Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Minus the Sugarcoating

Every now and again I keep Kimani up late and I snuggle and play with her in the livingroom, and it is wonderful. For the most part she is calm and open to my affections, and she plays, she actually plays with me... in her own divergent sort of way.


Tonight I let her stay up because during her bedtime routine she kept saying "No bed" to her father, and when she manages to speak, she always gets what she wants, provided we are able to give it to her.

Jade was also up and playing with some new Melissa & Doug stacking toys—trucks and trains—in the livingroom. He wanted me to play with him too. So she and I did. Vroom, vroom, I loaded wooden cars onto a wooden trailer while he built a bulldozer. Kimani tore it apart and put some of the pieces in her mouth.

Jade got frustrated and very upset with her. He let out a short angry cry and then accused her to me, "Sometimes I think she is stupid!" I could see it in his face, in his eyes, that he was afraid of what he had said. Maybe he feared getting in trouble, or maybe he worried that he hurt her feelings... either way the words just hung there in the room, and the tears welled up in my eyes.

I didn’t know what to say to him. I hate parenting moments like that... when there is something big, something important, perhaps crucial and I have no idea what to do with it.

Even though I didn’t know what to say, words came out, "Yes, Jade. She is stupid. She cannot think like you can. Her brain was hurt when she was a baby and it made her stupid. But we don’t say it like that because that is mean. It is not her fault. She cannot help it. Can you forgive her for ruining your things?"

He said he could.

(Can the mother forgive Fate for ruining her child? She said she cannot.)



CJ said...

You handled that amazingly well! It's a challenge to validate one child's emotions when it may be cruel or hurtful to another's. Fate is an evil bastard sometimes.

Anonymous said...

I was about to write a comment but read CJ's first. Well said-DITTO.

Anna Alexandrova said...

Me too, i was going to marvel at how well you put it to Jade. It is important not to make kids guilty about feeling what they do, but also to teach kindness. You treaded this line perfectly.

"No bed!" is a very clever thing to say!

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