The Things You Lose When You Look Down at Your Child
I was trying to do three things at a time: force my son to stand still with one hand, not spill the medicine I was holding in the other hand, and not curse. I failed at all three and was at my wits’ end. Something had to change.
I told myself I could: A. Sit there and cry. B. Fantasize about tying him with a thick rope and forcing him to take the damn drops. C. Get down on the floor, look into his eyes, and try to connect with the human being that I knew was hiding behind that little alien octopus.
That’s when I had my f*** moment…
I forgot to connect with the child.
(In all honesty, that moment came after I tried A and B).
Doh! I was counting on a child’s cooperation with no warm-up, and for what? For making him take his medicine through his nose — something that even adults hate, let alone a two-year-old.
So, I eventually came down on the floor and asked him — “What’s wrong, Mathew? Why don’t you want to take your treatment?”
The little boy pouted. He pressed the napkin against his runny nose really hard and then wiped off his tears (yes, with that very same snotty napkin). He looked me straight in the eyes and said — “It is not nice to take the meds.”
Of course, it is not nice. What was I thinking?
It Takes Two to Tango and Two to Connect
I’ve been a parenting writer long before I had my child. (I know, funny, right?) In any case, I’ve been reading lots of parenting and childcare education books and blogs, and they were all preaching the wonders of connecting with the child.
Find 5 minutes a day to snuggle with your little one, they said (multiple times a day, if I may add), and it will save you a couple of hours of fights every day.
Still, I always believed that this connection was all about the child. He was the one who needed to feel the parent’s warmth and closeness before he could give in and act as he was expected, even though it wasn’t something he necessarily wanted. Children do well if they can, and connection…