It is not the alarm-clock and I cannot hit “snooze”. This is, in fact, my son. Crying.
What’s wrong, sweetheart?
Please don’t make me gooooooo, I don’t want to gooooo….
I breathe a sigh of relief: no, he’s not sick. Not again. He just doesn’t want to go to the kindergarten, that’s all.
“Set the limit and then listen carefully,” my mind whispers to me. “Thank you, mind,” I answer politely. “Although, being my mind, you’re well aware I haven’t had coffee yet, aren’t you?” I briefly inquire.
And then I proceed.
Things are under control. I’m getting really good at this stay-listening thing, you see. I can even fix some breakfast now.
You are SO bad! You are such a BAD mother! Why do you have to make me gooooo?
I've still got good reflexes, so I prevent getting hit by the toy he has just thrown at me. Proud of my self-defense skills, I playfully inquire:
Are you, young man, messing with the queen of wrestling? Are you, indeed?
It turns out that he is. So we start showing off our strength. Mine, obviously, resides in making goofy faces and falling over. A lot. Which makes him giggle. Yay! 🙂
I’m happy. He seems happy too.
But, then… more crying follows!
I listen. I mean, really listen. His fear is real. His tears are real. This is my son, trusting me, showing me how he feels. And I honor the chance that he offers me, that of being there for him. We’re together in this.
7: 45 am:
How about having some Special Time, sweetheart?
He agrees and I set the timer for only five minutes, we are late already.
For the first time in our “special time history”, he chooses to spend those minutes wrapped up in my arms. He whispers something to himself. I cannot understand what he says, but my heart melts.
He cries when we arrive at the kindergarten and, when I get to leave, I cannot stop thinking that nothing, but absolutely nothing worked for us this morning. I am discouraged and sad and dispirited.
He had a WONDERFUL day today! his teacher informs me. He has been so present, so focused and active!
He looks happy and proud as he shows me some Easter decorations he worked on. And then he starts talking about his day.
Anca Aurora Deaconu is an instructor-in-training in the Hand In Hand Parenting Instructor Certification program.
Want to learn to use Special Time to resolve problems at your house. Watch our video series on The 10-Minute Tool.