If you had to be graded and handed a parenting report card, do you think you would be happy with the results? This thought occurred to me yesterday as I was sitting flat on my behind in our driveway cradling my disappointed son. A son who had just asked if I wanted him to find other parents? Because sometimes we (Rob and I) make him feel like we don’t want to be his parents…..QUEUE HEARTBREAK!
For background…Aidan is four, he is a very perceptive four-year-old, but like many preschoolers he can be manipulative and cunning, he can tell you he hates you without blinking an eye and when he is caught doing something naughty he will launch into a monologue about how he hates himself and should be locked up in jail– so you end up consoling him instead of reprimanding him. This aside, it’s NEVER NICE to hear that your kid isn’t too sure of your intentions.
The thing is I’m not sure of much in life, but every fiber of my being knows that I am meant to be this kid’s mom. He has been my living breathing prayer since the moment his heartbeat showed up on the monitor, so how on God’s green earth does he not know that? How is he asking me about the possibility of moving in with my newly wed cousin as she might like to have a son?
The whole thing (the issuing of a parenting report card) started when we caught Aidan and Caleb on top of a makeshift ladder. They had piled his trampoline, plastic bath and various containers on top of each other in an attempt to climb onto the windowsill in his room. This was followed by me having to physically chase him down for bath time and having to insist that he could not wear his lil punk jumpsuit for the fourth time in a row (Things have been interesting since he has learnt to dress himself).
I was frustrated beyond belief. I have a big sewing order to complete and my sewing machine is on strike. My to-do-list for the next two weeks is ridiculously long and I quite frankly don’t have the time to play referee to the boys after a full day of work which needs to be followed by a full evening of work. So I might have shouted some random things like numerical threats “I will count to 6” , deprivation threats “no tablet until…” and other empty threats. But in this screaming match I said something awful, I asked, “why do you have to be like this? Why can’t you be a good son and listen to me for a change. Maybe I should find one that listens”
That was awful because he is a good son, he is an amazing little boy and I’m lucky to have him and I would never in a thousand years think of replacing him. No matter how naughty he can be and boy can he be naughty (I’m talking broken windows, physical fights with his cousins, refusing to sleep, throwing himself down in the parking lot….) he is always a good son. He apologises, he tries to do better and he learns from his mistakes something that a lot of adults don’t even do.
After I said that, he went quiet, and walked out of the front door. I followed him and found him with his head on his knees so I sat down next to him and for a change I shut up and let him speak.
So there we were sitting under the lamp pole in the driveway, with tear filled eyes, me having received a parenting report card that stated…Needs improvement.
I’m pretty lucky that Aidan can voice his feelings pretty well. He could tell me that my words hurt his feelings and that he doesn’t always know why he does naughty things, sometimes it just seems like a good idea and he doesn’t know that it’s bad until I start shouting.
So here we are with me promising to be more careful with what I say and him promising to be more careful with what he does….And I really plan on doing this because I never want him to doubt my love for him not for a single second.
I believe that there is always room for improvement…What are you working on while I work on using my words to build up and not break down?