This is a guest post from Aja Rutledge of She Takes Steps.
“Uh oh,” I heard my child say. As I looked over to see what sparked the comment, I saw the cup on its side and juice flowing from the table to the floor. My son was frozen as if he found out about the mannequin challenge and decided this was the time to record his own version.
The natural response would be to grab some paper towels, head over and engage my son in helping to clean it up. Instead, I felt a boiling up within me, something erupting in my throat.
And then it happened. I exploded.
“What did you do that for?! Why are you just standing there? Clean it up!” I started vigorously grabbing paper towels and headed to the accident location. As I sharply dropped to the floor to clean the mess I saw my son flinch, in fear, out of the corner of my eye.
That fear softened me, but I still vigorously cleaned up the mess as my child perfected his mannequin stance. Once done, I muttered some comments and headed to my room as shame took over, tears dripping down my face.
How did this happen? Why did I respond like that? It was JUST spilled juice, seriously not a big deal.
Sitting on the bed, ashamed, embarrassed, and actually afraid, it hit me: I was repeating what my mother did with me. I was once in my son’s shoes, a little kid stuck in fear trying to understand what I did and how to prevent having more rage turned on me.
Yet, here I was, repeating the pattern—the pattern I vowed never to repeat with my own child. More →