Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Learning Lessons--in your face

We all have lessons to learn in life and one that Shaun sometimes has a tough time with is admitting when he might, possibly, could be...wrong. This is likely my own incorrect perception; afterall, years ago he humbly informed me that he would be happy to admit he was wrong, just as soon as he was. Seriously. Thank goodness he and I alike have lightened up on that whole thing, though my mouth is still agape in disbelief that he ever said it; mostly, I find it pretty humorous these days.

The routine in our home in the evening is that I make dinner while Nathan either helps me, plays, or, if he is lucky, watches television--he loves television. Until now, I have been fortunate enough not to know thoroughly those persons that truly don't hear you when you call to them while they watch, uh, pretty much, anything on tv. Interesting that it bewilders me more than frustrates me, making it so much easier to simply turn the thing off when he doesn't respond.

After dinner Shaun does the dishes and turns on the dishwasher. Often, Nathan wants to help with this activity as well. On this particular evening, Nathan decided to get out the dish detergent and found alongside it, a sample product that had been in that cupboard for some time. He and I had had the conversation more than once about what the product was, our need for it (or lack thereof) and where it was to be deposited in the dishwasher, et cetera. As Nathan went about the process of getting this product out and then attempting to put it in the dishwasher appropriately, Shaun was telling him all the while that we didn't need anymore soap, that that is not where we put it in the machine, etc, etc...

Shaun and I try to be respectful and not contradict one another to Nathan and generally we do pretty well; on this night I found it difficult to get a word in edgewise. When I did find an opening, I gently suggested to Shaun that he might want to look more closely at the product and what Nathan was trying to do with it before he continued to tell him what he was doing was incorrect. Upon doing so, Shaun acknowledged his error out loud, apologized and we all went about finishing up the evening kitchen clean up. In his need to sum things up, Nathan offered the familiar pretense: "I know what the problem is Daddy," and the conclusion, "You're just not really smart."

There was genuine laughter and Shaun said what we were both thinking, "You're doing wonders for my ability to admit I'm wrong, kid!"

The lessons served up by innocent four year olds are so much sweeter and easier to swallow, aren't they? I hope the little one is learning half the lessons I am.

No comments: