Thursday, November 29, 2007

There's No Clever Title for This

So, the boy is growing up it appears. Well, duh...but last night it hit home a little bit more. For me, there is a distinction when kids get in trouble. When they are really little and they get reprimanded they don't always understand. They know that they've done something wrong but they don't get the full force of it, all the time. As they get older they come to recognize what the reprimanding really means and that's when they start to get upset. Working with pre-schoolers, I've seen kids start to cry- as a natural response- when they are reprimanded for doing something wrong. They somewhat understand the error of their ways and now they're upset that someone else is upset with them. It's a major milestone in development, this understanding.

Last night, we were at my parents house and I was putting the girlie down for bed and getting things ready for the boy to come up and go to sleep. (They stay with grandma and pop-pop on Wednesday night into Thursday each week.) I heard the boy helping my dad load the dishwasher from dinner and get the kitchen clean and then I heard the dishwasher door slam- one of the boy's favorite things to do and one my least favorite things to have happen. My dad immediately reprimanded him- as he should have. He did not scream and throw a fit just said, "Boy, you can't do that. When I say no you have to listen to me and not slam the dishwasher. You could have gotten hurt." I called boy upstairs so that he would be out of the kitchen and not destroying anything else. My dad brought him upstairs and explained that in slamming the door, the boy broke a wine glass. No big deal and he was sorry. I looked at boy and gently said, "You have to be careful. You could have gotten hurt. We can't slam the dishwasher door like that." Immediately his face crushed into a mess of tears. And of course, so did I. My little boy understood. He had crossed the milestone and was reacting like a big boy to getting in trouble. I wasn't upset or actually I was...I felt terrible that he was crying but not because we had reprimanded him. He deserved that. I'm not quite sure why I felt so terrible but I did. Both my dad and I reassured him that it was ok and it was over with, done. But boy kept crying for a minute or so more.

In a way it was sweet. It was this bittersweet moment where the realization struck me that my little boy was really growing up. There have been other indicators that he's getting older. I mean, he's beginning to understand the concept of Christmas. He's starting to understand his limitations in terms of what he can and cannot do around certain people. He's speaking in these sentences that I often wonder where they came from. He's becoming "a real boy" rather than my little baby. Yet, he still loves to cuddle and he even sat on my lap the other night for the majority of "A Charlie Brown Christmas." He may be acting like a big boy but I have a feeling he will always be my baby boy.


OHmommy said...

Awwww, sweetness.

Hold him tight and smother him with kisses often. Before you know it... you will be the MIL buying him a minivan with a third row.


LunaNik said...

yeah, it's cool to see them gettin all kinds a grown up, isn't it? my oldest gets the same way when we yell at her and i always cry when she does. she likes to heap on the guilt too, she always says "i'm sowwy mommy, wuv you so much, big hug" with tears spilling down her face. how could i NOT cry when she does that?!

btw, lol at ohmommy's comment!!

Stella said...

You guys are too much!! I read that comment about the minivan while I was at work, with a class in my room doing silent worked and laughed out loud. My kids thought I was completely nuts! TOO FUNNY!

I can't even imagine him going to kindergarten in a few years let alone anything beyond that! I still can't believe he's mine...that hospital was NUTS to let us take these two kids home.

Huckdoll said...

Oh my goodness! You work with pre-school children when you're not with your children.

You're 10 times the woman I could ever be Stella!!

Stella said...

Thanks for the compliment but no, not anymore with the pre schoolers! I used to when I first started teaching I taught pre school and then I went back after teaching high school for 3 years. Now I'm back at high school. Really, I left pre schoolers because I was going home to them and it was driving me NUTS!

The Sports Mama said...

That "warm fuzzy" feeling doesn't go away when they get older and recognize their errors, either. It makes me so proud when my teenager will take responsibility for something he's done (or not done, as the case may be), and then take steps on his own to correct it.

It helps reaffirm that *maybe* I'm doing something right!

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