Aaron got out of bed at 6:30 this morning. That’s a little early for him. I hoped he would go back to bed because getting up too early can go one of two ways…..good or bad. How’s that for being concise? Aaron loves concise, and so I’ve learned that it’s not all bad……or sometimes not all that good…..to just get to the point.
Which is what we did this morning, Aaron and I.
He did stay in his room for about 40 minutes, during which time I realized that he was not going to climb back in bed for more sleep. I was thankful for that extra time to finish…..almost…..my quiet time. Then the bedroom door opened and there was Aaron.
“Mom, I just got up!” he tried to tell me.
“No, you did not,” I corrected him. “You were up at 6:30.”
And with that, I held up the baby monitor to remind him that I DO spy on him, as he thinks I do, and that I knew for a fact that he was out of bed at 6:30.
He just laughed and so I thought that we were on the good side of his early morning as he walked off.
But he soon returned, hovering behind my chair, and I could feel his stare on the back of my head.
“Mom!?” he finally said. “Aren’t you coming to get my coffee?!”
I reminded him that I would do that when I finished what I was doing, and that he needed to wait. Patiently.
He stared for a few more seconds before sighing and walking away again. I knew now that this morning might be a few steps closer to bad than it previously was.
He was soon in his hovering position again. I finished what I was doing, but not before his patience wore even thinner.
“Do you not want to stay in here FOREVER?!” he impatiently questioned.
I continued to gather my things and to tell him that I would be there when I was done. And then I asked him, in a rather chipper voice, if he would like to stop on the way to Paradigm and get something.
His response was a resounding no, and then I knew that we had jumped over to bad for sure.
He watched every move I made in the kitchen as I fixed his coffee. I had already asked if he wanted something to eat. Bacon? Eggs? Sausage? Cereal?
No, no, no, and no were his replies.
I know his reasoning. He thinks that if he eats in the morning, then he won’t want to eat at Paradigm in the afternoon. OR…..that Mom doesn’t WANT him to eat at Paradigm, so mean Mom is trying to fill him up with food at home.
I then remembered that I had sliced two green peppers and put them in the frig. Aaron loves green pepper strips, so I pulled them out and showed them to Aaron.
“You want some green pepper strips?” I chirped.
“You just want me to eat!” he angrily replied.
He stared at me. He got no reply from me as I put the peppers back in the frig.
“Why do you want me to eat?!” he asked, still angry.
“Because I care,” I told him, but not with any chirp in my voice now.
“You just don’t want me to eat at Paradigm!” he insisted.
“No, Aaron, I want you to eat at Paradigm. But it’s fine,” I said.
“You just care about me eating here and not at Paradigm,” he continued.
“Aaron, I don’t care. OK? I don’t care,” I told him.
Aaron stared at me. I went about my business.
But he wasn’t done.
“Well,” he said, “When you DID care, why did you care?!”
Oh dear. HaHaHa!!! He makes me laugh even when he’s being incredibly frustrating!
Let’s see. He doesn’t want me to care, but he can’t stand it when I don’t care, so he wants me to care, but when I care he doesn’t want me to care.
Is there any way to win in this battle?
And what mother tells her son that she doesn’t care?!!
Me. I do.
Because I know that this is what Aaron needed to hear…..wanted to hear……but in the end he still wanted to fight.
So I had to put an end to it as best I could, in the best way for Aaron’s way of thinking.
It’s just another example of how we have to figure out what makes Aaron tick, especially when we’re ticked. And I was.
I never dreamed I’d be telling a child of mine that I didn’t care, but I never dreamed I’d have an Aaron, either.
I know I care. He knows I care. But at that moment, he wasn’t wanting me to care in the way that I did, so I had to tell him that I didn’t.
One thing I’ve learned in this life with Aaron is not to allow guilt to intrude into these moments. I know my heart and God knows my heart.
It’s unnatural to say that I don’t care, but I learned a long time ago to throw my normal parenting books out the window……and write a whole new one for Aaron.
I should entitle it “Unnatural Nurturing.”
Or maybe just, “I Don’t CARE!!”……a guide to caring without caring.
Makes sense to me!