“Good morning mama!”
Ev pokes his face right into mine as he greets me.
“I didn’t get fedden, Mama. I’m really oh so hungry.”
It’s early, but how can I complain? At least he’s not going downstairs, helping himself to grape jelly and wiping his hands all over my white towels. He’s asking me for food first. I think we might be making progress
“I need to get fedden Mama cause Alex is coming here and we’re gonna have a date at 4:30. She’s gonna help me find an outfit for the date so you don’t need to help me get dressed.”
“Oh? A date with Alex, eh? Sounds wonderful.”
Alex is his invisible friend. She’s six, drives a Jeep (or GPS as Ev calls it) and attends college with him. They’re in the same chemistry class, and they do their chemistry homework together. Of course, this is all the imaginative work of my little master storyteller: he’s nothing if not creative.
I feed him a good breakfast, wish him a good date with Alex and head off to work. Tuesdays are long work days for me so Ev hangs out with Lizi; they usually do special things together–a little sister/brother bonding time.
As usual on a Tuesday, I end up working late. When I come home, I notice immediately that Ev is sitting on the stairs and not getting up to greet me. This can only mean one thing: Ev is in Time Out.
I take a seat next to him on the stair and begin to gently question him,”Hi Love, so, um, tell me…why are you sitting here on the time out stair?”
“Well, Mama. I’m here cause I was yelling an’ bein’ rude to Lizi.” Ev explains as he looks up at me with those big round ohsoinnocent looking blue eyes.
He nods solemnly, “Really. Really, Mama.”
“Oh Evan…” I speak in tones that convey great sadness, “I’m so very disappointed to hear that you are treating Lizi disrespectfully.”
He hung his little head down, shook it slowly from side to side and muttered as much to himself as to me, “I know Mama. I know..”
Then he leaned in closer to my side, laid his head on my arm and said again (still shaking his head sadly), ” I know Mama.” Heavy sigh. “I know. What are we gonna do with me? I’m really really sorry.”
What ARE we gonna do? Good question.
I’m tired from a long day, but not too tired for this gentle time of correction. I know from experience how important it is–how a few minutes invested now whether I’m tired or not has a great pay-off later on. It builds relationship, encourages trust and illustrates unconditional love.
These lessons are too important not to teach.
“Well, you need to apologize to Lizi because you certainly hurt her feelings, and I’m sure you didn’t mean to do that.”
“Then we will go make some supper. How does that sound?”
“That sounds just amazin’, Mom.”
As I get up to walk away Ev reaches for my hand, “and Mom?”
“I’m glad you’re home.”
“You know what, Ev? I’m glad I’m home, too.”
There’s no place like home.