A Storm of Our Own

After a storm of “epic magnitude” which wasn’t really as bad as we expected it to be, life has returned to normal – except for our two-year-old’s steadfast refusal to put away his snowpants and boots.  One could say that we had a bit of a storm of epic magnitude right here in our living room.

For an hour and a half.

He came home this evening excited for a snack of applesauce and graham crackers.  We walked in the front door, stomped the snow from our feet and proceeded to take off our winter gear.  Little boy made his way to the kitchen where I helped him step out of his snowsuit and boots and which promptly fell into a pile smack dab in the middle of the kitchen floor.

Our house does not look like the houses on TV where detectives knock on the door at random times and are invited into a clean picked up living room.  Our house struggles to look like that, but we DO have places for things and there is a clear can’t-be-missed pile of winter gear in the corner by our door.  Little boy knows exactly where it is.

He also knows the concept, “First…. and then….”  (We’ve had a few good practice sessions on this one) so when I said, “First put away your snowsuit and boots and then you can have your snack” he knew what I was saying.

And he said, “No” (or perhaps, “no waaaay”)

And when his sister sat down to eat her snack, he began to cry, but continued to refuse.

I questioned him, “What do you need to do before having snack?” and he responded….

“Put away my pile of stuff”.  He knew exactly what needed to be done.

And he was a-okay sitting on my lap giving me a hug and helping to carry dinner plates to his sister and playing in the kitchen, but there was no way he was going to put away his winter gear.

And so he cried while we ate dinner.  But as loud and miserable as he sounded, we suspected that it was a bit of an act – a lot of whining and wailing and noise and promises of disaster (kind of like the storm that just blew through our Bering Sea region) with no end in sight, but different from the storm was that he could turn it off (and did turn it off) at the drop of a hat – many times – even enough to pose for photos of his different expressions of angst, good cheer, and sadness.

He also announced his distress throughout, “Mommy, Honeybunch, I’m crying!  Daddy, Honeybuns, I’m crying!”.  We validated his tears.  We commented on his facial expressions (very expressive).  We hugged him.  But we stood our ground.  We were like a fabulous seawall  that might not be tall enough, but we were and after a long noisy 90 minutes, he went and picked up his stuff and ran (RAN?!) to put them away.

And then we cheered and hugged and he ate his applesauce and his dinner and we reflected on the evening and he told us he felt “good”.

So what did we learn from tonight’s storm of epic magnitude?

It was a small storm compared to many that are out there and we appreciate that.

Seawalls are important things.

Our two year old is learning to identify his feelings and the corresponding expressions.

My husband and I must call each other names like “Honeybuns and Honeybunch” more than we realize.

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