On my mother’s deathbed I asked her how I would recognize her if she was present in my life and she said, “Dog.” Something that at the time I thought was the amusing whisper of a dying woman who always had a little bit of the jokester in her.
But then when Tin was in the hospital to have his tear ducts opened and I called to her to be with me and thought I was blowing smoke in the wind, Tin later barked like a dog for an hour in his crib.
This morning as I was trying to get the wiggling stubborn refusing almost four year old into his clothes, I told him that I didn’t want to hear that he had pushed anyone since he pushed one of his dear classmates yesterday on the playground. i reminded him that he is not having his previously regularly scheduled playdate with one of his very dear friends because of aggression.
Now mind you, if I was in a different frame of mind, I would not be keeping Tin from playing with his friend that he pushed, I would be making him work it out and move onward from this behavior. But I’m not in a different frame of mind and caring for myself right now means avoiding conflict even if it means not having a teachable moment with Tin.
As I was growing exasperated with him for not letting me get his clothes on, and explaining how his behavior needs to be, he looked at me and said one word. “Dog.”
And I said to my mom, you may think this is funny, but it’s not. But nice to know you are here.