This morning, as I was helping the boys brush their teeth, we had a conversation that took a worrisome turn for one of my little guys and I'm pretty sure I didn't handle it right. In fact, Dan confirmed my hunch when I told him how the conversation went with, "You said what?!" *Sigh* It was not one of my golden parenting moments.
Here's how it went down:
James was brushing his own teeth and after I made a big deal about how great he was doing, I asked Jonathan if he wanted to do the same. He didn't (of course).
Jonathan: "Mommy, I want you to always brush my teeth."
Jonathan: "Yes. Well, until I'm 27."
Me: (laughing): "When you're 27, you're going to want me to come to your house twice a day and brush your teeth for you?!"
Jonathan: "No, Mommy!" I'll still be living here!"
Me: "Awww, I'd love that!"
Not one to miss an opportunity for attention (or to be bested), James piped in.
James: "Mommy, I want you to brush my teeth until I'm 97!"
Me: "James! I won't even be around when you're 97!"
At this point, James' face fell and I wished I hadn't said that to my uber-sensitive boy who, just last week, burst into tears when we read, Llama, Llama Misses Mama. The same kid who sympathizes with every character in nearly every movie and ends up crying and in my lap. The kid who is exactly like me.
James: "Where will you be when I'm 97?"
Me: "Umm, you know...heaven, or something. It's a loooooong time from now so you don't need to worry about it, ok?"
Jonathan: "Mommy, does it take a long time to get to heaven?"
Me (totally backpedaling): "Listen you guys, you don't need to worry about it at all! I'm going to be around for a really long time. Besides, do you even know how high 97 really is?
We counted to 97 and the boys laughed about how long it took to get there but James wasn't convinced.
James (voice shaking and tears welling up in his little green eyes): "Mommy, I don't want you to go without me."
I gave him a gigantic hug and squeezed him tight. I apologized for having upset him and tried to brush the whole conversation under the rug.
Me: "You know what? I won't. I'll be right here. And I'll brush your 97 year old teeth for you. Will you still be living here, too?"
James: "Nah, you'll have to drive to my house."
1 hour ago