Thursday, 15 December 2011

The day I broke my son's heart

Every day in playgrounds across Australia and probably the world you can hear mothers telling their children not to play with sticks.  Sticks are a boy's best friend and a mother's worst nightmare.  All we can imagine is someone losing an eye as careless children wield them at each other with no regard for the danger but kids don't see a dangerous stick they see a sword to have a pirate battle, a magic wand or a beautiful flute.

Noah and I got into a battle royale today - I had relented and allowed him to play with a rather large stick in the park but when he insisted on bringing it in the car and home I was strident.  He is usually fairly easily convinced to leave them behind but today he was adamant.  Eventually after getting nowhere with reasoning and then a time out I took that blasted stick and snapped it over my knee.  Noah burst into tears and was wailing 'my beautiful flute, my beautiful flute'  'I need glue to get it back how it was'. He was repeating it over and over and crying so hard it was the ugly snotty cry.  Even when I tried to apologise and explain my actions he wouldn't look me in the eye.  My words can't do his level of emotion justice - he was genuinely heartbroken and he looked at me with such hurt my heart broke too.

I was with a friend who also has small children and we were both struck by the moment (and to be honest a little bit teary).  We realised that sometimes rules need to be broken.  That sometimes we need to let our kids have a win.  Would it really have killed me to let him bring the stick home. These are not little people to be controlled by our never ending rules.  Our children are full of potential - they need our guidance and some of our rules need to be steadfast but some can be bent to allow their creativity and imagination and independence to blossom.

As I type this Noah has helped himself to a jar of screws and has glued them to a collage he's working on.  I have had to remove them from his picture (They are part of an IKEA project I'm building so it's not negotiable) and he is upset (again) but the stick I could have given in on.

Amendment at 8pm

Just to document another major parenting failure - it appears I have also managed to get my beautiful 6 week old boy's face sunburned in the park today.

Both these event have caused me many tears this evening and I have realised I am at that point where no area of my life is being given the attention it needs or deserves.  I am juggling too many balls and something has got to give.  It might be time to cut the 3 hourly expressing sessions and give in to the failing battle to breastfeed.  More on that front tomorrow.

Oh yeah and my cleaner of two years quit today too.  Best. Day. Ever.


  1. Oh kids have such power over our emotions.

    I learned that lesson years ago so I'm pretty happy to follow my childrens' lead most of the time BUT if i say "no" then by golly that means "no". And I have some strict rules about manners, cleanliness, sharing, safety etc, those things are non-negotiable, but any other ideas, I'm open to hearing.

    Sometimes we got locked in power struggles though (perfect example- we said our 4yr old had to eat all her dinner... she ate everything except literally one crumb... which she rolled around in her fingers... we told her to eat it... she 'accidentally' dropped it on the floor) but sometimes it's better to 'lose' and move on all forget about what happened than 'win' something that clouds the whole day.

    Having said that, you're a fun mum and you're always doing cool stuff with and for Noah, I'm sure he'll have forgotten about it in no time!

  2. Wow what a big day.

    He'll forget his flute in no time, but I do know what you mean and I would have been upset to see him so upset too. Sometimes we have to roll with the punches because it's not the be all and end all that the rules are followed every step of the way. Easier said than done though, especially when juggling a newborn.

  3. Sorry you had a crappy day :( I'm with Glowless, he will forget all about his flute in a matter of days. The best thing about little kids is their ability to get over stuff and move on. They don't hold grudges and they don't mourn things for long. They pull their socks up, they forgive and they get on with being a kid. And for what it's worth, I wouldn't have let my two take the giant stick in the car, either.

  4. Oh, I feel your pain. Somewhat fittingly, my FlogYoBlog post today is also about The. Day. From. Hell. Perhaps it's a full moon?

    I hope it gets better for you, and quickly!

  5. I know that it's hard, but try not to beat yourself up about this or over think it. Parenting is hard. Sometimes it's a no win situation as you may have also felt guilty about giving in and letting him take the stick into the car (especially if he did end-up getting hurt). No one is perfect, Motherhood is a journey and we are all learning the best ways to parent our own children.

  6. Oh poor you Kirsty! Remember that you recently had a baby though so hormones are probably not being very nice to you. So true what you say about sometimes needing to break our rules. We all make those mistakes. Parenting is not about being perfect but about being good enough. Tomorrow is another day. Hang in there.


Hi thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. It is nice to know someone is listening.


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