Making the Punishment Fit the Crime

He’s done it again!  My son has pushed my last button, again!  

I am exhausted and stressed beyond words, and finally, finally have everything that absolutely must be done before bed completed, and am on my way in to bed when I find my little night owl five year old has rearranged the living room back to the absolute chaos it was before I straightened it, not one hour ago.  The room that I had taken my precious waning energy and very limited time and straightened, to put one tiny corner of my life back in order.

And I am a screaming fool, again! I have tried deep breathing, and affirmations, and I have explained to him not to follow me and undo everything I did in the living room time and time again.  There is no “finding humor” in the situation.  I am five steps past “I” statements.  There is no energy for a time out for me.  It’s all I can do to scream, “Go to your room!” before I launch into a tirade of words that when I am rational I know not to say.  

I watch out of the corner of my eye, as my son leaves the room.  And, I look at the chaos he has created from my calm, and am angered further.  I can’t seem to stop myself, and I go to his room to yell at him further.

And, I shove open the door.  There are no more rational thoughts; I am ready to tell him everything on my mind.

There, in the comfy rocking chair where I often try to get him to sit still long enough to be read to, clasping his Monsters, Inc. Mike Wazowski stuffy is my son curled into a ball, crying.  Not small tears, but sobbing, his small body raking in and out with his sobs.

And I crumble.  

I go to him and I gather him up in my arms.  His small body is shaking as he continues to cry.  I stroke his hair.  I cry with him.  I tell him Mommy is sorry.  And my daughter, who has awakened with her brother’s crying, comes close and I hold her, too.  I hold them both.  I hold them and we all cry and I tell them that Mommy loves them so very much.  That Mommy doesn’t always say or do the right thing, but she will always try.

And, I learn from my children yet again.  Tomorrow, I will work on solutions for keeping the house from chaos and keeping my expectations lower.  But for tonight, I will hold them and love them.



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