Sometimes as a mom you wonder if they hear anything you say, well here is a story for you:
A few weeks ago my oldest son was having a bad day. We got to go race in his Cub Scout’s Pinewood derby car race and had so much fun, however when we got home it turned sour – he was so upset that he didn’t win. So my husband and I tried our best to give him ‘the try try again’ speech, then the it isn’t about winning or losing it is about how hard you tried and the fun you had while making and doing it. All to no avail – he took a half hour in his room to cool down and became slightly back to normal for the rest of the day. I think we might have a long road of upsetting competitions ahead of us.
Fast forward to evening, while brushing teeth. I noticed while helping him brush his teeth that he had a very loose tooth, loose to the point of barely hanging on, going to fall out any moment. I called my husband up, not to pull the tooth, but to help with the negotiations of getting it out. I knew that my lovely boy, who has an immense emotional spectrum and always wears his emotion right out there on his face, was going to fight me about getting this tooth out. I laid out my argument that if we didn’t get this tooth out that he would swallow it in the middle of the night and miss out on his tooth fairy money, or worse choke on the tooth. This argument didn’t seem to faze my son, apparently very attached to this particular tooth. My wonderful husband, again who tends to be the better more level-headed of negotiators in our family, managed to get him convinced of how strong he was and had him pull the tooth himself. And finally we were able to set up the tooth fairy cup and get everyone off to bed.
Afterward, I was doing my nightly dishes, thinking through the day and how my son acted, when my husband came up the stairs and suggested that the tooth fairy maybe should leave a lump of coal for our moody boy. I had been just thinking a similar thought, but for some reason in my mind sour pickle came out instead of lump of coal. And since we didn’t have any coal in the house the sour pickle prevailed. The tooth fairy left a small sour pickle in the dish in place of the tooth (with a few dollars under the dish, cuz our tooth fairy is not that cruel).
The next morning came and up he came (first one out of bed as always); he saw the pickle and came in to wake me to tell me that the tooth fairy left him a pickle. I had my practiced pickle speech ready, asking him why do you think the tooth fairy would leave a pickle? He responded with an I don’t know. I said do you think it was because you were being a little sour last night when we were trying to pull your tooth? He stopped and thought about it for a few minutes, I could see the wheels turning – and of course he didn’t want to admit it, he said no mom that can’t be why.
Well he ate the pickle and the day went on as normal and the pickle was forgotten. Another of life’s lessons we try to teach that seems to go in one ear and out the other. I will just chalk it up to a funny little joke we played on our son, right?
But forward us to a week later, and again he was having another bad day, when the rain put a damper on his plans to spend the day at the farm. He was very upset that he had to stay home and go shopping with his mom. Then when I suggested he take a nap with us so he can stay up late another tantrum ensued, and finally since he didn’t take that nap he went to bed by 8:30 (yet another attitude). The next morning he was a completely changed kid. And while we were getting ready for church I asked him to go brush his teeth, and when he did I was shocked, because it usually takes me asking him at least 3 times before he will go. I told him what a great listener he was, he was quite happy. He then went on to tell me how excited he was to go to the farm after church, and I told him how happy it makes me when he has a good attitude and listens well. To which he responded with “Yeah, I was kind of a sour pickle yesterday.” I think I might have fallen over from shock, ok I didn’t but I am sure there was quite a look on my face. I said yes you were a bit of a sour pickle yesterday and I am so glad your attitude has changed. He then followed it up with “but mom, you were kind of a sour pickle yesterday too.” I said yeah, I guess, so both of us need to work on making our attitudes happier.