August 10, 2003 - Sunday
I think I got one right today; one of those little parenting moments when you have to decide which way to handle things from any number of different possibilities from anger to adoration. Last night, really not that surprisingly getting back from a week vacation away, Harry was particularly fussy and frustrating during his bath time. In fact, he was so bad that his mother decided we would not read him any stories. As a way of tempering the situation, mostly so he wouldn't holler after we shut his door, I tried to ask him why his mother would feel that way. Unfortunately, those kind of questions don't usually work all that well with Harry and I ended up just walking out after a few minutes of his stonewalling.
But, risking loggerheads, I tried again this morning.
"Why do you think mommy was disappointed with you during your bath time last night and didn't want to read you any stories," I asked.
After hemming and hawing a little while he can out with, "Mommy didn't like me."
"Mommy loves you very much all the time, Harry. And, I love you all of the time, no matter what." It's a point that I've wanted to make with Harry for a while amid the scolding that can sometimes seem far too overbearing and here was the time to get it out there. "But, I think Mommy didn't like the way you were acting. I think she thought you were being too nasty and that's not how we behave when we love each other. When we love each other we should try and be nice to each other." I vamped a little more, but that was the idea.
It's a simple and obvious idea, a no-brainer, really. But, in the midst of being a parent and dealing minute to minute and day to day with joys and headaches of raising and teaching these little people, it's easy to get bogged down in the minutia and those little parenting moments don't always go the best, or even obvious, way. Anyway, Harry was a lot better at bath time. In fact, he even went up to use the potty all by himself before dinner. There's still a time and place for scolding, at least I think so, but balance and loving support are the keys. Of course, these wonderful words of wisdom won't last more than a day or two and then it will be time to try something new.