Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kid Bedtimes and Gathering Storms


Grey clouds blanket my evening sky. Wind-tossed trees are now still and a heavy mugginess descends. Swollen drops pockmark my deck, and then nothing. 

Like silence before the curtain rises, the yards wait quietly. A slight breeze stirs the leaves and a distant car muffler hums and fades away. Silence again. 

My three year old tantrums from a dark bedroom bunk-bed, trying out an angstful attitude he’s seen. Sarcasm rolls off his lips, and tiny arms are crossed. Angry eyes burn out at me. Wow, where did he hear that monologue? It saddens me, layered between the brief hidden humor at hearing his, “Hmm! What do you think about that?!” final rant. 

“Daniel, I’m so sorry you’ve heard people talk like that. How did you feel when they did that?” 

“Happy!” he huffs, crossing his arms the opposite way for emphasis, and frowning at me.

“You don’t look happy. It’s not nice to talk like that. We use kind words and voices.” I kiss him, and rub his back. Miniscule ribs beneath a red striped shirt that his towering brother used to wear. The room is dark and my hand brushes his small back for a few minutes. He’s so little. 

“Good night. I love you. You need to go to bed.”

“Nooooo!” he yells as I leave the room. We’ve hugged and tickled and prayed together. We sang our songs, and snuggled close – me trying to avoid his mono germs and yet smothering him in further-away kisses. 

The rain droplets have evaporated already outside, leaving no trace on the deck and driveway, yet the grey-green sky waits. It’s dark for seven thirty. 

He gets up again, my son. His anger intersperses with tears, and we talk it through. There’s no more sarcasm thankfully, just sadness and a hopeful expectation that bedtime will disappear. He’s mistaken, poor guy. 

The bedtime mandate stays; hugs are layered on; and sippy-cups are filled with fresh water and ice. 

“Good night, my sweet. I love you.” 

In silence outside, the rain falls, releasing the hot asphalt smell of rain and tar that signals summer to me. A cool breeze starts, and the mugginess lifts.


Linking with Shanda's On Your Heart Tuesday, and Emily's Imperfect Prose on Thursday. 

11 comments:

cabinart said...

Wow, Jennifer, he has mono?? That's rough!

Jennifer Dougan said...

Jana,

Yes, isn't that crazy? I didn't know kids got mono. We've never had it before either, and are now monitoring ourselves too, just in case.

He's feeling good though so that is nice.

Have a wonderful week.

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Lolita said...

Daniel is such a darling and he is at the age of copying things he heard and watched. He is in the age of making pretends, isn't he?

i do like the way you are taking things, Jen.... in all its natural way, and gently.

Hope he is over the mono now.

Blessings!

AmyAlves said...

Evenin' Jennifer, I could picture you and your son, in the way you wrote it out. Good work "momma"! You bless my God loving heart! ~ Blessings on you and yours tonight, Amy

Ostriches Look Funny said...

Poor little man.
It breaks my heart to hear my kids talk angry...especially when I recognize the tone coming from ME! I am really working on using a calm, soft voice even when I feel like I am GOING CRAZY, so this post really resonated with me.

Jennifer Dougan said...

Thank you, Lolita. :)

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Hello Amy,

I'm so glad you could peek into my home with me for this evening.

Welcome back online! I had missed your posts. :)

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Joann(Ostrich girl),

I agree. Isn't it dreadful, sad and convicting to hear the tones and words that come out of their mouths sometimes? My little guy has two adults and two teens to flee from mimicking too, sadly. May we obey, and may he imitate the good, huh?

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Emily Wierenga said...

"he's so little." this line really got to me. this is what we need to remember, even as they're huffing and puffing and blowing our houses down. they're so little. and you responded so gently and tenderly. just as Christ would have. e.

Jennifer Dougan said...

"Huffing and puffing and blowing the house down" :) makes me grin. Yes, and yet, yes, they are so little, so tiny and precious.

Thanks for stopping by, Emily.

Hugging mine tonight,
Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

"Huffing and puffing and blowing the house down" :) makes me grin. Yes, and yet, yes, they are so little, so tiny and precious.

Thanks for stopping by, Emily.

Hugging mine tonight,
Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com