growinghumans


What happened in my dining room this evening
November 2, 2016, 11:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

My cats are assholes.

They are the kind of cats that will get fed at 6 pm, every day, but still try and convince anyone else in the house that they have not been fed for days.

Tonight, half an hour or so ago, one of these tiny fur-covered terrorists, Oscar, started pushing his food bowl all over my dining room. I took the bowl, placed it on the credenza, and thought it was a done deal.

I was wrong. It was not a done deal.

Not only did he jump up and knock his bowl down, he also knocked down my giant hedgehog made out of pine cones that my parents sent me for my birthday.

My Tiny Human was sitting quietly at the table, eating a mixing bowl’s worth of mac and cheese. I was in the living room, folding the never ending mountain of laundry that seems to now be accumulating on our couch, when I saw the crime go down.

Now, I may be medicated and controlled at the moment, but I am still bipolar. And that hedgehog was my favorite. I lunged into the dining room, retrieving my fallen friend and inspected him for injuries. He was spared, thank God. The tiny German stein that I had hung from his little paw in celebration of Oktoberfest, however, was not. Lid broken off, handle broken off, done.

I’m sure a normal person would have probably just said a quiet “Well, fuck” to themselves. But, I am not a normal person and proceeded to chase the asshole cat up the stairs with tears stinging my eyes. I had no plan for if I did catch him, which is just as well because I didn’t.

I marched back downstairs and aggressively continued folding my laundry. I suddenly heard a tiny sob. I looked up and Tiny Human was crying with her back to me. I rushed over to assure her that I wasn’t mad at her, wasn’t yelling at her and that I was sorry if my outburst had scared her .

She shook her head. “No no no. I know you weren’t yelling at me,” she choked out as I wiped the tears from her little cheeks. “Oscar is just my best friend. I’m sad he got in trouble and that you yelled at him.”

My jaw and my heart simultaneously hit the floor.

I struggle with being an empath–it has been a huge issue my entire life. I used to surround myself with high stress, borderline toxic people and their problems would become my problems, which of course is exactly what they want. It sucked. It still sucks.

Clearly my Tiny Human is going to follow in my dysfunctional shoes. How can such a young thing possess the emotional capacity to feel bad for her cat when he gets in trouble? To that extent? I am amazed.

We often forget that children are, in fact, Tiny Humans. We instead see them as abbreviations; as a incomplete person who still needs to grow. We think their emotions do not range, but instead hop from happy, to sad, to mad, to scared, and back to happy. These are the emotions they learn in their books, the emotions that their classrooms have displayed with the coordinating face so they can learn how to recognize these basic feelings.

But, what if they land somewhere in between? My child was sad for someone else. She says things like “I am just frustrated” or “I am disappointed” or  “I’m sorry you are crying, mommy”.

Don’t underestimate a 6 year old with a matured spectrum of emotions and associated vocabulary.

You might just find yourself apologizing to your asshole cat for yelling at him.

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