Tuesday, January 6, 2015

My Little Salesman

My three year old cries like his heart is broken when things don't go his way.  I have learned to steel myself against the torrents of tears and maintain whatever ruling I have made but it is not easy.  He screams, "Mama!  I am so sad!" And falls on the floor with great flourish.  I tell him I understand and I am here for him but I can't change my mind.  This elicits more tears that won't stop until I walk away.  This has been our dance for over a year now.  But he's beginning to get smarter.

He and I decided to take walk and have a little one on one time.  He grabbed my hand and said, "We really haven't had special time in a long long time."  I squeezed his hand back as I agreed and told him I was delighted to be with him for awhile.  Before I finished the sentence, he spotted some neighborhood kids playing together on the sidewalk.  "Mama!  I gotta go play with them!" 

They were playing "frisbee" with pieces of ripped cardboard and having a ball.  I sat down next to their mom and we laughed about the one minute of special time.  She shared how tired she was after a day at the beach with four kids under 8 (say no more, right?) and I took it as my cue to get my three year old out of there.  "C'mom, Drew.  We should head back for dinner," I yelled.  I prepared myself for the usual temper tantrum that accompanies these words but my mental work was unnecessary.

"Okay, Mama.  But don't you want to stay and talk to their mama for awhile?" he said as he smiled sweetly.  
"I would love to but we need to go eat dinner, bud."
"Oh...That okay.  I not hungry.  I just play more and more while you talk to their mama, okay?"
I smiled and hoped he didn't notice.  "I wish we could but we need to go.  Say goodbye to your friends."
"Okay.  Bye friends!" he yelled as he ran down the sidewalk toward our house.

There is something to be said for changing your course.  When something isn't working, we tend to blame everything around us.  People don't understand us or there are too many obstacles in the way.  But my three year old reminded me that all we can really change is ourselves.  If you are not getting the results you want today, try a different tactic.  Who knows, you just might get what you want.

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