Tuesday, March 1, 2011

what we have here is a failure to empathize

Oh hey, you want to talk can't-vs.-won't and asshole parenting?

Dressing oneself has been a long-standing challenge for both my kids, but especially for Aleph. I think independence scares him in general; he's afraid that if he can do it by himself, I'll decide he doesn't need me anymore and abandon him, blah blah insecure attachment mother guilt blah blah blah.

In any case, Bet recently - FINALLY! - started putting on his own shirt and Aleph is jealous of the fuss we made over it, but unwilling to do what it takes to earn his own fuss, namely put on his own shirt too.

Today he says, amid sobs, that putting his head through the shirt is too scary.

Ok, that's pretty specific. I can work with specific. Maybe he's afraid he'll get stuck? He has a gigantic head; it does happen once in a while. I tell him this shirt has an extra big neck, that's why I thought it would be good to practice on.

"That's not why it's scary, Eema," he chokes out. "It's too dark in there."

It's too dark.

Inside the shirt.

And this is where I thank my stars he's too young to know 'Eema's voice is shaking a little' = 'Eema is trying SO.HARD.NOT TO LAUGH IN YOUR FACE.'

I made him do it anyway, giving him a hug between each step. Can they tell when it's sarcastic hugging? I have a lot of practice with that by now; maybe I'm getting away with it.


electriclady said...

AHAHAHAHA. Ahem, not that I'm laughing at your child or anything. PS, can he learn to scrunch up the shirt so it's a big ring instead of a tube, eliminating the scary dark place altogether?

Jody said...

Oh dear. I would have sprained a muscle in my cheeks.

Writing as someone who goes through periods when everything that happens is the result of multiple-birth-related insecure attachment, I am going to say, I really doubt that's at play. Like, EVER.

But I'm in one of my optimistic moods.

Tine said...

I'm sorry, Persephone, but you can't call yourself an asshole parent unless you've actually given voice to the sarcasm within. I claim the title! (*bag over head*)

persephone said...

@electriclady, we're working on that, but currently he wants me to scrunch it FOR him. surprise.

@Jody, you know you're my signpost for how most of this will look, further up the road, so that's great to hear. :)

@Tine, I didn't yell "omg are you kidding me with this garbage just PUT ON YOUR STUPID SHIRT" this time. true.

i did roll my eyes really loud, though.

Altmans said...

Jeez, you guys are mean. It IS very dark inside the shirts. That's why I wear button-ups.

:sigh: It's a cruel world.

ps: I would have had to leave the room :)