It’s been a trying day around here. The odds were not in my favor from the start: I had to be in to work early which means the morning routine of getting Kiddo ready and to school is a bit more rushed. The commute there and to the office is a bit tighter. We were short staffed with a very full patient schedule. I survived the work day with only minor lingering aggravation.
Shortly after arriving home, Kiddo asked about downloading a game to my iPad. I reminded him that he has access to three game systems – one of which he doesn’t ‘share’ with anyone else in the family. Then I told him that (he knew) there is a two game limit on my iPad and he’d already swapped out games earlier that week.
He was not happy with my response. He huffed and pouted. He lingered by the couch and made a show of his displeasure. He eventually asked Michael if he could play on the Switch (which is Michael’s console).
We had that moment of beautiful parenting synchronicity and told him that he could use his 3DS or go entertain himself in his room.
There was stomping and a pointedly closed (but not slammed door). I let it go until I could hear him punching his pillow through the wall. If it’s loud enough for the deaf parent to hear through a wall then it warrants investigation. I grumbled to myself as I got up off the couch and went to his room. I asked if there was a problem.
His answer was that he was angry because he felt that his choices were so limited on how he could entertain himself.
I barely registered the words that flew from my lips. Full on Southern Mama sass – “Oh really? You feel limited? I can show you limited.”
….and there’s my mother tumbling right out of my mouth.
I sighed heavily, cursed myself silently, and decided it was in everyone’s best interest if I exited the conversation right then.
After dinner we had a second, more productive conversation. I reminded Kiddo of the one hour of electronics during the school week rule. I admitted that we had been slacking on enforcing it. I told him that while we all enjoy our electronics, I feel like it’s important to unplug and use your imagination. I drew parallels between the games he likes and the toys in his room.
By the end, we’d found our common ground and things were okay. I extended a peace offering of carrots instead of broccoli for dinner. It’s nearing bedtime and I can hear him singing (I think?) as he takes a shower.
I appreciate the fact that we’re able to take a break during conflict and come back whenever things are less heated. It’s not the easiest thing to do and I am humbled by the fact that Kiddo is able to attempt to hear both sides and is able to easily forgive me.
I know that someday our arguments may not be as easily settled. He won’t like my decisions and that’s to be expected. He won’t always be willing to give me a hug afterwards. But I can guarantee you that I will always tell him that I love him.
At the end of the day, that’s my mother coming out of my mouth too.