…where a brave and beautiful bunch gather every week to find out what comes out when we all spend five minutes writing on the same topic and then sharing ‘em over here.
I need to say I’m sorry to you baby girl. I had a brief lapse in faith, and I started to doubt what I know of you. Lately when I look at you, I haven’t been able to see your heart first. Instead; in front of that has been your little hands and the damage they have done to those around you. I know it is hard to be three. It is even harder, when you haven’t been able to make your voice fluid enough to tell others how hard it is to be three. When I looked, I didn’t see the you I’ve come to know, the kind heart that is full of wonder and concern for those around you.
You see, in the past few weeks I’ve been getting calls of your unkindness. Reports that you have pulled hair, struck out, scratched and taken down other little children. I was surprised to hear this. I was so caught off guard that in those moments, I forgot who you really are, and I forgot to ask why. What had happened before you struck out. When I looked at you, I just saw an angry little girl, with dirt on her dress and sand in her hair hair who wasn’t getting her way and was striking out.
And then, I asked what had happened before you got angry. I heard how one little girl wouldn’t give back the toy you had been playing with. Another ignored your hug. Then one wasn’t doing what was asked of her by the teacher and you decided to intervene and “mother” the situation yourself. Because it matters to you to do what is asked. To comfort those that are upset. To follow the golden rule before the law of the jungle.
I know children have to work some of this out. But the real reason that I am apologizing is for the other week. The story that broke the storyteller’s back. I had a report that you had pulled the hair of a large 4 year old and taken her down. Once again, I forgot to ask why. When we got home, I gave you a stern talking to and put you in a very long time-out. I started to question if this was more than the “terrible threes” or you modeling younger behavior.
Then I asked why.
Turns out you had wanted to play with the other children. You had come up to a sandbox bustling with little ones and hoped to join in the fun. This 4 year old told you that you couldn’t come in to play with them. I can almost see the fraction of an instant of sadness that would have crossed that bird-perch of a bottom lip of yours before you decided to set her straight. She looked at you. But she didn’t see you. Your response was unkind. You pulled her hair, pinned her down and then crawled on top of her. Dear Quail- that may not have been the best way to get yourself invited in to play. We will work on gentler ways to get your voice heard. But, I want you to know that I am sorry. I never want to silence you from defending yourself. I never want you to feel that we your family, don’t see you when we look at you. I never want you to worry that we won’t try to understand what you are telling us, what you need us to see, to know, to hear. We will not forget your loving heart.
Next time, we will remember to ask why. We won’t assume your disability renders you unable to understand. We know you are so very capable and that you do understand what you see, what you hear, what goes on around you. We see you. But next time, pretty please, maybe next time, you ask the teacher for some help, rather than taking on the big kids yourself?
If your eyes are blinded with your worries, you cannot see the beauty of the sunset. – Jiddu Krishnamurti Quotes.
Beautiful:) That fiesty-ness will come in handy when harnessed into the right direction! Three is T.O.U.G.H. I have one myself and he is definitely driving me crazy, crazy, crazy! I have to control my response to it and try to understand where the ‘acting out’ is coming from before I react. It isn’t easy!
Such a needed reminder. I have a tough as nails girl and some days I wonder why. Other days I realize that what she’s been through already needed that strength…caused yet more of that strength. Thanks for this reminder. I love how God seems to bring what I need to hear from these FMFs. And how hearts are so similar all across this techy land. I wrote a post about writing letters to our children just the other day. 🙂
Thank you for sharing this. I think we jump to worrying about behaviour right away and it is important as you remind us so beautifully here to question why this behaviour occured, what led up to it. Thank you. Came by from 5min Friday. 🙂
What a wonderful post! Oh, how I remember those years. A story that often gets told in our house is how my daughter met her (still, at 22) bestest friend, but sitting on her in the sandbox … but she (R) was not the bully in question. Other kids had teased Jess and wouldn’t let her on the climber and she (Jessie) was just plain frustrated. The funny thing is, it made total sense to R that Jess would sit on her. And her family was still willing to invite Jess over. R is now at university, her sister pursuing an opera career, I go canoe camping with Mom, and they talk and text all the time. Okay. Way off topic here. But you got the memory going. Hugs to Quail. Keep those intentions going, they’re all good. I always said … behaviour is communication. What is being communicated here? I LOVE your blog!
Thank you Nancy! I keep meaning to come over to visit your blog and read about Jessie! Thanks for visiting! xoxoox
Sweet, sweet post.
Who is this four year old? I might need to have a chat with her.
Oh we miss you Miss. Mattie! Come play with us next time you are in town!
your girls are lucky to have you as their mom.