Well, as expected Fred’s return to his lost owners created a lot of negative emotions in my house. I have to sometimes remind myself that my kids are only six, four and two years old, and that life lesson rarely come easily or without some difficulty.
For Joey, my oldest, he was primarily saddened. He knew that returning Fred to their home was the right thing to do, and it just made him sad. The poor kid cried for an hour straight, and demonstrating the resilience of kids, he moved right from grief to anger which of course was directed at me…the worst Mom in town. I should also mention that Joey has been asking for a dog as long as he could talk. Last year, at some point, he talked with a school counselor about it (I hope it wasn’t in her office because no one told me about it). He came home and said that the counselor thought we should have “an open discussion about owning a pet and the responsibilities it holds.” I’ll be giving him plenty of counseling material with this latest event.
Jake, only being four, was saddened by Fred’s return, but he was not sold on the dog’s return as the right thing to do. There were a lot more questions like “If they lost him and aren’t responsible, why can’t we keep him?” Still questioning my decision, as he does most of the time anyway, he moved right into slathering on the guilt. He turned down an invitation to play with a friend after school and told me he was “just too sad to play.” He also fondly remembered Fred this morning and ask me, “Hey, Mom? Do you remember that time I had a dog to love?” Yes…it was yesterday.
Now Cecilia is two. Life with a toddler is challenging enough, and a lesson about right and wrong, on this level, just doesn’t translate into toddler. So when a two year old doesn’t understand why something happens, you can end up with crying, throwing fits, acting out, etc. Well, she did cry, and like her brothers. also can be dramatic (wonder who they got that from??) Yesterday, when she first realized the dog was gone, she told me “I wuved that doggy. Fred was my best friend.” She then proceeded to cry herself to sleep and I was feeling totally guilty and horrible until I saw this when I went to get her from her nap:
So now in addition to the unicorn poop, which I’m still finding all over my house, I have another submission for Shit my Kids Ruined. The ointment, which really works well keeping rashes dry, also does not come up very easily. So after wiping my daughter off with a dry cloth, baby wipes, and then a wash cloth I finally got it all off of her. At one point, while bathing her, I said, already knowing the answer, “Why would you make a big mean mess like this?” She replied with, “Where’s my dog?”
So three of the saddest kids ever went to bed dogless last night, and awoke today ready to spread the guilt on thick again.
“I wonder what Fred is doing now?” Jake pondered.
“Probably wondering why Mom gave him back to irresponsible owners…” Joey replied.
“That doggy was cute. I wuved him and wuved him,” Cecilia recalled.
And perhaps worst of all was Cecilia’s reading material today which I had never seen before this morning…do they sell “Self Help” books for toddlers?
And don’t worry she was actually crying because Jake had a book she wanted (and in addition to not understanding why we gave the dog back, Sharing is a pretty foreign concept as well).
So here we are…one day with a dog…and now one day without. I imagine it’ll be a few more days until my popularity begins to rise again.
Have your kids ever made you feel horrible about the “right” decision? Leave me a comment and let me know! And while you’re here, take a quick second and click the link below to cast an automatic vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs…thanks!