Friday, February 15, 2013

sad, mad, and confused a little bit

This morning as I walked into the garage with Taran on our way to our one-morning-a-week preschool. He said to me "Mama, I'm sad, mad, and confused a little bit because the brown car went away." The brown car was our old beater back-up car which we donated to NPR a couple of weeks ago. He's very attached to our cars - despite not having more inventive names for them other than "the brown car" (which has now been replaced by the slightly less beater "green car") and "the blue car" - and since the going away of the brown car, we've discussed the sadness of its parting a number of times. It's not the cars that I want to talk about though, but the wonderful conglomeration of feelings that he expresses. He may not know exactly what each adjective means, but he does understand that they are all in the category of Blue feelings. The more feelings he throws in, the more blue he is. He's been sick this week with a cold and woke up really crying from a nap two days ago. I went up to snuggle him and through his tears he let me know that he was sad, mad, confused, AND worried. (He was upset that he had woken up a few minutes before the "awake bunny" had lit up on his clock, which lets him know that it's ok to be out of his bed. We snuggled and read a book until it lit up).

He may be misapplying the adjectives, but I am once again relieved that he is finding words for his feelings. The alternative over the last year has so often been a physical translation which turns into random hitting, tearing our glasses off and throwing them across the room, beaming us in the head with whatever is handy, and generally being an unruly, defiant two-something. I'm telling you, getting the surprise schwack for no apparent reason in mid-cuddle is enough for me to go into classic Exorcist head-spinning and it is all I can do to keep breathing and not completely blow my top with him.

We are just coming out of a particularly rough couple of weeks where all four of his two-year molars were doing their last [I hope!] pushing through at once and he was all sorts of wild thing. In these moments, I have to hold on to whatever small snippets of quiet connection I can create with him to keep my sanity. One of my favorite things to do with him is cooking together in the kitchen and, while this might be testing my luck in his wilder moments (flour bombs in the face and smashed eggs on the floor anyone?), somethimes it is the perfect thing to ground both of us. I love to stand by his side while he chops at his chef table and I chop at mine.

I feel good about these moments because, after a day of endless repetition of phrases like "Taran, Mamas are not for hitting", "Taran, we do NOT throw hard things in the house and especially not at people's heads!", it's really nice to let him know in some way that I still love him, still want to be with him, trust him to be able to handle the responsibilities with me. And..... on wild days, this might be the only way I'm going to get a single mouthful of vegetable down his gullet.

Plus, at the end of a particularly trying day (hell, sometimes by 9:30 am!!), we both need a little sweetness.

No comments:

Post a Comment