I’ve had a few interesting conversations lately with my six year-old son. We call him “Bubs” online. (Here’s an autobiographical video I helped him put together about a year ago.) I’ve been meaning to write these stories down, and I figure the blog is as good as anywhere else, and maybe you’ll get a kick out of it too.
First story, a couple weeks ago we’re driving home in the car…
Bubs: Can we watch Boss Baby: Back in Business when we get home?
Me: Um…no I don’t really want you watching that show…
Me: Because I feel like it’s just kind of stupid.
Bubs: Well, you don’t have to watch it.
Fair argument. I let him watch Boss Baby: Back in Business when we got home.
And then when the kids were horsing around instead of going to bed one night…
Me: Can you both please stop horsing around?!
Bubs: What’s that?
Me: Screaming and running and jumping on stuff.
Bubs: Mom, sometimes those things are just part of life.
He lost that one and got sent back to bed.
But then Bubs had a really, really bad day one day. I was putting him to bed and he was very sad. He told me he’d gotten in five “fights” that day. FIVE. He was rather empathic. Mom yelled at him for whining at breakfast time, he and his best friend got in an argument at school, which got his teacher involved so he had a “fight” with his best friend AND his teacher, then he went to a new friend’s house after school and that friend wanted to watch TV instead of play with him, and then he got yelled at by dad when dad came home because he was arguing with his sister.
I usually tell my son stories before bed, so this time I told him a story about Little Robot, and his bad day with Robo-mom, Robo-bestfriend, Robo-teacher, Robo-newfriend, and Robo-dad. Pretty sure there was a Robo-sister in there too but apparently getting in a fight with his three year-old sister doesn’t count? All the same exact things happened, but adding “Robo-” to everyone’s name seemed to soften the blow and even made him laugh. At the end of the story, as if he were doing his best Charles Wallace impression, my kid says, “I like that you made the story about me and my day. It made me feel happy, because it made me feel like you listened to me.”
Robots make everything better.
But then we continued talking about his best friend, and what happened there. Apparently Bubs had become so incensed he’d slammed his hand down on his work table and shouted “THIS FRIENDSHIP ENDS NOW!” (That was how Robo-teacher got involved.) And then this conversation happened…
Me: “Whoa! Those are some pretty strong words! That must have hurt your friend’s feelings.”
Bubs: Yeah…I thought I was making the right choice. But after I felt bad, because it was really the wrong choice. He said sorry first and then I said sorry and we’re still friends.
Me: I’m glad you said sorry. Sometimes we can tell if we made the right choice or the wrong choice by how it makes us feel afterward, huh?
Bubs: Yeah, like when I’m sad, it’s probably because someone else did something wrong, but when I’m mad, it might be because I’m wrong and I just think they’re wrong.
And I’m still thinking about that one.
p.s. The header image for this blog came from a recent “roly poly” hunt.