Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Piece of Squash and the Cookie

My favorite nights are ones where dinner feels intentional and not rushed. We take turns talking about our days and windows open into our kids' "hidden" lives.

Tonight Luke even graduated from his usual response listing who he hung out with at school ("Play Toya, play Tu-ton, Play Eya")  and said "Played Outside." :)

Dinner was grilled squash wraps and squash steadily disappeared from Jack and Cora's plates but notably moved off the wrap and to the side of Luke's high chair. We had baked cookies so I optimistically brought 5 over to the table. We've been working on getting Luke to realize that he must eat healthy foods before having a treat, but Luke is not one to be talked into a behavior he's already chosen against.

Jack doesn't like to see his brother miss out so before I knew what was happening, Jack had moved one of the two squashes off Luke's plate telling Luke that he just had to eat one squash.

"Okay, that's fine I guess," says I....

Pretty soon, Jack has ripped the squash three more times until there is a tiny piece of globby squash on Luke's plate. Luke is insistently shaking his head and reaching for the cookie. Since he first was in a high chair at 7 months, Luke has been known for swiping off offending foods and he quickly had that squash bite on the floor. No worries! Jack had more subdivided bites to offer.

We all are eating our cookies at this point and Luke is now in tears, still reaching for "his". Jacob decides this kid is ready for bed and gets up to take him upstairs. Jack tries loading a bite of squash onto his own cookie to see if this will work for Luke.

NOOOO!!  The cries continue.

As Jacob unbuckles Luke from his seat, Jack impulsively takes his own cookie and pops it into Luke's mouth. Jacob and I both didn't see that one coming and before we could react, Luke instinctively covers his mouth with both hands somehow knowing that cookie might not get to stay in his mouth for long. Jack looked like he knew he was about to be in big trouble.

And then the moment was just perfect and I applaud Jacob for his long range, not reactive, parenting with project approach. (Read what we are reading.) Jacob said, "Jack, that shows that you have empathy which means that you have a kind heart. You didn't want Luke not to have a cookie and so you were willing to share your own. You have to understand that we were not giving Luke a cookie because we wanted to teach him a lesson about eating his dinner. "

At this point Jack has tears in his eyes !! so Jacob says "We're not mad at you.  It's hard for us to have to teach you guys lessons sometimes too."  (At this point Jacob has tears in his eyes too.)

This beautiful moment then moves to Jack saying, "Can I go listen to my story now?"  Because frameable parenting moments are like an old VHS that suddenly jumps to some old recording right as the music is swelling in the middle of a pivotal scene :)

I had to ignore the dishes and the overtired baby who is getting a bath upstairs and capture this sweet little Wednesday night moment. I love this little family of mine :)

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