Sometimes, it’s the parent who needs to be scolded.
This morning began like most others. Wash the kids, clothe the kids, feed the kids, keep the kids from killing each other… and so on. Except I learned a valuable lesson I won’t soon forget, courtesy of Ryder – my lovely, sensitive, incredibly perceptive little guy.
It happened while I was (trying) to help them change out of their pajamas. Reid was running around my bedroom, and I swear that kid is so fast and so small it’s like trying to catch a greased pig. As he continually dodged my advances, Ryder ran in front of me, taunting me less heartily but highly annoying nonetheless. Well, after about 30 seconds of a game that felt like 30 minutes, I’d had enough. Grabbing Ryder by his shoulders, I steadied him and yanked his pants and undies down in one swift movement, puling them from around his ankles and tossing them into a clothes hamper behind me.
And then Ryder looked at me. It was a combination of shock and pure disgust; a look reserved for someone who had just slapped you across the face. And then he began to cry – tears of frustration, shame and embarrassment. He wailed and hid behind my dresser, trying to pull his pajama top down over his torso.
It was then that I realized that by unceremoniously yanking down his pants, I had humiliated him – robbing him of his dignity as he stood there naked from the waist down.
It had never occurred to me that a 3 year old could be embarrassed.
I have never considered myself a bully.
I will never make him feel cold and shamed again.
And so today, in humiliating my son, I learned a lesson in humility.
(I’m sorry, sweet Ryder.)