So I printed some coloring pages over the weekend to play with in between doing homework and running errands. Okay, I didn’t really “RUN” errands – but I am hobbling better every day and moving faster.
It’s amazing to see how much these “bumps” in life affect my kids. I don’t mean to say they shouldn’t be affected by life, it’s just interesting to see how they process these upheavals and changes in life. We’ve seen many twists & turns over the past several weeks, but mommy with a hurt foot, brace or ankle wrap, and crutches – really knocked them off kilter for a few days.
Last Tuesday, since Roy stayed home, he decided to take the girls out for a few hours in the morning. I was quite all right with that, but Curly had a really rough time. She wasn’t listening, she was talking back, and she was piddling around when she should have been getting dressed. I found myself sitting on her bed, literally talking her through putting on each piece of clothing as she argued with me over nothing.
It’s not like her to be quite so argumentative, and in the end, Roy & Georgie actually left without her. So while we were settling in downstairs, and she was crying out her distraught little heart, I got her to stop long enough to ask her why she didn’t get ready sooner.
“Because if I leave I don’t want your foot to bleed again,” she sobbed.
(P.S. – if you’re not a mom – every booboo requires a bandaid, whether bleeding or not, and in my case, she assumed my sprained ankle bled…)
She’s only 4, so she didn’t know how to say that she was WORRIED about leaving me alone.
So, we talked for several minutes, and after I put the word “worry” to her feeling and we talked through it, out came the sunshine in my girl and we called Daddy who gladly returned to pick her up.
It was so simple really, and to be honest, if I hadn’t been forced to slow down (literally), I may have missed the clues she was leaving for me. She needed me to help connect her voice to her feelings. She is pretty sharp, and she says things all the time that make me stop in my tracks. But its really important for her to learn those words that describe feelings so she can talk to us about what’s going on inside.
If nothing else good comes of this sprained ankle, that little lesson taught me a lot. It also gave me a boost of confidence in mothering.
She doesn’t need me to do everything for her.
She isn’t helpless. But she absolutely needs guidance and direction and acceptance – whether she’s storming like a hurricane, or shining like the springtime sun… And while the screaming and backtalk needs correction, her heart needs understanding and acceptance.
It’s a fine balance, much like a tightrope some days, but I am grateful for God’s wisdom and clarity in dealing with these Mommyhood moments…