That's what children are. Tiny humans. I think many people, parents included, forget that. They have good days and bad days. They even have emotions. No, really!
So today, when putting up cute little posters in Chicken's bedroom turned into him breaking down and crying for a good 10 minutes, I knew what to do. Let me backtrack a little...
We had the posters laid out and I knew where I wanted one particular poster to go. He put up a little fight but I told him he could pick out where the rest of the posters would be. "Pretty please...with sprinkles on top?" Yeah, I went there. He agreed. Before the second poster went up he told me first one needed to be higher.
"No, it's fine where it is."
He did not agree with this statement. He didn't want to do it anymore. He wanted me to take it down. He wasn't listening to me tell him that he could be in charge of where the other posters would go. At this point I knew to walk away and give him some space. I went into the kitchen to tend to my lunch. As I sat down and began eating, he got onto the couch and had what I believe to be a catharsis.. but most people would call it a tantrum.
I ate my lunch as he screamed and cried and asked his Daddy to come home while he looked at his picture.
I continued to eat my lunch as he cried and screamed and told me that I don't love him anymore, and vice versa. Oh, and that I was the worst ever.
I finished my lunch as he cried and screamed and told himself that he was frustrated and that he shouldn't have said those things to me.
Was he done? No. He continued to cry and talk to himself as I went into the bathroom to get ready for a doctor's appointment. Every now and then he would peek around the corner. I knew that meant he was calming down and was ready for me to go to him. I wanted to go to him much sooner but he needed that release. When I could no longer hear his sobs, I sat down and held him.
"How are you feeling right now?"
We talked for a little bit as I wiped his face. He had probably been holding that in since the day his Daddy left for Chicago. Oh how good that must have felt! I didn't matter that his breakdown seemed to come out of nowhere. It was his trapped sadness trying to break free from his little body. It was important that I didn't speak to him during that process. He needed that moment. Because he's human. He is just as entitled as you and I to moments of sorrow, anger, joy and whatever else he's feeling at any given moment. These moments will happen again and again...and again. And each time I will be there, watching, listening and waiting. Waiting for that green light that says "hold me, I'm ready to move foward."