Since I have two boys, I thought I would be spared. You know– from the eye rolling and exasperated sighs I thought (incorrectly) only girls were famous for. And even with girls, I didn’t think it started until the tween years. My son is four. And I’m already getting it.
Me: Would you like goldfish or an apple for a snack?
Son: Apple! I already said that!
Me: Do you need to go potty?
Son: I already went potty. Why do you keep asking me that?
Well. Alrighty then. In both scenes, I reminded him to mind his manners. And then I apologized for not listening, for not paying attention.
When I stop to pay attention, I can see how my son holds up a mirror and reveals my own behavior. It’s a delicate balance, reminding him that I’m the mommy, that I’m in charge. And at the same time, recognizing and acknowledging he’s a human being with legitimate thoughts and feelings.
The one thing I’ve come to understand about my son is that he is honest. Whenever he makes up a story, it’s quickly followed with “I’m joking you.” The other day he said, “I do not want to play Yoga Pretzels, and that is my truth.”
His truth? How very “yogi” of him.
At 4-years-old, he’s still in tune with his truth. Most children are. It doesn’t mean they always get to live their truth. If that was the case, my son would have lollipops for breakfast and go to bed at 10pm every night.
At 35-years-old old, I often get out of tune with my truth. When I’m frazzled and distracted, my son is quick to let me know. I resist the urge to feel guilty about it and call myself a “bad mom,” but sometimes I do. I’m certainly not the only mom who feels pulled in a million different directions.
So here’s my truth: I want to live a more peaceful life. I don’t want to be so busy and consumed with the chatter in my head that I don’t hear my son speaking to me.
So what about you? Has your child ever gotten sassy with you, only to realize he or she had a point? What have your children taught you about yourself?