The kids and i have a bedtime routine. It’s a special one on one time where I tuck in each kid and we read something of a spiritual nature and talk. It’s added an hour to bedtime. And sometimes, honestly, when I’m tired and selfish, I HATE the time consuming part of it. But mostly, it’s extremely special, and we all try to make sure we have enough time at the end of each day for this new routine. When one kid will interrupt another kid’s time, I correct it and tell him that it is MY time with his brother and it’s special and he’ll have to wait. I think they test it to be sure that’s always the response for all of them. Generally, there are no exceptions in any way for any reason.
Ethan-12yr and I were reading together in his room -’devotionals for dog lovers’ or something like that. add an animal to any conversation, and suddenly you have ethan-12yr’s undivided attention. Seth-6yr came in and he was crying.
He got the standard line.
He went back to bed and wailed his little heart out.
I yelled for him to hang on and I’d be there in a minute.
He screamed that there was a moth in his room and it was going to eat his underwear.
He was PETRIFIED. Genuinely terrified for his life and for his underwear.
I sent him to the couch, away from the moth, and laughed all over Ethan-12.
I told him I’d help him in a little bit, and to get comfortable, and I went to tuck in Caden-8yr. Caden-8yr wanted to know what was wrong with Seth-6yr.
Caden-8yr listened to my explanation and then said, “you know you’re the reason why he thinks that, right?”
Caden-8yr has a matter of fact little way of looking bored as he totally nails you with some bit of truth you’ve forgotten and he remembers verbatim.
“Well. Last year we were outside and I caught a moth and gave it to him and he said he would keep it as a pet. And so he kept it in his underwear drawer. A few days later you found out about it – because he said to you, “I have a pet moth, Mom” – and then you got mad and told him that it would EAT his underwear and he had to get rid of it and then he went to his drawer and pulled out a pair of Elmo underwear and it had holes and he was sad and he threw them away.”
“WHAT? HE DOESN’T EVEN HAVE ELMO UNDERWEAR.”
“Well. Not anymore. Because his pet moth ate them.”
“So… he’s afraid the moth on his ceiling who hasnt’ moved all day is going to eat the underwear right off his body while he sleeps and that’s why he’s so afraid he’s crying his head off?”
Caden-8yr took a moment. And then said, “Yes. Because that is what you told him.” There was a hint of condemnation in that statement. I heard it loud and clear.
I thanked him for that little revelation, we read about Joseph, and then i went to slay the moth with Seth-6yr. I used a broom with clorox wipes on the end of it. I don’t know what else to slay moths with, and this did the job JUST fine in case you need to know.
Seth-6yr cheered me on until I killed it and did not ONCE suggest sparing his life and keeping it as a pet.
I tucked him in, apologized, and he and his underwear slept peacefully the rest of the night.
I feel terrible about how upset he was, and how it really WAS my fault, but then it’s just so cute I can’t stop laughing. Seth-6yr took a baseball to the thigh in a game a few weeks ago. He shook his leg, looked at me for a brief second in the stands to see if I’d seen it happen, and then went on as if it didn’t hurt at all. He didnt’ rub it, cry, yell, or say a word to anyone.
He had a baseball sized purple circle bruise on that thigh the next day.
He can be tough.
But clearly, there are limits.
Moth and Underwear Limits.