Last week was a busy week. It was the first week back from vacation and somehow, I always feel like I need a vacation from a vacation. I may have been a bit distracted during the week as I multitasked to get things done to catch up from the week before and prepare for the weeks ahead. Perhaps I didn’t realize that I was becoming a human doing instead of a human being until my six year old gracefully pointed that out to me…
I had just finished yet another load of clothes and I was checking email when my sister came up on Skype. I hadn’t talked with her in a while so I accepted her video request. My son was playing a computer game in the home office so I went to another area of our house to chat with my sister. Within a few moments of our conversation, my son screamed, “Mom! I need you! This crazy computer is stuck again!!” Our office computer is quite the dinosaur, but it’s good for games on the computer (or so I thought).
I calmly called up to him, “Hunnie, I’m Skyping with your aunt right now. I’ll be up in a few minutes.” A few minutes later he screamed again, “Mom! I n-e-e-d y-o-u-r h-e-l-p!” This time I replied, “You just have to wait until Mommy is done, and then I will be up.”
Apparently, that wasn’t good enough because moments later I heard him stomp down the hall and slam his bedroom door. I just shook my head and continued my conversation. Finally, I told my sister I need to go check on my son and up the stairs I went. As I climbed the stairs I was thinking how nervy it was of him to slam his door in frustration, but then I was thinking how frustrated both my husband and I get on that computer as well.
I slowly opened his door and saw him on the floor playing with a toy. I looked at him and said, “Nico, I was talking with Aunt Bri and I couldn’t come to help you in that moment, but slamming your door, seriously, who do you think you are?”
He turned and looked right in my eyes and very matter-of-factly said, “I am me. That’s who I am.” For a brief moment I was stunned. I work very hard to teach the children in my class and my very own child to speak their truth and that is exactly what my kid was doing right in front of me. I smiled and said, “You’re absolutely right. I appreciate that you are you and that you can say that with pride. What I would like to know is, do you think slamming the door a good choice?” He looked at me and replied, “I’m sorry mom. I was just so frustrated.”
We then talked about what he could do when he feels frustrated again instead of slamming the door, like possibly walking away and playing with something else to settle down (like he did after slamming the door).
While talking with him over the next fifteen minutes of so I realized that he was not only frustrated about the computer. More importantly, he was frustrated because he felt like I wasn’t there for him. He had been entertaining himself quite a bit as I caught up from our vacation and me sitting down to check email and then Skyping was likely, the last straw for him.