The other night as I was laying in bed with my son, I kissed him goodnight and told him I loved him to the moon and back. Usually he quickly says it right back to me, but this time he just looked off to the side of the bed. When I asked him what was wrong he said, “I can’t love you to the moon and back.” When I asked why not, he replied, “because you were not talking nice to daddy the other day.”
Truthfully I have been really snappy for the past few months, but I knew he was talking about something specific, a silly argument my husband and I had the other day. My husband and I rarely argue, and when we do, we always try to wait until our children are not around, but this argument came out of nowhere. I had forgotten I placed my daughter’s bouncy seat in our bedroom so she could entertain herself while I was getting dressed. We were all rushing to get ready and get out of the house on time. At one point I picked her up out of the seat and placed her in our bed. When I was dressed, I took her off of the bed to walk out of the bedroom, and I walked right into that bouncy seat and fell on top of it while holding her. I was shocked, worried and in pain. My husband quickly ran to us, but instead of helping he just kept asking, “what happened, what happened?” “I fell you idiot, now help us up” I yelled out. The words just flew out of my mouth; things sort of took off from there. My husband never ever yells, but this time he did.
His loud voice surprised me and only made mine louder. To this day, I have no idea why we were even yelling or what we said. When all was said and done, the yelling seemed to be a form of release for both of us, and we both seemed to realize we were acting like children. We moved on from the argument without a second thought. But, while we had easily moved on, our son, who watched the whole thing, clearly had not.
So, I continued to lay with my son and talk this one out. I told him I had made a mistake and did not mean to yell at daddy. I told him that daddy did not mean to yell at mommy and that we promised to “talk nice” to one another from now on. I told him daddy had forgiven mommy and that we still love each other to the moon and back. I told him even if someone does not talk nice to you, it does not always mean that they don’t love you, and that people who love each other argue sometimes. I was hoping I was getting all of this right, this teachable moment caught me off guard.
While I was trying to teach him some things, I was also making some realizations of my own. First of all, I need to be more careful of my actions and words around my son; he is listening and watching everything. Just because my son did not act phased by the argument does not mean he wasn’t affected by it, we should have talked to him about it shortly after we had all calmed down. I need to work on my yelling, I hate that I am a yeller. Lastly, as much as I try to avoid arguing in front of the kids, sometimes it is necessary to get us all on the same page, and it can even serve as a positive lesson for your children.