Can a person interrupt herself? If so, then I interrupt my regular programming with an atypical post. (Did you read that in an announcer’s voice? No? Then go back and read it again. Seriously. Now.)
Monday, I read this article by Melissa Sher on HuffPost Parents. If you aren’t the link-following type, then I will summarize:
Melissa told a story of a particularly frustrating morning at home. Nothing was going as it was intended, and conclusions were jumped to. Admonishing herself, she recalled a friend’s recent Facebook post about her own daughter:
“Maggie comes to me all excited and proud. She then proceeds to break a brand-new crayon in two. ‘Maggie!’ I say, ‘Why in the world did you just break a brand-new crayon?!’ And she looks at me all wide-eyed but the joy and pride that was there a second ago is gone. And then she burst into tears, saying between her sniffles, ‘I just wanted to show you how strong I was!'”
Which is to say:
- Don’t freak out about little things.
- Don’t assume the worst.
- Don’t crush your child’s spirit because you are busy.
Okay, so that is offensively reductionist, but you are the one who refused to click the link. You reap what you sow.
Being the social media-loving mama I am, I shared this story on my personal Facebook timeline, with the comment, “I should probably read this every day. Every single day.” (Yes, I repeat myself for effect in real life, too. God I am an exhausting human being.)
THE VERY NEXT DAY—not later in the week, not next month, not around the holidays—a situation like the one Melissa Sher described came to my attention for the first time. I very nearly said that it happened for the first time, but I doubt that to be the case. I was likely just ignorant of the circumstances on previous occasions.
The Kidling, as usual, was displaying less-than-stellar dinner table manners. I calmly told her to stop making “gross sounds” at the dinner table. She changed to a new sound, but persisted. So, of course, to time out she went.
After a few minutes, I went to talk with her about it. Any guesses what she told me? Earnestly she said, “But Mom, I wasn’t making gross sounds. That was part of my song. I was making music.”
And I had humble pie for dessert.