Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Emotional Band-Aids

The other day I was babysitting 2 of my *Littles* while their mommy took their sister to her first dance class. Alakina was quietly looking at some books for quite a while, while her rambucnctious 16 month old little brother was busily exploring everything breakable in my house! I have to admit that I have never really child-proofed my home, even when my kids were little. I did put away things that could hurt them and also things that may have some value to me, but other than that, I just left things out and figured that kids needed to learn to live in MY world.

This approach has always worked...for over 30 years, it has worked...that is, until the other day when I had little Tage at my house. Tage is THE MOST energetic, busy, curious little guy I have ever encountered. The child actually pants like a puppy and touches everything in sight! He is fast, strong and rough with everything he comes in contact with. He grabs, throws and chews anything he can. He reminds me of "Bam Bam" from the Flintstones:)

So after 30-40 minutes of chasing after this very high energy little guy, Alakina came up to me with the saddest little look on her face (she's VERY dramatic) and she informed me that she needed a band-aid for her finger. I inspected her little digit but saw absolutely nothing. I explained to her that band-aids were usually for cuts and since I didn't see any cuts on her finger, she really didn't need one. Well, that was NOT the right thing to say to her at that very moment. She turned on the tears and insisted that she needed a band-aid and would not let up. I was still trying to chase after Tage and was so terribly distracted that I just kind of brushed her off. Again, NOT the right thing to do!

All of a sudden, Alakina spoke up and firmly said, "Nana, you need to pay attention to me for a minute...I NEED a band-aid!" In that instant, I realized that she was not really asking for a band-aid for her perfectly-fine-finger, she needed one because it was a way to gain reassurance that I loved her and cared for her every bit as much as her little, out-of-control brother. She was feeling ignored and less important. So I knew what I had to do...

I promptly put Tage in the high chair (totally for confinement purposes) and took her by the hand into the bathroom to select just the perfect band-aid. I have a box just for the kids that holds several different colors so I pulled out a selection of each color and let her choose. I held her on my lap and let her peruse each individually wrapped bandage until she had just the right one that would make her feel so much better.  I was certain she would pick a purple one, as she usually does, because it's her favorite color, but she surprised me and chose a bright yellow bandage. She then said to me with the sweetest look in her eyes, "I picked yellow because it's YOUR favorite color and I love you!"

I realized that day that life comes at us so quickly at times and we get so caught up in the heat of the moment that sometimes we overlook or forget the sweet things in life that calm us and bring us the simple joys that keep us motivated to keep living life with pure love. This little girl was reminding me that she mattered. Because she was being so sweet and well-behaved, she was unintentionally being overlooked and just needed a moment of my attention.

I grabbed her up in my arms and held her tight inhaling her sweet innocence. Each of my *Littles* has their own unique qualities and brings something special to my heart. One is not more important than the other. Each is precious and deserves as much attention from me as I can possibly give to them. It's impossible to divide your love because with each child it just multiplies!

I'm so thankful for a precious little girl who reminded me of that on a crazy, hectic day.


Thirty-One Trendy Totes said...

Thank you for following me! I am following you back! I hope your grandchildren are feeling better poor things.

Happily Ever After Again said...

cute story!
being a smom and mom, i have had many moments when i realized "what she is really asking for is more attention."
so glad you recognized that moment for what it was. glad for you and little sister. :)