Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day 1059 - Guilty As Charged

One of the many bedtime rituals we do with the kids is play with a flashlight. We'll make shadow puppets and the kids love to chase the light across the room. We used to use black light, but it just became disturbing and made us realize there's more poop in the room than just in their diapers.

The last thing the kids get to do with the flashlight is play with it by themselves. We give them a minute or so to do whatever they want to do with it. A popular choice is doing shadow puppets; the most popular puppet is indeterminable fist and finger animal.

On this night, something unfortunate happened. When Emma did not want to share the flashlight with Andrew, she became angry and threw the flashlight on the floor. The more unfortunate thing was that I was lying on the floor so the flashlight smacked my head. Thankfully, we don't have the kids play with a big ass Maglite, but never the less, it hurt the only part of my head that is attractive: my forehead.

As I masked what I really wanted to say with a long and pronounced "Shoooooooot!", Emma froze. When Lisa told her she hurt Daddy and she should apologize, Emma made a quick dash to her bed and buried her head in her pillow. You need to understand that we've never seen Emma display this kind of guilt and hurt before. The only time we see her bury her head in her pillow is when I accidentally let go of one in the bedroom.

I went to Emma and told her I was okay, but I may have to get an MRI later on; I'm a hypochondriac. After explaining why it was important not to throw things, I asked her if she had something to say to me. Nothing but silence. As I became frustrated, I turned her over in bed. And when she had eye contact with me, she burst into tears! Not only did I get drenched in parental guilt, but horrid flashbacks of college blind dates hit me too.

Obviously I comforted Emma and told her she didn't have to cry and feel bad -- although she really should feel bad because she hit my head with a damn flashlight. But this entire incident made me realize how increasingly complex our kids' minds are becoming. This whole transition from baby to toddler is difficult for both child and parent. And as a parent of twins, you're always trying to figure out whether you're being attentive to the particular needs of each child.

As the night came to a close, we gave our good night hugs and kisses to Emma and Andrew. Before I could leave Emma's bed, she said, "Daddy. I won't throw the flashlight again." And I bent over to give her one more kiss and then whispered in her ear, "You're damn right you're not going to throw that damn flashlight again."

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