Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Loving them when they are a bit unlovable

I need to start by saying my son Collin is usually the sweetest little thing in the world. He bring so my joy and light to my life.

But sometimes, on his rare off days, he is about as sweet as a rabid dog.

The other day was one of those days. 

The night before he had not slept well and he was a total grump the entire day. He just cried and yelled and didn't want to eat anything that wasn't candy and wouldn't go pee on the potty just out of spite and held it forever until I knew he was going to have an accident and I just stuck him on the pot and he freaked out and tried to get off and peed all over me and him and them freaked out when I tried to put him in a bath and cried and cried like the water was acid and got me all wet and I pretty much wanted to call Shane and say "come take care of your son while I go get a massage", but I remembered Shane was in Arizona for a couple days, eating Kobe steak on the company dime, while I tried to get his son to eat chicken noodle soup while he screamed he wanted cake. Then he scratched Lydia and dinner was spent listening to him go ballistic in the time out corner.

That was how that day went.

That night I finally got him down and treated myself to a couple Portlandia episodes before I hit the hay.

At 10:30PM I went up to check on the kids only to find Collin's light on and every book from his bookcase laying opened on his bed. I found him walking around in the dark in Lydia's room.

"What are you doing Collin?"

"Looking for books."

I picked him up, took him back to his room and cleared off his bed. 

"Collin, I'm going to have to take your lamp away if you keep getting up to read at night. You can just have your night light."

It was as if I said I was going to burn down his room and all candy stores everywhere. He went crazy.

I had reached my limit. I had been dealing with this alone all day and I was done. My first reaction as my pulse start to race was to say "too bad" and let him cry himself to sleep. That's probably what I would have done with Lydia at this age. (Who had about 74 times more "off days" as Collin.)

But instead I started to brush Collin tear stained cheeks and amidst his yelling I started to sing. I stared into his eyes and sang his favorite lullaby. His face made that frown that said he was a little heart broken and didn't know why and I smiled at him and kept singing. When I finished he said, "sing more Mommy", and I sang about Pretty Little Ponies and he looked into my eyes and cried softly. 

He searched my eyes again, and I knew just what he was looking for since I had seen Lydia do it so many times. He wanted to make sure he was safe and loved, even while feeling all of these scary emotions he was too young to really understand or control.

"I love you Collin. I always love you."

He took a bit breath, turned his head and fell asleep.

I thought so much about that night the last few days. These days that Collin has been back to his normal happy self. I know I have unconditional love for my children. But sometimes the challenge is showing them I do when they are just a bit unlovable. But, at least with my children, that's when they need to know it the most. 

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Blair said...

I love this. I know just what you mean.
Sometimes all it takes to calm down my two-year-old when she is having the worst fits is to sing her a song and hold her close. Which I sometimes do, when I can manage to stay calm even though it seems like my husband won't be home for an eternity. And, when I do, those can be such sweet snuggles. I really feel like kids this age just need to know that they are loved all the time, no matter what. When they know that, they are able to act much better and be so much happier.

Love Being A Nonny said...

Such a sweet post. As a mom, this was sooo hard. But, as a Nonny, it's exactly what I see needs to happen. Hang in there....this too shall pass and you did it with grace!

April @ PolkaDots n' PinkySwears said...

Oh how I loved this..

thank you. ♥

Unknown said...

This was very sweet. Sometimes, our biggest challenge as mothers is knowing what our children need from us at a certain point.

Shannon Gillman Orr said...

I looked at his picture and thought, "thank goodness other people have one of those too!"

Kristin said...

Thanks for sharing this...

LindsayBetes said...

Love this! Thanks for sharing!

JoEllen said...

So so true! I have to constantly remind myself this with my 2 year old =)

Michelle said...

Thank you for this post! I'm reading it after my three-year-old woke up screaming for about 15 minutes, wouldn't tell me why, just kept crying, freaking out and screaming ... Sometimes they do just need to feel loved and safe. Good reminder - thanks :)

Joy@WDDCH said...

Michelle@LovingEverySecond - my 3yo daughter has done this recently as well. In fact I don't think she was actually awake. I think it was a "night terror" or something. She didn't recall it and after just holding her and letting her freak she hiccuped herself back to sleep.

Natalie - thank you for this!

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