A letter to my 4 year old

  My love,

  Today we had a bad day. We both got angry and we both got a little out of control. There was yelling and tears and glares. I know we were both tired, probably a little too hungry. You needed one-on-one attention after being in a class of twenty kids all day. I needed one minute of alone time. Regardless, we both lost control and I want to say (again) that I’m sorry.

   As your mommy I should know all the right things to say when you’re upset. I should have all the techniques and tricks to help you self regulate and regain control of your body. I should be able to quietly talk you through your emotions and too strong feelings. And I DO know how. I’ve read countless blogs, articles and books about just that. I know from experience when I escalate, so do you. We feed off each other’s emotions. But sometimes, honey, Mommy gets wrapped up in the moment and I lose all that information. All I can think about is how disrespectful you’re being, and how exhausted I am and how we shouldn’t even be fighting over stupid Goldfish crackers to begin with. When that happens, I lose my patience and yell louder than I want to, or mean to. I make a scary face…I can only imagine how scary it is to your young, sensitive self. Then your face crumples and you cry REAL tears, and often times, so do I. You tell me that yelling scared you. I hate these moments, Baby Bee. I should be the example here, the example on how to handle anger and disappointment. I should be protecting you from scary things, not BEING one! Instead I lose control because you’re losing control. And that’s not fair to you. You have only been Earthside for 4 years, 2 months and 2 weeks. I’ve been Earthside…a lot longer. I should know better. And I do. But some days Mommy is too weak to remember, too weak to lead by example. You, unfortunately, get your short temper and over-emotional side from me. We explode like Roman Candles, cry for awhile, and then we apologize. I will always apologize, and I hope you will too. I can’t promise I won’t make mistakes, won’t hurt your feelings, won’t make you mad. But I will always apologize when I’m wrong. When I’ve hurt or scared you, or acted wrong in a situation. You are my Saving Grace and I am trying my very hardest to give you a happy, loving and secure life. But I also refuse to raise an entitled, disrespectful, spoiled brat. 

      Life isn’t fair. It never has been and it never will be and the sooner you realize that the less troubles you will have in life. You are a bit young to grasp that concept, and I get that. I’m not expecting you to succumb to the injustice of every “no” you hear. But I want you to understand that you absolutely CANNOT throw a shit fit and expect to get what you want. The world doesn’t work like that, and neither does our house. It can make you angry, it can make you sad, and you can even tell me “it’s not fair!” (Even though that is really pushing the line), but you cannot scream in my face and pound on the door and lose control of your manners. We will continue to work together, calmly, to find a way for you to express your anger in an appropriate way. But honey, as you get older, you will realize an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine being turned off is the least of the bad stuff that can and will happen to you. But until then, I promise you I will work my hardest to find solutions for us. I hate battling you after being apart all day. It hurts my feelings that you are an extraordinary gentleman to everybody but me. But I can’t turn those feelings against you. I want to help you get through these gigantic emotions of yours, not make them worse.

    You are incredible. You are amazingly intuitive, a total ham, and so, SO smart. I can see behind those big, brown eyes that you know you’re not supposed to act like that, but you don’t know how to stop. That’s where I’m supposed to step in, take your hand, and guide you through. Tonight I failed you. And I’m hurting so bad right now because of that. I don’t take failure lightly, especially when it comes to you. I’m sorry I lost my temper, sorry I yelled. I love you with every fiber of my being and am trying to make all my wrongs right.

      Thank you for snuggling up next to me on the couch tonight. I know that was your quiet apology and act of forgiveness and my heavy heart swelled with that one little act. I don’t deserve your unconditional love, Little Man, but I’m sure glad you keep giving it to me. 

You are my angel, my darling, my star and my love will find you wherever you are.” 

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