PICK YOUR MOMENTS
This morning, while enjoying my usual early start with my daughters, declaring my undying love for my eldest, I gave Amélie a quick cuddle that she wasn’t aware was coming (she was concentrating on one of her favourite shows). Isn’t it beautiful when your children immediately stop what they’re doing, look you in the eye, and return the love? Yeah… like that happened. She gave me her mock cross face and humffed at me.
Me (being mock-cross, hands on hips): Now, you listen here, Young Lady! I am your daddy, and if I want to cuddle you, I will cuddle you!
- You never know when someone will want to sucker-punch you on the nipples. It could come at the least-expected time, from the least-expected person. Always be prepared.
- Don’t interrupt someone when they’re in the zone. Like a person venturing into a wild bear’s cave, or a wife venturing into her husband’s Man Cave while he’s busy doing something, no good can come of it. It is not wise.
It made me realise that, as parents, we need to find the balance between doing whatever we want or think is okay (or necessary) in the moment… and respecting that our children are in the middle of something, and interrupting that thing – for whatever reason – can sometimes be done in a better, more considerate way.
It doesn’t matter whether we want a cuddle, or we think that it’s only TV; we need to acknowledge that our children are Little People, and if we get annoyed with interruptions that break our concentration or flow, why wouldn’t they?
Now, I’m not interested in any claims of “your child shouldn’t talk to you that way”, so if that’s you, thanks, but respectfully, no thanks. I know my daughter, and I know when she’s being cheeky and needs an appropriate response, and when she’s playing – inviting me into the game. In fact, I’m impressed that she found a way of showing her annoyance without actually making a big deal out of it (which has been known to happen when she’s been really tired).
The point here is that, even though we were both pretending to be cross, she didn’t appreciate the sudden cuddle, and that’s what got me thinking that our children have every right to be annoyed with us, and to be able to express it.