Kids Teach You the Most Important Lessons.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Kids. They are amazing, amazing people. I'm sure I've said it before, but I am constantly in awe of Mason. He kindness, his silliness, his carefree-ness, everything. I love seeing life through his eyes. And a couple weeks ago, he taught me one of the most important lessons.

Photo is of Mason about a couple weeks ago after he got his new Blaze (from Blaze and the Monster Machines). He won't go anywhere without Blaze now!


It was the Thursday night the weekend before Valentine's Day. We had just eaten dinner and were watching Flip or Flop on TV before I gave Mason a bath. His toe grazed me and it felt sharp so I knew I needed to cut it... my LEAST favorite activity (for a reason), which also happens to be Mason's LEAST favorite activity (<-- reason).

Mason HATES getting his toe nails cut.

Like H A T E.

He cries, he screams, he kicks. You name it, he does it. So imagine my delight when I realized that this was probably going to happen again tonight. I keep hoping that it will get better, but it hasn't yet.

I know it's probably some sort of sensory thing like maybe he feels trapped when I'm holding his foot? I don't know. But I'm sure it has something to do with that. (Side note : He doesn't mind getting his finger nails cut. He doesn't mind me touching his feet in the bath when I clean them. He doesn't mind wearing socks or shoes or having them put on. None of those things are a struggle, which I think is why this is so confusing.)

It's SO frustrating to me. I tend to get overly frustrated and lose my patience. I know that it could be over in two minutes if he were to just sit still, but that never happens. So I struggle with him, I fight with him, I try to hold his leg down and hold his foot so he doesn't move, but it never works. I never try to be mean to him, but I just don't know how to cut his nails any other way, and sometimes? Sometimes you just need your nails cut so you won't cut yourself with their sharpness.

That Thursday night though... something seemed different. He immediately started kicking and screaming and nothing that Seth or I would do would calm him down. Seth tried to play with him. We gave him the iPad. Nothing.

I was still determined to cut his nails though so I tried as hard as I could to hold his leg and foot still and cut his toe nails. But he kept moving. And I couldn't cut because I was afraid of cutting him with how much he was moving.

I was able to get one foot done but by this time he was CRYING and SCREAMING. Like tears streaming down his face. I took off his shirt because he seemed to be getting really worked up. I thought I could continue on though, just one more foot, five more toes and we're free!

I got one toe done and then I couldn't do it anymore. I felt too bad. I felt like a horrible person and horrible mother for putting him through something that he had no control over.

I immediately picked him up and took him upstairs. He was still crying at this point, but he put his head on my shoulder. I knocked off all the stuffed animals and pillows on his rocking chair and sat down with him and just held him and rocked.

I told him over and over again how much I love him. I told him that I didn't mean to be mean or to hurt him. I told him I was sorry. So sorry. I told him again how much I love him.

He laid there, with his head on my shoulder, much, much more calm now, just hugging me. I don't know how I held it together, but I didn't cry.

I told him again "Mommy wasn't trying to hurt you. Mommy wasn't trying to be mean. Mommy was just trying to help you. You know that, right?" And all he said was "yeah" and I melted into a puddle.

He knew I wasn't trying to hurt him or be mean. He knew I was trying to help him. He wasn't trying to be frustrating to me. He wasn't trying to hurt me or prevent me from helping him. He just couldn't help it. That night he taught me patience. He taught me forgiveness. And most important, he taught me that a mother and son's love is unconditional.

After he fully calmed down and we had rocked for a few minutes, I asked him if he wanted to take a bath and he was back to his normal, happy self and yelled "YEAH!". So off we went. We had the best time, just the two of us, splashing away, getting clean, dumping water outside of the bath tub, and making sure that (Paw Patrol) Chase was clean too.

And that night, before he went to bed, I squeezed him a little tighter and gave him an extra kiss (or twenty). He looked at me with those eyes as Seth carried him up the stairs and I blew him one final kiss and he blew one right back and I knew in that very moment, that it all was going to be ok.




22 comments:

  1. It's it amazing what they teach us. I learn more from Cam than I think he learns from me. And the unconditional love it an amazing thing. Cutting nails is a hell of a job. Cam used to be awful when I'd cut his toes, but now sits quietly while I do it. Emmy on the other hand, blah!

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  2. Oh a child's forgiveness is something I strive for with myself. I am amazed at how quickly Noah can forgive and love me unconditionally. There is something about a mother that a child will always forgive. I know I've lost my temper before and yelled and then feel so sorry and apologize. I appreciate that Noah is so quick to forgive, but then it also makes me worried that there are parents out there that take advantage of that unconditional forgiveness and really mess up their child. Especially when there are parents (like you and I) who worry so much how our kids are feeling and want the best for them, it makes me sick to think of kids who don't get that same love and respect. In general I wish that more adults were like children.... Naturally kind, loving, and forgiving.
    Oh and Mason is just the cutest holding his blaze truck! Noah loves him, crusher, and pickle... It's one of his favorite shows at the moment :)

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  3. So beautiful! I'm learning patience every single day. It's so hard sometimes!

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  4. Man, I don't know how YOU kept it together because I couldn't, reading this!! Motherhood is a crazy roller coaster but patience is so key. Mason is so lucky to have you, and you him. :) xo

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  5. Wow, I just balled my eyes out. Having a little boy myself I so get this. I loose my temper and have no patience every, single, day with Nicklas. At the end of the day I think to myself... was that really worth? Did I really need to have this or that done right away? So silly. They are only littles for so long. Thanks for this. I needed it.

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  6. Isn't just amazing what their little souls can teach US about so many life lessons, when we are the ones that are to be teaching THEM? being a mama is hard, hard work (and exhausting and overwhelming and so many other things), by at the end of the day it is so rewarding. I'm so glad that you & Mason had that one on one time at the end of the night.

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  7. I've recently learned that not only do we learn so much from our little ones but we are constantly changing ourselves because we want to be the best example for them. I often tell myself that I need to give Connor some grace because as a human being, I'm no perfect and need all the grace and forgiveness I can come by.

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  8. I love how you have found the blessing in this small/frustrating thing. You are spot on - I never knew I could love SO unconditionally as I have as a mother. What a sweet picture too, we love Blaze. :)

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  9. Mason seems like such a sweet kid. Those little moments like you had with him in the rocking chair are so special!

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  10. Isn't it funny what lessons children teach us and they usually teach them to us when we really need them! I need more patience and forgiveness and after reading your story I am totally going to try harder for both these things.

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  11. Really sweet story. Not so fun about having to cut the flailing toenails. Sounds like my beagle...Chris has to hold him so I can cut them. Thankfully Aria is chill about her nails. Sounds much worse than a dog. Kids are great teachers too.

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  12. this is the sweetest story about toenail cutting I've ever heard. but really ;)

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  13. Sweet little thing. These little people have lots to teach us don't they??

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  14. Just a tiny example of how much everything we do and say matters and although we get frustrated over things like cutting nails (here too!) we need to remind ourselves to stay calm. They get it.

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  15. Our children are our greatest teachers. His knowing you didnt mean to hurt him is so sweet. Brielana doesnt like her toe nails being clipped either but I found doing it while she's in the tub makes it easier. Maybe because the water softens the nails and it doesnt feel as severe?

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  16. It amazes me how such little people are able to teach us some of the biggest, most important lessons.
    I feel you on the toe nail clipping task. It's one that we don't much favor in our house either. It's gotten better since I've been able to sit Marcus on the toilet (lid down, obviously), and have him watch me clip his nails -- just like he can see when I do his finger nails. Since we've done that things are a little better, but it's something neither of us enjoys.

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  17. Oh, what a beautiful moment and lesson. He's such an amazing little person and you are so lucky to be his mama. I'm humbled every day by the kids and the lessons they teach me on patience and love and appreciation for the little things in life. This is the hardest job, but the greatest one and the one with the most amazing rewards.

    And not that you were needing or asking for advice, but have you tried letting him cut his own nails? I know! That sounds terrifying, but Mac can do his own, which totally surprised me! Or, maybe have him stand or squat on the toilet seat lid while you clip them...that way you don't have to "hold" (or really even touch) his feet at all.

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  18. Oh my goodness, those moments are the worst when you have to do something they hate for their own good. This reminds me of Ez's diaper rash fiasco we just went through, when every diaper change went pretty much exactly the way you just described. I felt the same kind of awe that he could be so mad at me during the process and then just get over it and love unconditionally afterwards. Kids are amazing like that.

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  19. Kids can be so weird, irrational, and challenging. But what an amazing post and reminder that they may teach us as much as we teach them!! You are a great mama, Liz!!

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  20. I was waiting for you to say that you then snuck back into his room and cut his toenails while he was sleeping. I'm sorry he hates it so much!

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  21. Oh sweet friend! Yes! I can't even begin to tell you all of the things Mason has taught me in (almost) six years! But, patience is definitely on that list. Kids are so amazing and so quick and easy to forgive! Especially with their mama! And there is nothing more special than a mother & son relationship. Boys love their mama's something fierce! This is such a sweet post. You and Mason are so blessed to have each other!

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  22. Such a sweet story friend and I've told you before I can relate to the toe nails. Our kids teach us some of the most valuable lessons.

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