The boys and I had to be somewhere this morning so I spent most of the morning getting ready rather than the usual cuddles and playtime. (I cuddle with my boys A LOT in the mornings because they love it and they need it and I remind myself there's really nothing more important most days.) This morning the boys were mostly on their own, playing with train tracks and watching Thomas.
Part way through the morning, J-Man started wanting me to hold him. I pushed it off for a while because we had a deadline, but eventually realized he really needed some Mommy Time. So I picked him up and sat on the couch for some snuggles.
"Mommy seep Mommy bed." The rough translation was that he wanted to lay down in my bed with me.
I was in the middle of trying to get us ready to leave so I said I would just sit on the couch with him. So we sat there, but he started getting upset. Then he hit me. We do time-outs for hitting, but at that moment I knew that what he really needed was closeness with me. I could tell the hit came out of that emotional place where you want to be loved and you need intimacy but you are angry that you aren't getting it and you are scared that if you show you want it you'll get hurt even more so you don't want anyone to know how you really feel. You know that place? We know it all to well since J-Man joined our family.
So I held his arms down to prevent further hitting, but we have this way of doing it that's also a sort of cuddly, rocking position, with a lot of eye contact. (You have to be creative with toddler adoption!) Instead of the time out, I held my little boy close. I looked into his eyes and told him he couldn't hit Mommy. I told him to say "sorry" and he did.
We all have those "exception to the rule" moments as parents, don't we? I think we have to because sometimes the rule just isn't as important as what our children are feeling and the rule simply isn't what they need in that specific moment.
I still feel guilty for being so busy this morning that I failed to give J-Man the attention he needed. I also know that those times will happen. I guess I better just give extra cuddles this afternoon!