Monday, December 01, 2008

how do you ask a one year old for forgiveness?

it was bound to happen, you'll likely say. even still.

it's been a long day for both of us. needles and exams for the sweet one, and the accompanying agony for mommy. i was low on patience. i tried to right myself with prayer while she napped. then, this afternoon, i was trying to get things done around the house and she got into some glue. gorrilla glue, to be exact. i grabbed her immediately, but she already had it on her hands and had shmeared some on her face. i sped to the bathroom to wash it off with warm soap and water. gorrilla glue, as you can imagine, is really rather....gluey. so it was taking some serious scrub power. this did not make the girl very happy with her mommy.

when kaia gets angry she goes for the glasses first. not that they're any kind of fancy or expensive. but they're the only ones i've got. she also grabs them about a hundred times a day just because she can. this drives me batty because i'm constantly having to clean the smudgy fingerprints off the lenses.

so, there we are, sticky girl and smudgy glasses mommy. as she grabbed my glasses i belted out "NOOOO." this resulted in the most tragic looking face i've ever seen in my life, followed by an awful "i thought you loved meeeee!" cry. i felt awful. and by awful, i mean absolutely evil.

i grew up with intense yelling (among other transgressions) each and every day. one of the things that drew me to my husband was how very peaceful and mellow he is. i have an iron clad commitment to having a peaceful home, and a parenting style that excludes yelling. i know, it's an ideal goal in an un-ideal world. but still.

so, once the glue was dissolved from her skin, and my glasses were relatively clean again, the reality of my response hit me. by this time, she had long moved on from the momentary lapse in my character. I sat down with her and said "kaia, mommy should NOT have yelled at you. that was not a loving or kind thing to do. i'm very sorry." it was heartfelt and sincere as i'll get out. she had absolutely no response. then i said "do you want to watch blue's clues?" at which point she gleefully clapped and smiled. i thought "great job mom. you promised no t.v until she's three, and no yelling, now look at you!"

so, when a one year old can't offer forgiveness except by forgetting the incident altogether, how do you reconcile your wrongdoings?


LoriLoo310 said...

We're parents, we make mistakes. And we make them often. The nice things about kids is that they forget easily. All we can do is learn from our mistakes and promise that we'll do better next time. You're a great mom. Don't sweat this at all.

Corine said...

When I lose my patience I handle it the same as you... Afterwards feeling guilty, apologizing to a child that doesnt really seem to think there's anything to apologize for.

We're parents we arent perfect... I think we put more pressure on ourselves than is really necessary. I do it all the time.

rebecca marie said...

the beauty of children is that their forgetfulness is their forgiveness. it's later when they learn to hold grudges that we have to get more creative. you did fine, mamma.