Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Helping school-agers

I did not do so well in the patience department this morning.

Colin loves Lego, especially the little kits he received for Christmas. He loves to take the little creations apart and put them back together again, following the booklet of instructions to a T. In fact, he is very good at this, and also very quick.

This morning, he took apart a fire truck and used the pieces to build two small Star Wars ships. A very impressive feat, since these kits are really designed to build just the one thing. At any rate, when he was finished, he wanted to build the fire truck again. The problem was, he had misplaced some of the pieces, and had re-ordered some of the pieces he did have so that he couldn't get going in building the truck.

So he came for me for help. Now, I will confess here that I love Lego kits! I had a ball building them the first time with Colin. I am also really good at it (where do you think he gets it from?!) Helping Colin is not a problem. But every time I sat down and picked up the piece, he would start grabbing things from my hand, trying to flip them and show me things and add things and change what I was doing and it was driving me NUTS! I got so frustrated. I kept telling him to stop yanking things out of my hands, to just give me a second to see at what stage he was at, to let me look at the picture and get my bearings. And he just kept reaching those little fingers in there!

Argh! After a few times of swatting his hands away, I just stood up and walked away. "If you don't want me to help, then I don't have to," I grumbled. After a minute he would be back begging me to help, then sticking his hands in and pulling at the pieces all over again. This went on three or four times before I told him that was it, I wasn't going to help any longer. Once longer period of time passed, he allowed me to come in and get him going unhindered, after which everything was fine.

I could have been more patient. I could have walked away the first time with a simple yet firm explanation of expectations for helping him. Not one of my better moments. But a moment nonetheless, and recorded here so that I remember that I had these kinds of days, for they are all part of motherhood.

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