Wednesday, March 30, 2011

On screwing up and apologizing to my child

Sunday afternoon Amor Chiquito began telling us that her ears were hurting. By Sunday evening she was in a lot of pain. Monday morning we found out that she was experiencing her first ear infection, a “double ear infection,” in fact.

All I have to say is yay for Ibuprofen and antibiotics!

We tried some home remedies, like warm compresses and drops of olive oil in her ears, but neither of those worked for Amor Chiquito.

The ear infection had us up four times (I think) the first night, before we got the antibiotic. The second and third nights, Amor Chiquito was only getting up once or twice, but, each and every time we gave her ibuprofen she could not sleep for a good two hours. She tried and tried, but it just wasn’t happening. She kept telling me that she wanted to “watch one Dora and then sleep.” Perhaps she was onto something. Maybe I should have listened, in retrospect.

Amor Chiquito and I got bad colds and we are just getting over the cold, after at least ten days.

So, to say that this mama has been tired is an understatement.

Last night was night three of the madness, the multiple night wakings, sometimes for hours. Let’s just say that mommy was tired, extremely tired, and, in my case, an extremely tired mommy at 4:30 am can easily lead to a snappy mommy. I told Amor Chiquito that I was feeling angry, that I was very, very tired, and that I was going to sleep. I angrily rolled over.

So, what do you think my child did? She hugged me and gave me kisses.

Her actions helped me snap out of it and helped me realize that she was not intentionally being difficult and that I needed help. I needed Daddy to take a turn. I had been at it for two hours. I had gotten about three hours of sleep.

This morning, after I had gotten enough sleep, it all came back to me. I felt like such a snappy B!

My thoughts after the fact:

If someone can help you/take a turn, reach out and let him/her take a turn with the little one. It is ok. We are human beings. We get tired. You are not less of a parent for reaching out for help.

If you are home with a sick child, nap when the child naps.

We make mistakes. Forgive and be gentle with yourself.

Children are very forgiving.

Do right by your child. Apologize. It is the right thing to do. It will ensure that the special bond you and your child have is left intact. Also, you are modeling something positive, something you want your child to be able to do when she screws up.

I decided I was going to do just that, apologize to my baby. So, when she came home from preschool (her first day back), I got down on my knees, so I could be at eye level with her, and we had a little talk.

Me: I want to talk to you about something. You know how we were awake for a long time in the middle of the night and we could not sleep?

Ari: Yes.

Me: I got very cranky. I am sorry. I was not nice.

Ari: Why you were like that, mommy?

Me: I was very tired. I needed some sleep.

Ari: O.

Me: I just wanted to tell you that I am sorry I was cranky. I will try not to do that. I love you. I want to give you a hug.

We hugged and it was over. Later on, she told her Daddy that I said I was sorry I was cranky and she asked him why I was cranky. He explained that when people are very, very tired, sometimes they get cranky.

Long post..Oops!

Moral of the story: when you screw up, apologize to your kid, forgive yourself and move on.

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