Monday, January 7, 2013
My son goes back to school this morning. We had a good final weekend of winter break, though I wasn’t sure we would on Friday evening. My wife had called me at work that afternoon. She was very upset. Kai had opened the front door and one of our dogs ran out. My wife had to run up and down the block to try to catch the dog. It was frigid cold out, and it must have seemed like forever before she finally caught her. When she called me, she was coughing from breathing in all that cold air, and her body was aching from all the running and stress. To make matters worse, Kai did not seem a bit sorry for opening the door. He was laughing the whole time. After an afternoon where he had already complained about his “yucky” lunch, and was in a demanding mood, my wife had had enough. My wife was still angry when I got home. I didn’t say too much to Kai, as my wife was still voicing her displeasure over his words and actions. I heated up some leftovers for dinner. When my wife left the room, I spoke to Kai quietly. I told him that he made a mistake in opening the door when the dogs were there, but I was most disappointed that he laughed about the whole thing. It wasn’t funny, and he has to learn not to laugh when someone is in distress. I also told him that it was not nice to complain about his meal as he has been doing often these days. He doesn’t have to like everything he is served, but I wanted him to appreciate that Mom tries hard every day to make good meals that will keep him strong and healthy. After that, we had a quiet meal. And then he took a bath. After bath, he wanted to play a game as is our usual custom. I told him I would play with him, but first he had to do something. I stuck a blank piece of paper in front of him on the kitchen table. “What’s that for?” What do you think? “To write a sorry letter. What should I say?” What do you think you should say? You write it, I told him. He started writing. He wrote that he was sorry for letting the dog out. Anything else, I asked him? He wrote that he was sorry for saying mean things about his meals. He paused. I asked what about laughing when Mom was feeling stressed. He wrote that he would try not to do that anymore. I asked him if he could also try to think of other people’s feelings. He wrote that he would try. When he was done, I asked him to really think about the things he wrote and to keep them in mind and not forget. He said he would. He went downstairs to hand my wife the letter. When he came back upstairs, he was quiet. I told him that Mom might still be angry, but she would eventually forgive him. We went to play our game, and my wife joined us a few minutes later. The tension was broken. We went on to have a good weekend. Kai did not complain (hardly) the rest of the weekend. And we had a lot of fun. We went ice skating outside at our local park for the first time since my wife bought us all skates a year ago. Last winter, with the unusually warm weather, the park district never made the rink. This weekend, we skated while it snowed.