The monkey has a thing about jackets or sweaters. He is fine wearing a jacket for school. Not for home.
We give in for something just because we don’t think it is worth the fight. If he wants to go on a drive, he will grab a blanket, wrap it around, and run towards the car.
But the backyard is a rough one. When it is really cold, and he wants to go outside on his swing, we have to stand firm. He wants to be in a light t-short, no shoes, and sometimes shorts. He doesn’t want to wear a jacket or sweater. And that ensues a struggle.
I tell my husband that there are things that I know are not worth the fight and we give in. But pneumonia is not one of them. Because of his history with NICU when he was younger, these things worry me a lot.
A few weeks ago, my husband had left for a grocery run. My daughter had just gotten back from class. The monkey ran outside and got on his swing. I told him he could be out here if he wore his jacket. He didn’t want to wear it. He cried and cried. He was holding on to the swing. I kept telling him over and over: Kiddo, you have to wear a jacket. It is just way too cold. He finally ran inside.
He went to get his jacket. As I am buttoning it, I remind him: You cannot take it off. If you take it off, you have to come back inside. He runs outside, takes off his jacket, throws it, and runs towards the swing. After much back and forth, and with my daughter’s help, he came inside.
But he was crying and crying. He kept getting his jacket and throwing it. Then he’d wear it again only to take it off and throw it. Then he ran towards my daughter and tried to kick her. I finally told him he was not allowed to do this. I told him: Sweetie I know you are mad but you are not allowed to hurt me.
But then, we had to restraint him. My daughter and I had to hold him down because he was furious. He went to that state where we can reason with him because his anger was too much. After a while, my husband came home. And there’s something about the low voice of his that makes my son snap out of his trance and stop wanting to hurt us.
Eventually he went upstairs. And with my husband’s help, he was able to calm down.
After a bit, I went upstairs to his room. He was staring outside his window. I asked him if he could sit down on his bed. We needed to talk. He came over and sat on the bed. As if on cue, my daughter walked in and sat next to him too. I told him that it hurts us when he acts like this. He would look elsewhere, and I would tell him he needs to look at my eyes. I told him it hurts us when he does this. And he needs to try to do better. My daughter talked to him too. Told him that she loved him, but we are all looking out for his best interest. And that he needs to understand that when we ask for something, is because we care for him. He was quiet, and calm. He kept looking at us and was so quiet and patient. After a while, he asked his sister for forgiveness and then he asked me.
Then my daughter brought a book. We read it together.
We don’t have many of these special moments, where we are able to recoup and reflect.
It was a bit hard that day. But I am grateful for such a beautiful ending. These are the stories that make my heart happy.