Red hair, part rooster, he calls for the whole wide world to wake at dawn.
The same way the loudest sounds come from the tiniest mouths, the largest emotions seem to erupt from the smallest bodies.  At his 15 month wellness visit last week, Tolliver’s pediatrician noticed his temper right away.  Tollie's threshold for frustration is pretty low -- he bangs his hands on his head and throws his body on the floor, and that's when he's only slightly upset.
I don't want the boys to find things here that might someday give them the impression that we did not love them unconditionally.  I hope all our words reach back to them across the years with one clear message: We love you.

So, when the goldfish crackers are gone, or the fresh loaf of bread is pried from the small hands that are squishing it, or for the love of all that is holy bath time is over and it's time to drain the tub, when these things happen and Tolliver gets tantrummy?  Let the record show: We still love him.  When he is loud and angry, or whiny and floppy, when he is what we judge to be irrationally contrary and a little hard to love, that's when we love him the most.  Well, then, and right when he wakes up from a nap and wants to cuddle.
We're doing what we can to lay the foundation for Tollie's emotional self-management, finding ways to help him reground himself, providing pre-emptive food and naps, empathizing and verbalizing, allowing him more control so he feels less pummeled by circumstance.

He gives us a good thing to remember, too, as we parent both boys.  No matter the magnitude of a problem, despite the relationship an issue may have to the bigger stuff in life, a moment of intense feeling is, well, intense.  Whether you're a one year-old hoping to hang on to the toothpaste tube, a four year old struggling to tie your shoes, or a tired mama with your own convoluted feelings, trying to console the lost toy and encourage the tie and put a meal on the table, big feelings feel big to all of us.


rht said...

Including the love, pride, empathy, and general flood of feelings that we grandparents feel as we read this blog and think about your family!

Poppy John said...

"Rooster" Betz...I like it.


Andy and Jenni said...

Dad, I like it too, but I'm afraid Rooster was the bad guy in Annie?