I was terrible today.
I was helping my son read a book to me, something he gets quite excited about these days. It was near the end of a long day (notice how I slide that excuse in right away?). He started struggling more about halfway through the book, and my promptings to "sound it out", as I pointed with him at the unfamiliar words, were being completely unheeded. He has the habit of looking over the pictures incessantly while completely ignoring the word itself when he doesn't get the word right away. Yes, I know he's trying to pick up clues, but then he just starts guessing. Tonight, I was clearly unprepared mentally for this battle and let it get to me. Instead of patiently and kindly directing him back to the word and going through each letter sound, on one particularly frustrating (to me!) page, I let my voice rise and snapped at him for his bad habit. When I do that with some of my other children, no big deal. With him, his already-shaky confidence takes a nosedive and we have to pick up the pieces.
I hate it when I do this. It's seriously the last thing he needs from his mother.
I was thinking about this tonight as all my children -- including this sweet, sweet boy -- showered me with goodnight kisses and "I love you"s" and all the things that make bedtimes perfect. How quickly they forget how terrible I am! How they love me anyway?! Is puberty defined as the moment children wake up and realize their parents have been messing up every day of their lives so far?