Since moving into the new house, Benjamin has become afraid of being in any room by himself (including the bathroom). In an attempt to help him out, I bought him a little flashlight that he can hold and try to feel brave with (of course, I had to get one for Matthew, as well). As we were going to pick up Matthew from daycare, Ben had a million questions about light. How does it work? Why does it reflect off mirrors? Is it faster than a snowflake? I did my very best to answer his questions based on what I knew. The answer to the last question, for some strange reason, was particularly tough for him to swallow.
I told him that nothing was faster than light and tried to give him some examples of how fast it is. He didn’t believe me and basically asked me for sources for my information. As I continued to try to explain it, he asked if it was faster than snow. I joked with him and said that, of course, it was. He then asked about the blizzard and how fast that wind was blowing the snow. I told him light was even faster than that. Dejectedly and angrily, he mumbled, “You don’t know anything.”
Of course, he is just five and I am bombarding his poor little sponge brain with complicated physics that I barely understand, but I was really kind of hurt by his statement. Several hours after it happened, I now sort of find humor in the whole thing, but I honestly felt a little crushed and I am not sure why. I don’t know if it is the realization that he doesn’t believe everything his daddy says to him or if it is the effort it can take to provide all the answers that he wants and to have him reject them. I still need to find my own answers there, as silly as it seems.
Matthew than poured it on when he started bawling his eyes out when we got to daycare and saw Ben’s flashlight. I tried to explain that I had one for him at home, but he continued to cry and I started feeling even more hurt and for even sillier reasons. I know you can’t apply this kind of logic to a three-year old, but I was trying to do something special for them and it was causing disaster.
I feel dumb for being hurt by it, but, we are all humans. With all the happiness and joy that kids bring to your life, there is a range of emotions tied to it, leaving your heart on your sleeve most of the time. While they don’t mean anything by it, sometimes it’s hard to not get nicked by it. You want the best for them and do your best to ensure their happiness and when they let you know, in their eyes, that you failed at it…well, that really just sucks.
Anyway, hours later, I am proud of Benjamin for not being satisfied with the answers someone is giving him…It’s that kind of drive that will make him successful in whatever he does. And Matthew…well, that’s just part of being three and a little brother…and his post-fit snuggles are one of the reasons I love being a papa.