My Dear Children,
“I want both Mommy’s arms to hug me!!” AA sreamed this morning and cried on and on, as I tried to split myself physically and emotionally between AA and W.
W wanted to drink and sleep. Or maybe just cuddle. Again. AA wanted my attention. My full, undivided attention. My whole, undivided body. I couldn’t give it to him.
What is really fair between children? How do you know?
I think about how AA’s outburst started this morning, taking me completely by surprise as he almost never has outbursts like this.
“Yes, you can watch Daniel Tiger on the phone,” I said.
“Can I hold the phone, Mommy?”
“You can hold the phone if you are going to be responsible about it. How will you be responsible?”
“I won’t press anything.”
“And what will you do if you see the bus or car and you want to watch that?”
“I will ask Mommy.”
“And if you do press any buttons. What can I do?”
“Mommy can take the phone away.”
Agreement made. All good. Watching Daniel Tiger. Buttons get pressed here and there by mistake:
“I didn’t mean to press, Mommy.”
But it happened again and again later.
So, it wasn’t AA’s fault, but I decided to rather let him watch without holding it but to have it sit on a surface. AA didn’t appreciate that! He exploded into rage. He went on and on and on and screamed and cried and who the heck is this child?!! And he hit and he kicked and whatever he could do to show how angry he was, he did. And he kept repeating that he wants to watch Daniel Tiger and hold the phone. At this point, somewhere along the line, I put Daniel Tiger off. For a split second I thought, all my calming down techniques are not working with him right now, maybe I should just give him what he wants so that he can calm down. But I stuck it through. Shoo! The calm after the storm couldn’t have come soon enough! And then W was on the left side of me making her demands and making her feisty presense known.
Eveeeeentually, after minutes and minutes of screaming and crying, AA finally fell asleep in my arms on the right and W on the breast and in my arms on the left. Quiet. Beautiful quietude. Alhamdulilah.
And as I lay in the quiet, I thought about AA and how much he needs more love and attention from me. And how, as much as I try, he still is not getting enough attention and love that is the right amount for him.
And then I thought about his demand to keep the phone. Power. He wanted the power. He felt like a big boy by holding the phone. And then I took the power away. Eish.
When AA woke up, his first words: “I’m calm now so can I hold the phone now, Mommy?” as if he never even napped!
May Allah Swt always grant me the ability to stay calm and to respond with calm and to teach you what calm is. <Big breathe in and out.> Ameen.
With all my love,