My child is tired. It is past his bedtime and nothing will make him happy except quiet and nourishment. We are at a dinner party so he has to navigate the long hardwood road from the play room to his car seat.
I am a veteran mom by now so I know my job is just to get him from point A to 3-point car seat without him hurting himself.
I pick him up, support his head and watch out for sharp corners. The car seat is a tussle, but again I stay calm and focus on his safety.
I know he is tired and stressed. He will feel better. His bad mood doesn’t inspire anger or annoyance–it is just bedtime.
But this series of events haunts me because every day in America parents of young children get angry and hurt their little ones.
I want it to stop. It hurts.
The best I can do is repeat good rules:
Remember that little people have little control over their lives.
And when their fatigue, hunger, fear, or discomfort makes them fussy, keep up the love.
Keep them safe.
Don’t hurt them.
Get them rest.
Get you rest.
Tomorrow their sunny little smiles will light up your world.
So keep them safe. They are irreplaceable.