Thursday, July 24, 2014

It's My Job

"Mommy, could you please leave the car on until this song is over?" my oldest asked as we pulled into the garage.  I strained to hear him over my baby girl's screaming.  
"No, honey.  Rosie is miserable.  I need to get her out of her car seat," I told him.  "Here's the good news," I said as I unbuckled my seatbelt.  "That same song will be on the next time we turn on the car."
"No it won't!" he bemoaned.  "It's never on the same song when we get back in the car!"

I was just tired and stressed enough to want to engage him in this conversation.  My mind started the argument.  "Actually, you are wrong," I thought, "CD's were invented in my lifetime - I have had hundreds of them!  I have listened to CD's for twenty years!  They always turn back on exactly were you left off in the car!"  This, of course, would get me nowhere with a five year old intent on getting his own way.  I decided the go with a less argumentative approach.  "Oh," I said.

I unbuckled my red faced baby girl and lifted her out of the car seat.  I started mentally strategizing how to get these crabby kids to bed the fastest way without any other meltdowns but my son had not yet moved on.

"I never get to do what I want to do," he said angrily.
I opened my mouth to respond but my two year old beat me to it.  "Don't talk to Mama that way," he said firmly.
"Thank you, love, but I can handle this," I assured him.
"No, Mama.  It my job to protect you," he said.

Time stopped for a moment as I took that in.  My little two year old was ready and willing to protect me.  He had actually listened to us when we told him how important it is to protect the ones they love.  It was incredibly touching to hear those words come out of his little mouth.  I did feel protected.  Protected and loved.  (This really helped me go easy on him when he threw 100 colored pencils all over the playroom about 5 minutes later.  Hey, nobody's perfect right?)

We have to remember how important it is to keep talking to them about values, even when we think they aren't listening.  They want to please us.  They want to do the right thing.  But they will only know what is right if we tell them.  

What values are important to you to pass on?  How can you bring them up in day to day conversations?

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