Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Compassionate Mothering

When it rains there are worms visible on the path through the tree line from the yard to the meadow. Pequita is currently terrified of worms. The only way she'll walk through the leafy shaded tunnel is wearing shoes and holding a hand. Her hand of choice? Her younger brother's. He takes his responsibility seriously, loading his pockets with all his cars, gloves, rocks, etc. to keep his hand free for her. Yes, they are sweet-natured kids but I take some credit for this. I've been quietly encouraging empathy, supportive behavior, gentle touch, and respectful treatment between them since they could hold their heads up. It is manifesting now in clear ways, and is gratifying. And awfully endearing.

That being said, the new house rule, as of yesterday, is that if Monito pinches his sister, Pequita can pinch him back. He does not like this one bit. I've spent weeks discussing, meting out gentle punishments for, ignoring, and discouraging this pinching habit of his to absolutely no avail. So we try this way for a bit. I'm just glad he isn't a biter like I was. My mom gave my sister this same advice - "bite her back!" - when she hit the end of her rope with me in the early 1970s. I totally get it now. Oh, how I get it.

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