Thursday, June 11, 2009

then he threw the flowers on the lawn

(they were dying anyway)

::because there was only one adult lap to sit in after dinner. So I suggested that his brother might have a turn. And picture Rumpelstiltskin when he realizes his name has been guessed: that's what the transformation was like. Hopping and red-faced with rage.
With my supersonic mother radar, I saw his eyes flick to the vase of lupines (which were given to him in honor of his Bridge Crossing, from the sweet, tiny Z.). In his state of supreme dissatisfaction, he informed me that he was going to throw them on the floor in
 *three* *two*...*one!* 
Jonas and I played Scrabble and he won
because he is a master of strategy,
if not yet spelling

I said: That will make a big mess, and I can't let you spill water on the violin that is right on the floor. But you can throw the flowers on the lawn if you want.
quilt in the making for Sylvan's new Hedgehog

So he picked up the vase, opened the door, stepped onto the front porch and hurled them, vase and all (thankfully, the vase is made of metal).
newest Buttercup bag
for a July 1st birthday girl

There was still a mess. Lupine leavings, dried and shed on the floor of the dining room. I got the broom and the dust pan. And we swept up together.

The storm wasn't over. Some of us had smiled a little at one point in this charade, and it wasn't forgotten or forgiven easily.
the Rocket Ship ("rocketchip" was how I said it) Returns!
my crafty dad made it for me when I was little;
today it came down from the attic,
was thoroughly dusted,
so the Hedgehog could blast off

Did it matter to the sibling who was given his turn in my lap? Honestly, no. But for him it was the principle: no one should be able to have a raging fit and be rewarded with what he wants. I get it. But it was certainly a derailment of our otherwise calm evening.


  1. I'm impressed that Sylvan would listen to your request to throw the vase on the lawn as opposed to the floor, despite being hopping mad. I'm not sure we'd have the same luck in our house!

    I'm also SUPER impressed by the rocket ship your dad made! I'd like to try and copy the design for my kiddos, I'm sure they'd flip for it.

    Lucky Hedgehog!

  2. Most amazing Iris...your calm presence reaches across the miles. I know you don't mind the smile on my face at your telling of the story. I could only wish that I would have had acceptable alternatives should I have had a child. :)

    The buttercup is another beauty.

    And that rocketchip is, well, rockin'!

    Peace out!


  3. This is my favorite post of yours yet, Iris... so vibrant. I feel like I was there. You have provided us with so many amazing images... isn't it wonderful to see something that could be such a challenge with that beautiful artistic eye of yours? I love you! Hannah

  4. this is pretty great. and of course perfect...i imagined myself playing the game along with him

    "Well I'm mad too and I am going to throw this onion. and this shoe. and then I'm going to throw those flowers again after you have thrown them"

    there is no one right way or response of course but i wonder - do you need to let children experience the emotion until its end? is it always helpful to disrupt it? redirect it? transform it?

    i dont know. but loving those children makes me love the story.

  5. Huh, always the thought-provoker, Matthew!

    There are times when letting the emotion play out becomes either 1) physically/emotionally overwhelming for the child or 2) so completely disruptive and/or hurtful to the family group or 3) hurtful to the child or others involved (physically or emotionally) that I choose to step in and work to "talk the jumper off the ledge" so to speak (whether with words or actions).

    This also changes with the moment, with the child (and his temperament), the child's age, and with the situation.

    A lot of times humor comes to the rescue and there is a gentle way to laugh through the tough parts. Because we can then reconnect through the absurdity of what has occurred.