What do you do with the mad that you feel?
When you feel so mad you can bite
When the whole wide world seems oh so wrong
And nothing you do seems very right
What do you do? Do you punch a bag?
Do you pound some clay or some dough
Do you round up some friends for a game of tag?
Or see how fast you can go?
It's great to be able to stomp
When you've planned the thing that's wrong
and be able to do something else in stead
And think this song
I can stop when i want to
I can stop when I wish
I can stop stop stop any time
and what a good feeling to feel like this
And know that the feeling is really mine
know that there's something deep inside
That helps us become what we can
for a girl can one day be a woman and a boy can one day be a man.
It really hit home today with my oldest son in the grocery store. I really love the moments when it's just the two of us together. We were carrying the basket together and he was reminding me of everything that I might have forgotten to get."Oh no! I just remembered! We needed to get Donuts!" I felt my stomach flip over. We were in the baked goods section and I was trying to weigh the decision of which bagels to get: the ones I liked for more or the better deal. I was obviously taking too long. The danger of looking at bagels for too long, is the donuts release child-catching pheromones. I should have known we were doomed. We were not getting donuts, and I made that clear. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Oh man. Donuts are so yummy. Today we're buying bagels and bread. Then we can go home and eat.
S-man: But I WANT one. I said that.
Me: I hear you! You want a donut. You really do. Today we're buying bagel.
S-man: High-pitched screach of: But I want one. I really want a donut!
By this time I was getting those looks of the passerbys, but my eyes were only for my son. He was in great distress. Even though deep down I though it was absolutely ridiculous for him to be having such a strong reaction to wanting something. I knew that really this was a tired, hungry boy needing some reassurance and I found my zen. I kneeled down right there in the aisle and breathed. He was crying and close to throwing himself on the ground. Calmly I said: "You really want a donut. I wonder if you're hungry. Today is not a donut day, but I am available for a hug if that will help your body feel better." He was still crying,didn't really want a hug, but after repeating those words a few times in a few different ways he began to calm down. We picked out some bagels, even cinnamon and sugar mini-bagels that he could use for lunch. We walked together to the checkout line. He even helped scan every item at the self-check.
My S-man was mad. And what did he do? He showed it and I gave him the gift of compassion and waiting until he worked his way through it. I made sure that he felt I saw him an was right there with him, while offering our known limits, reinforcing what is going to happen and why. The sense of release that was felt after was satisfying for both of us. This is the hard work of being a mama an 4 year old. And we did it.