Monday, June 25, 2012


Yesterday, Cohen was not a happy boy. He was fussy most of the day and would just start crying big crocodile tears at the drop of a hat. He didn't want to sit still, so I couldn't get him to eat. He wouldn't lay still long enough to get a decent nap.

And when Travis brought him to church last night and said he had been miserable while I was gone, I knew something was wrong.

I took him home and strapped him in his high chair and pulled out my first weapon: macaroni and cheese. I figured he may just be hungry since he hadn't eaten much, and I knew macaroni and cheese was a guaranteed way to make him happy.

We spent a few minutes in peace, blowing on "hot" macaroni and just being silly together. He laughed and drank a few sips of Sprite and really eased my mind that he was feeling better.

Then he started to squirm. And then the fussing started.

So I did something I've never been able to do before: I communicated with my son to find out what was wrong. We actually had this conversation:

Me: "Cohen, do you hurt?"
Cohen: "Hurt. {whine} Hurt."
Me: "What hurts baby? Does your head hurt?"
Cohen: "No."
Me. "Do your ears hurt."
Cohen: {touches ears} "No."
Me: "Do your teeth hurt, baby?"
Cohen: "No."
Me: "Does your belly hurt? {point to his belly}
Cohen: {touches his belly} "Belly hurt" {gigantic tears}
Me: "Do you have poo poo, Cohen?"
Cohen "No. {shrugs and raises palms up} Where poo poo?"

And for the first time, I was able to rely on him to verbalize to me what was bothering him. And once I knew what was wrong, I was able to confidently help him. And that was pretty glorious.

So a trip to CVS and the purchase of childrens' laxative and a bottle of prune juice later, he's feeling much better.

I've been thinking about our exchange all morning. How it's so important to communicate with each other. If Cohen had not communicated with me, I might have just given him some pain reliever and a dose of orajel and sent him to bed. He would have been miserable, and I would have been up all night consoling him.  But becasue we were able to communicate with each other, he was able to tell me what he needed, and I was able to help him. As a result of our conversation, we were both happy and we both slept soundly all night.

I'm not the best communicator. I prefer to keep my emotions to myself, especially when I hurt. I prefer to deal with problems internally, by pretending they don't exist {namely, ignoring the feelings and the situation}. That works pretty well until everything comes to a head and someone or something explodes. But I have been reminded by a little boy who's now happpily sipping on prune juice just how important it is to talk.

Amazing what a toddler can teach you.

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