Monday, May 30, 2005

Killing me not so softly

My son is a good kid, happy, contented, in spite of living in two different houses, with two sets of rules.
He's also capable of bringing me to my knees with a gesture.

This afternoon, he was playing at a park with one of his friends of long standing - since they were infants (we shared a nanny, back when his mother and I were still married). The second my car pulled up to meet him, and he saw me, he gave one of those dramatic combined shoulder shrugs and foot stomps that indicated he was NOT glad to see me.

I got out of the car and beckoned him over to me. I told him he had really hurt my feelings, and asked him what it was about, while offering to negotiate with him if he used his Polite Words. He didn't want to leave his friends; that was all, and we arranged for him to stay.

Of course, while trying to have this conversation, his buddies came over and wanted to know what was going on. They were told "it's a family thing", which seemed to mollify them. But then buddy's Dad came over. Now, I'm just about in tears at this point. I just sat quietly until he left.

Then when I went to sit with the grownups, buddy's Mom asked how I was. The length of the pause that ensued begged an explanation. Which I provided, straight, no chaser.

It wasn't clear WHEN this picnic -for that's what brought us all to the park - might end, and I had some time-critical stuff I needed to do, so I arranged to leave him with the gang.

As I drove away, I reflected on what I might teach my son about feelings, when to reveal and when to conceal.

It's a tricky lesson.

As you can infer, I was pretty Out about what I was feeling. But if T. hadn't asked how I felt, I probably would have grieved my bruise quietly until mourning was over, before joining in the general conversation. And while stuffing your feelings leads to all sorts of craziness, I've also found that insisting on expressing every single one of your feelings, immediately, in all situations, is NOT a good plan.

If my son had tempered his disappointment, say, just a shoulder slump, followed by a polite request for forbearance, we both would have had an easier time of it. I hope I can teach him how to consciously make such a choice. No one ever taught me, and Lord knows it took me a long time to learn how to do it with any grace whatsoever.


Thursday, January 27, 2005

Nutella Cookies

The little punk that claims to be my son bugs me from time to time. He loves Nutella, but the school he goes to banned peanuts, and the stuff is full of peanut oil. So, I've been trying to make a peanut-free version. My latest version is paralytically yummy, but my Wee Bairn won't eat it 'cause it don't taste like the stuff in the jar. Don't get me started on Mac 'n Cheese that doesn't come in a box....

Anyway, I won't eat the stuff 'cause I'm too fat for comfort already, and Girlfriend isn't over often enough to make a significant dent in the supply, so - COOKIES! Nutella is pretty much pure fat, flavored with chocolate and hazelnuts.

I improvised heavily off the recipe in the link, and while they are not as heartrendingly tasty as I had hoped, I've already eaten 3 of them.

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