Crash. Bang. Oops

I’ve often second guessed myself when allowing our youngest two children to use our master bathroom. It’s quite nice with tiled shower, big soak tub. But, I always give in because whose to fight with a kid who wants to get clean? Well, I learned my lesson tonight.

As I sat on my bed, I listened to my youngest pummeling some imaginary source in the shower. The sounds of cars crashing against the tiles, the added boom sounds for effect. Until suddenly all was quiet. “Um, Mommy I think the dogs made a hole in here when you washed them today”… yes the detachable head also makes this bathroom a perfect location to bath three lab-mixed dogs. “I mean the dogs or something.” I didn’t pay him much mind immediately, thinking it was probably the gap in the door or the small hole in the grout I had noticed when scrubbing the shower after the dogs were out. Then his sister looked. “B! What did you do? That’s not a hole it’s a … Um Mommy, I think you need to look at this”. I begrudgingly got up, not really wanting to see what I was going to have to face. You know parenting always means you have to be on your toes and ready to respond appropriately and on point. So, I casually walked into the bathroom, opened the shower door, and promptly bellowed at the top of my voice “the dogs didn’t do that, you did!” Shutting the water off, I tossed a towel on the kids head and walked out counting to 1,000.

To his credit, he scuttled to his room . Several minutes later calling to me. Yeah I’m so not ready yet dude. You know that feeling when you are tying to calm yourself down and all you want to do is just loose control. “Get in your jammies” was all I could say. Minutes later his little voice calls out again “Mommy?”. To which I replied “I’m too upset to talk right now, read a book”. Finally, I talked myself off the emotional ledge, with the reassurance from a friend who does tiling that not all is broken. And some humor by another who thought I was talking about a cat being smashed into the wall “how drunk are you?”. And even more comments about how strong he is. Now is not the time to comment on his strength! This kid lied to me. Anyone who knows me well know that lying cuts me to the soul. Why waste the energy on making something up? People always find out the truth.

Then it comes time for the talk. His red eyes apologizing for his tile destruction. And I said “the hole is an accident that yeah isn’t ok, but what I’m most upset about is you lying to me”. He then proceeds to tell me he slammed the car not once, not twice but three times into the ever growing hole. I need him to understand the importance of honesty. This is a teachable moment of great magnitude… at least in my head. So I tell him is punishment – no tv for a week for lying. And he will have chores to help pay for the repairs. Then we talk about being honest because what are we if we can’t be trusted by others? If our word is not our vow.

The hug at the end was the best. This little sweetie hung in for dear life. As though he thought I was going to toss him to the streets. But I have always said there is nothing my children can do that will ever make me stop loving them or turn my back on them. What better time to show it? He didn’t let go for a long time, and I didn’t make him.

Accidents happen. It’s part of life. How we choose to deal with the aftermath is far more important. Showing love is paramount to anything and I will always choose it first to help keep our sanity.

But darn that shower…

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