Someone please call the Actors Guild. Let them know that I am raising the next great tragic actor or maybe it’s the next psychopath. My son is a storyteller and he’s got enough drama for five kids. Here’s the thing … it’s never a happy story. I don’t know where he gets these ideas but here are just a few of his latest highlights.
First there is the ‘man.’ The man is featured in many scenarios. First the man was going to come and take mommy and Shorty away. Then the another time the man was going to set our house on fire. Next the man was coming for just Shorty. Then the man was going to take just mommy away. I have no idea who this ‘man’ is but he sounds scary. I’ve explained to Shorty that no man is coming to do any of those things.
Then there is the fire. Everything is eventually going to end up in flames. If Shorty gets mad he’s going to make whatever he is mad at or whatever got him in trouble burn. The fire fascination started when he knocked one of the window candles off the window sill. I didn’t realize this particular candle must have been malfunctioning and was hotter than it should have been. When the candle hit the rug it left a little scorch mark. I explained to Shorty that he mustn’ t play with the window candles because he could get burned or the house could catch fire. Now apparently everything must burn because that’s all he talks about. Fire, fire, and more fire.
Now we have the doctor added to the fire scenarios. I’m not completely sure what got him rolling on the doctor. I think it might have had something to do with him getting hurt and me telling him to be careful and then us talking about him going to the doctor for his next check up (which is next week). But now all he talks about is the doctor fixing him or the doctor setting his hand on fire. (The hands have been a big thing because in his anger he’s been biting his hands lately. Don’t get me started on that one – I’m stressed about it and not sure what the heck to do about that new habit, but rest assured I will be talking to the doctor about it next week.) So, now I’m listening to scary stories of the doctor setting his hand on fire.
Oh, and if all that isn’t enough awhile back he told me he was running away. What is a mother to do with all that anger, sadness, and tragedy? I’m really worried about all this. Is something happening in his life that is making him this afraid or angry? Am I doing something to contribute to this? Should I be concerned about all this talk of unhappy and dangerous things? I notice that mostly the stories come when he is angry, tired, cranky, or getting reprimanded. What can I do to make him feel less afraid, less angry, and better able to deal with his emotions and ours better? I’m fearful that my own anger, frustration, crankiness, etc. is filtering down to my child. Although I don’t talk about hurting people or burning things down maybe in his own way Shorty is noticing that I haven’t been dealing with things very well lately and he’s mimicking that in his stories and actions.
Or maybe it’s just a phase and someday he’ll grow tired of the fire and brimstone and tell me happier tales. I don’t know. I just wish I knew exactly what was going on in his little mind. I wish I could make him feel safer, calmer, and less angry. In the meantime I’ll keep my eyes and ears open. I’ll listen to whatever kind of story he wants to tell me. I’ll hope that one day soon he’ll feel like telling me a good comedy so we can both laugh.