face. Suddenly, my selfish glasses were removed and I realized, he’s not giving me a hard time, he’s having a hard time. I remembered that he had started his day with constipation (a problem that was a new experience for him) and I wondered if he was having other physical problems that day that I just wasn’t privy to. There’s just no telling what might’ve been going on his little body.
And the truth is, sometimes we just have a bad day. The smallest thing, like sinuses, or hormones, gets out of whack and it derails us for a 24 hour grump-fest. I have days like that. Not often, but there are days when something that wouldn’t normally bother me much at all sends me to tears. And I’m impatient. And grumpy. And emotional. And I just want to self-medicate with junk food.
So you’d think I’d be more sensitive to his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, eh?
I’m having to be ever conscious of this as our big move looms and all the changes to the Wild Thing’s environment stresses them out. I expected Six Year Old to be the biggest “problem”, but so far Eight Year Old seems to be manifesting the most stress about this whole sell-everything-you-own thing.
Sigh. It’ takes a lot of patience and energy to put his needs slightly before my own and not just lash out at him for his increasingly emotional behavior and resistance to my requests. Cause, um, I’m stressed too, y’all. But hey, no one said this mothering thing would always be easy, just rewarding.
Has your child been giving “you” a hard time lately?