From early on, it was clear that Antwan had an opinion on how the world should be. It was a little funny when he was a baby, he would get all worked up when his toys were moved in spots that he didn’t put them in. But now that he’s 4, it’s sometimes a little hard. He has no time for these silly ideas about me being in charge. We’re a team. He really believes that. If he thinks I’m being unreasonable, he will tell me, with no fear (and no interest) of contradiction. He’s not a mean child. He’s not a rude child. He’s got a heart as big as…a really big state (I don’t do geography.) On most days, he will bring home extra candy from the treasure box at school, so he can share with us. He just thinks that he’s got it all figured out. And, when I watch how he takes care of Lizzie and, even, William; I sometimes think he’s right.
The good news is Antwan has confidence. If he is not understood, he will keep on repeating it, usually very patiently.
So, back to that compassion of his.
The other day, he was cleaning his room. This really means that I was cleaning his room while complaining about how he trashes his room. He does help clean, but needs specific directions like “put this there.” I look forward to the day when I can send him to his room and he’ll clean it. Will that day ever come? I have no idea. So, as I complained about the mess, he would answer, calmly, “I’m sorry, Mommy. I’ll try not to mess up my room anymore.” He and I both knew that this wasn’t true. But, he effectively stopped my rant. Well-played, Antwan.
As I sat on the floor, picking up toys, he sat behind me and started to rub my back. My back has been hurting a lot lately and, although, I hadn’t said anything, he assumed, correctly, that it was.
Then, he said. “I’m rubbing your back to make it feel better. When I get bigger and you get smaller, I’ll take you to the little mom doctor to make you feel better.”