Wow, I feel like I might possibly be able to begin thinking of myself as sort of a good mommy. Is this not the single biggest insecurity of every parent alive: Am I a bad parent? Am I doing this right or failing miserably?
A few dozen tantrums ago I asked Gabriel if he needed a hug during the height of his insanity. This generous action was inspired by a suggestion from a babycenter.com article on toddler discipline I was desperately reading in response to my current job description. He said "yes," I gave him one, and voila, tantrum aborted. I was shocked and amazed. So I asked him to please tell me if he needed a hug again. A few dozen un-aborted garden variety tantrums transpired over the next couple of weeks... until today. He didn't want to leave Vons for some unknown reason and was throwing a good ole' hizzy as I relatively calmly guided us towards home.
And then he did it.
"Hug," he asked quietly, stopping himself in his mighty crazy tracks.
"You want a hug?" I asked in beautiful disbelief.
"Yes," he answered.
"I would love to give you a hug," I graciously replied as I kneeled down in a rare and crystallized moment of parental satisfaction and bear-hugged the crap out of him. We then walked the rest of the way home peacefully and quietly.
Love oozed out of my every pore. Love for him for being able to recognize and articulate a need and get it met . And most importantly some much needed self love for witnessing a mommy job well done. A loving pat on my back for maybe, just maybe, being an effective parent.
Now, if he could just abort his impulse to dump his loads in his diapers and instead actually say "potty" before he lies and says "I'm pooping." Which translates to "I already pooped in my diaper and am now going to terrorize you by running away zig-zaggedly as fast as possible so that you feel like a total idiot chasing me and my poopy ass." :)