My Squishy is about five and a half now, and the conversations just get more and more interesting. My grief journey has taken me on some twists and turns, and I am ashamed to say that I haven’t always be the parent I want to be to this amazing kid. I absolutely recognise that I am doing my best, and that my best has to be “good enough”. But I am also so passionately in love with His Squishyness that I think he deserves the best.
A week or so ago he told me that his favourite place in the world was “wherever you are, mama”. High praise indeed for a kid that likes to play me off against his grandparents for “my favourite person this week”. I think I got lucky because both sets of grandparents are in Europe for a month, but I’ll take it.
Then on Sunday night, as I was trying to get him to go to sleep so we could watch Dr Who, he told me that he likes me, but he doesn’t love me. It took a while to get from him what he meant, but apparently it’s because I yell.
Yelling seems to be an easy rut for parents to fall into, and while I am usually pretty good about not yelling, stress does bring the yelling a lot closer to the top of my parenting toolbox. And it spent a long while there in the early days of losing Archimedes and Aubrey. This kid has had way too much crappy parenting, and I am making a public declaration right now that it has to stop. Two days in and I haven’t raised my voice once.
Today Mrs D. did some more reading assessments with him, and he’s gone up a few more levels in reading. But apparently she hasn’t finished, so there might be more progress once she gets to do more testing. He’s started to do some year 1 number work, and and was given another commendation today – only three more and he’ll get his second bronze certificate!
At bedtime, I am reading Heidi to him. At first I thought that he only liked the story because the sound of my voice lulled him to sleep, but as we got further in to the story he told me that he was sad that Heidi had to leave her Grandfather, and there were tears in his eyes. I explained to him what empathy was, and how seeing how someone else was feeling sometimes hurts us, but it also helps us to be a good friend, and helps us to support others and to be kind.
I downloaded the book from the Amazon Kindle site. It was free, volunteers take old texts and convert them to ebooks, which is great, but you do get the odd typo. And one quirk – the chapters are numbered in Roman Numerals, which of course, Inigo demanded an explanation for.
And tonight, he needed me to teach him how Roman Numerals worked before I was allowed to read the book.