Something happened this morning that I couldn’t wait to run over here and write about. The Tornado and Younger Son have developed this really intense friendship lately. We were all sitting with the twins building block towers, and Tornado was knocking them all down. I said, “You can knock yours down but not theirs!” So he did it again.
Younger kept building a tower just for Tornado, and was trying so hard (and patiently) to get him to focus on his. Still Tornado went for the twins, and Younger sadly informed me, “Mommy he won’t stop.” I said, “If he knocks theirs down again he gets a timeout.”
Then I got distracted by Miss S needing something, so I went off to take care of that, and Tornado knocked all the towers down again.
Younger got up and led him over to the timeout spot. I’m conflicted about letting him be in charge of such things, as it’s not my sons’ job to discipline children, and would normally step in and say so. But because of their strong dynamic lately I let it play. Tornado knew it was coming and went along willingly.
I gave him a couple of minutes and then went to get him out of the timeout spot. He immediately walked over to Younger, gave him a hug, and SAID HE WAS SORRY!!
Then he walked over to Miss C, hugged her, and said sorry!
Then he walked over to Miss D and did it again!
My eyes were filling with tears. All these years, all the run-ins we’ve had, all the work we’ve done on sharing and taking turns and understanding other people’s feelings, all the repeating over and over again about how to say you’re sorry – it all came together in one astounding moment. I’m not exaggerating when I say astounding. I couldn’t believe it was happening right before my eyes, and I was so proud to see my kids interacting this way.
And that’s the reward of child care.
I’m not saying he’s got all these beautiful behaviors down pat. In fact I think he only responded so strongly because it was Younger who gave him the timeout. Me, he’s not too concerned about angering. But YOUNGER, his new idol, that’s another story. And he was back to pulling hair two hours later during outdoor play, and that’s not shocking, it’s just to be expected. We’ll keep working on it like we always do, and there will be plenty more timeouts in the future.
But wow, what a great moment this morning.