Last Saturday night was one for the books.
After a pretty intense day with a preschooler who decided that every limit had to be tested to the fullest, our evening came to a screeching halt when my husband and I heard a resounding crash coming from the living room. Running in what seems like slow motion now, we came in to a disastrous scene : My daughter up on the back of the couch, the 30 pound lacquered shelf that was hanging above it ripped from the wall, laying on our couch, 6 inches away from the fragile skull of my 6 month old baby boy. Plant pots shattered, family portraits splayed all over the floor, holes the size of fists missing from the sheet rock, and her, looking at us like a deer in headlights, knowing she was in BIG trouble.
First reaction, look for gushing head wounds on my son. None was found.
Secondary reaction, ask my daughter if she was okay. She said she was.
Then, the meltdown… Daughter sent to room, infant swept up and bounced back to calm and mom and dad completely at a loss about what to do next. Grounding until college came quickly to mind. Her living in her room for the remainder of her life was another…
My heart raced for hours, the most horrible scenarios rushing to my brain, “what ifs” sending me down a rabbit-hole of negativity that followed me to bed. Lights out…
Inhale, exhale… She is 3 years old.
Inhale, exhale… We should have never put her book up on the shelf.
Inhale, exhale… It is not her job to think ahead, she embodies the present.
Inhale, exhale… It is my responsibility to teach her consequences.
Deep breath… All challenges are a gift, they allow us to grow and better ourselves.
Smile and gratitude… We are blessed and her brother was spared from hurt.
So our daughter was informed that for the following week, she would have no TV, movies or access to a computer. Plus, she would be in bed by 7 pm every night. Now, although we try to limit the amount of exposure to television she gets, like all children, even a few minutes a day creates a wanting that becomes very intense very quickly. So we anticipated a very hard week, her begging, us refusing.
But as always, she surprised us.
Getting up the next morning, she verified with us that she couldn’t watch TV, we confirmed. We asked her if she knew why, she simply said “Because I made things fall”. Succinct, to the point. Nothing else needed to be said. That was almost 48 hours ago.
Happily going about her business, asking us to do crafts, helping us set the table, choosing books to read, the TV seems to have vanished from her mind. There in view, a constant reminder of what she cannot have, my 3-year-old jewel has chosen to ignore it and embrace our new family reality.
How quickly they move on, how quickly they let go of suffering. My children are my greatest teachers. From them, I learn more than I could from anyone, and for that I will forever be in their debt. They were born from me, but they gave me life.
Good night to you all.