Sunday, March 2, 2014

wants vs. needs: a Jacob story

Sometimes, when Benjamin's screaming his head off and Jacob is being crazy laughing or rolling marbles all around the house or jumping around, it's a little much for me to take. This happened the other day. 

Me: Jacob, I just need it to be quiet for a few minutes, okay?
Jacob: Mom, you don't need it to be quiet. You just want it to be quiet.
Me: Listen, I feel like I'm about to go crazy and I just need a few minutes of quiet.
Jacob: I'm just laughing.
Me: I know, but with Benjamin crying too it's just too much. I need quiet.
Jacob: You don't really need it, you just really really want it.
Me: I JUST NEED QUIET!! (There were a few more words said here that I won't go into... not my proudest parenting moment)
Jacob: tears and crying (like I said, not my best moment)

Later, after I have some quiet time in the back room....
Me: Jacob, I am very sorry to have yelled at you. I don't want to yell or hurt your feelings. It's just that when I ask you to be quiet, I really need you to do that. My brain just feels like it's going to go crazy sometimes.
Jacob: You're always telling me that I don't need things, just want things. It seems to me that only grownups have needs.
Me: I see what you're saying. I'm sorry, sweetie. It may not exactly be a need to have quiet but if I don't have a few minutes sometimes then I feel like I'm going to hurt someone, and that's not good. In the future, I'll try harder to not go crazy. Could you try to be quiet when I ask you to?
Jacob: Okay.

Sigh....  he's a good one, that kid. I'm proud of him for being able to express so well his (very astute) observations and his feelings. It makes me think I've been doing some things right even though there are also times like these when apologies are in order. That's part of life, too, and a good time for learning, for both of us.

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