Lately, my six year old has been testing my patience.
There is almost a daily fit before we leave for school, and there is always a breakdown after coming home from school, and most nights there is a melt down before bed. I have confided with some special people in my life on the way these emotional outbursts are draining me. I have desperatly been trying to find ways to to help him through his emotional six year old year. So far we have tried to keep a better schedule, to make sure he doesnt go hungry for too long, to put him to bed earlier, to make sure he eats a bigger breakfast and to make sure he isnt feeling overwhemelmed with school.
We have had so many changes in the past six months that it is no wonder our kids feel as overwhelmed as we do at times.
We welcomed a new baby, and my son started full time school for the first time in the last few months. His little life is so different. He is now spending more time with his teachers and friends in a day than he is with me, bonding and creating memories.
My mother suggested these emotional times might just be his cry (literally) for more attention, and after thinking about it, I couldn’t agree more. At first I thought, Ofcource I give my child enough attention! I am his mother after all, and I adore him!
But, the more I thought about it, I knew my sweet boy wouldn’t be one that would purposefully act out; his heart is too pure for that. He has proven to be my little helper and the one that runs to his siblings aid. He is charming and funny, outgoing and loving. This new attitude we have been seeing has to be because of something, or lack of something in this case.
With a busy house there is rarely time to spend alone time with one child. I wish there was time for one on one attention for each of them every day, but with three, they are rarely without one of their siblings. I am like most parents with more then one child — I constantly feel pulled in different directions. But like all parents I love them each to the moon and back!
Last night I made an extra effort to spend some quality time with my son. We laid in his bed together, complete with super hero figurines poking me in my side, and the feeling on my toes that their could be some sand on his newly washed sheets, regardless, we lay there and just talked.
It was already two hours past his regular bedtime, but it was the weekend, and the other babies were already asleep so I knew I needed to embrace this time together. I wasn’t about to miss this rare opportunity for the sake of a schedule.
We lay side by side in bed and I began to tell him all about the times when he was my only baby. It was just a few short years ago, but of cource he doesn’t remember the details or any of the stories I began to tell him.
I told him about how attached to me he was as a baby; how every night he slept in my bed and played with my hair as I sang him to sleep. I talked about finally getting him to sleep by himself and how we both cried ourselves to sleep that night.
I could sense him smiling in the darkness.
I told him about trying to videotape his baby boy giggle — like it was my job. How I just had to have it recorded so I wouldn’t forget his sweet baby voice. He giggled his big boy giggle and my eyes filled with tears at the sound.
He asked for more stories.
I told him about seeing his face for the first time and how much love I immediately had for him. About being afraid to change his little clothes when he was small, because I didn’t want to bend his arms the wrong way and cause him any discomfort. I stroked his long lean arms and told him about the million skin rolls his little boy arms use to have. How he was so chubby and so cute that people would stop me on the street to rave about my gorgeous baby with the big bald head. I told him how proud I was that he walked at nine months and how funny he looked being so small running through the park.
I told him his first word was “daddy”, on my first mother’s day, and how I had cried. We both laughed at the irony of the situation. Then suddenly, the room grew still and through the darkness I could see my son’s smile fading.
He was finally getting it, how much I love him and always have. How it didn’t matter what he did, or how he acted, or how often he had an outburst, that I loved him more then he knew.
He hugged me tight with those six year old arms and told me he loved me so much and that I was his “favourite mommy he has ever had.” My smile couldn’t be contained.
I wished I had of set up the video camera, like I had done a few years ago to secretly capture the sound of his baby boy giggles. I wished I could freeze this moment in time; while we lay snuggling and bonding like we had done for those first few years of his life that are so special to me — but that he doesn’t have one memory of.
I wished to keep him small and all mine and to make all the little boy freak outs disappear from that moment on. I know they wont completely disappear, but I am going to try my hardest to give him the type of loving he needs. To help make him calm when he feels emotionally overwhelmed. I want to be a safe place for him.
And you know what? Laying there with him for only a half an hour, I heard more about his little life then I had in a few months. It was just us and the darkness and he confided in me like he never had. All those times before, when I had asked about his day, when we had walked home from school, or when we drove in the car, none of it compared to what he said there when it was just the two of us.
I wanted to stay there for a long time but knew there were groceries to put away and a baby to change. I sadly knew the second I got up from that warm bed that we might not get another moment like that for a while. It made my eyes well with tears.
The absolute truth is, I love my little six year old boy with his little fits and all!
I hope if I keep our chances for communicating and sharing more open, then perhaps these emotional times will be a perfect time for him to share his feelings instead of getting upset. I want him to know that I understand, and that if I don’t, I want to.
He made my biggest dream come true when I became his mother six years ago. I wouldn’t change a thing about him, he has the sweetest biggest heart, he is filled with empathy for others and is giving beyond description. I adore him more then I could ever try to explain.
It is decided, I am going to make it a point to create those little moments with him more often. It is true that the little moments are what make life big. They are good for me just like they are good for him. He needs his Mamas’ reassurance, and I need him to just be him and let me love him something fierce….like only a Mama can.
Wishing you a happy simple Sunday loving those in your life too.