At the end of the day it feels awesome to focus on the great parts of the day. No matter how bad a day is, there’s always something good to look back on.
I want my children to grow up focusing on those moments. We try to show them the bright side of life’s events, especially when they might not be obvious.
But today, right now, I’m not focusing on any of today’s amazing moments.
Instead, I’m focusing on that moment right before bed where toddler Boy’s head went flying through the air.
I could see it coming. Today he heard, “in a minute”, “not now”, “no”, “stop”, “later”, so many times. Each time he hears words that disconnect him from us, he becomes a little bit less regulated. A little wilder, a little louder, a lot less calm.
It started before getting out of bed. He wanted me to get up with him, I wanted those last precious minutes of sleep. I said, “In a minute…”
Then we had a short time to get Brom, Cordelia, and I ready to go, and prepare Ella and Agatha for their first time staying home alone (Ryan was sleeping after a night shift, but they knew only to bother him in an emergency). Brom asked me to come play. I said, “Not now.”
By lunch he’d heard similar words many more times. By the end of supper someone yelled at him to stop what he was doing.
He hears those words so many times, all he wants is to be included, to be noticed, to be loved.
Those words send him the opposite message than we really intend to give, and the opposite of what he needs.
All those words piled on top of him until he couldn’t hold them in anymore. He raced, he jumped, he bounced. Every one of those words had to get out of him, and they had to get out immediately! At top speed!
Before bed, I needed to vacuum the bedroom, the amount of fur stuck to the carpet was absolutely disgusting, not to mention no one could breath due to the amount of yuck in there. Normally we have a mattress on the floor. I flipped it up so I could be sure to get all the fur and dirt from around it. It was leaning rather precariously, but I was going to be quick.
Only Brom was quicker. He ran in, jumped on the mattress, that then crashed into a pile of stuff that’s been collecting dust for a while, and all of that banged into the wall. But the wall isn’t finished, so it ripped the plastic that covers the insulation. I was annoyed. I curtly told Brom to stop. He did it again. So I went over and grabbed the mattress so it wouldn’t bang against anything again. Except right at that moment Brom leaped again.
Yep. You see where this is going.
Because I was holding the mattress, it began a sling shot of sorts, and Brom was the bullet.
He went up, he flew over, he came down.
Part of moving toward unforgettable. Toward more joy, more peace, more love. Is remembering the importance of connection, and noticing when disconnection happens before something like this happens.
Yes, accidents happen. But this could have been prevented had I stopped to connect with Brom one on one earlier in the day. And shifted my words to guide him to activities instead of away from things. When Ryan got the girls to have a milk bubble blowing contest, Brom could have joined in, but he wasn’t invited.
The more we, as parents, connect with our children, the easier it is for us to see new ways to talk to them and approach stressful situations. If I’d connected earlier in the day, his actions likely would have been different. But even if they weren’t, my actions and words would have been different.
There were many wonderful moments today. One of those moments was Brom snuggling me after his tears dried, and telling me he loved me. Me holding him in my arms while we read a couple books together and he told me his own stories and talked about the things he likes. He snuggled and smiled, he loved and was loved.
I will learn from today. Tomorrow I will be sure to connect with him through the day. Tomorrow he will feel more loved and our relationship will be better for it.