“We all have days when we are illogical and behave badly… And sometimes, all we need is someone to give us a hug and say it’s OK…”
I had this touching conversation with my husband last night. My three year-old was a tired mess all day who had refused to nap and was behaving mean and grouchy to everyone, namely her little brother. I was fed up. I was tired. I was grouchy by the end of the day, too!
As soon as Dan came home, she melted into his open arms, her exhaustion allowing her simply to cry heavily into his shoulder. Dan rubbed her back as he carried her up the stairs and said with sympathy, “Did you have such a bad day?” I watched the scenario with my jaw open, slightly peeved that my daughter had thrown a tantrum all day and was receiving the royal treatment. But I stepped aside, grateful he was being a loving Daddy to her.
When my husband returned from putting her to bed, he said, “Sorry, I know she’s been horrible and it’s been a hard day for you. I could just tell she was feeling really bad.” This led into Dan’s comments about how even as grown adults, we have days where we make bad decisions and treat people poorly. Sometimes all we need is someone (maybe especially someone outside the situation) to validate our bad day and let us cry… so we can start fresh in the morning.
Usually my husband is more stern with my daughter, especially if her behavior targets me. He is very protective of me as his wife and my role as a mother. Perhaps this is why I was so especially moved by his swift, loving reaction to our daughter which, in the moment, was so drastically different than how I was feeling right then! It was a good reminder that she is only three. If I can’t keep my own emotions together 24-7, I certainly should be more lenient with my young children’s ability–or lack thereof!
I was eager to hug my daughter this morning. She slept well. She was happy, enthusiastic, and ready for a new day, and we’ve had a wonderful time together so far. (I’m sure this story will change slightly as the 5 PM “witching hour” falls upon us… but that’s all right.)
There are times when we are “illogical and behave badly” and there are times when we are the recipient to such behavior. We never know entirely what someone else has been through that day. It reminds me of when I wrote about having my feelings hurt in a support group recently in regards to sharing Borrowed Angel. This past week, I feel like I’ve gained a better understanding of this woman’s mental and emotional state, and I feel sad for her. Even though I had previously determined that I would steer clear, I reached out today to offer comfort (though I was scared for repercussions!) and I believe it was received well enough.
Watching my husband with my daughter last night was a good reminder that sometimes we can choose to overlook the ill behavior, offer a hug, and say, “It’ll be OK. Let’s start fresh in the morning.” And sometimes we need to make sure we reset our own buttons, too, even if it means asking for that hug–because we all know that at times, hugs can convey more than words.