Home > Love, Parenting > Sweeter than chocolate

Sweeter than chocolate

Let's be clear: He really loves chocolate!

Let’s be clear: He really loves chocolate!

My toddler’s favorite things in this world are chocolate, trucks, and his older brother. In reverse order.

I get it about his six-year-old brother, Li’l D. Li’l D’s as loving and supportive as he is excitingly (or is it terrifyingly?) full of energy.

Two hours after Li’l D’s winter break began, he informed me that one of his classmates had threatened to cut him in half, followed him into a bathroom stall to taunt him, and gotten Li’l D’s best friend to throw things at him. He was heartbroken, and I was devastated that I hadn’t learned about any of this in time to address it before vacation.

When Li’l D returned to school last Monday, he did so knowing his dad and I would be talking to his teacher and school principal. We did these things not to get Li’l D’s classmate in trouble, but to (i) alert adults around Li’l D so they’d be able to step in if things got out of hand and (ii) let Li’l D know we were looking out for him, even when we couldn’t watch him with our own eyes.

After school that day, Li’l D calmly informed his dad that he’d talked to his classmate. “It hurts my heart when you do these things,” he reported telling his classmate. “I wish you wouldn’t.”

“I won’t do them anymore,” his classmate promised.

A few days later, the same classmate told Li’l D he loved his heart.

“But a heart’s just this gross thing that pumps blood through your body!” replied Li’l D.

“Really?! Eeeeeeeeeeew!” replied his classmate friend, giggling with him at how disgusting and slimy is this thing adults reference so reverentially.

It’s been a week since then. Li’l D’s had nothing untoward to report, so that when I see him reading to his little brother and see Littler J’s adoration plastered all over his face, I get it.

Li’l D may be loud and boisterous, but his love really is sweeter than chocolate.

"Li'l D to Littler J: I got you!"

“Li’l D to Littler J: I got you!”

Categories: Love, Parenting Tags: , , ,
  1. Deb
    January 15, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Do you have to wonder on the initial exchange between the classmate and Li’l D? Where did this small child get this idea and then be able to so easily understand that he hurt your son…mimicking things he hears without understanding maybe? seeing older siblings questionable behavior? I don’t want to think that this is just another example of an environment influencing an otherwise kind child to emulate the negative world he might live in.

    • January 15, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      I do wonder! The evening D told me about how things had escalated, I wondered how I could answer his questions in ways that didn’t sound like Sometimes People Just Suck. I explained that sometimes people feel sad and hurt and angry, and the only way they feel powerful is hurting other people, especially when no one else around them seems to be hearing.

      I told him Li’l D it didn’t have to do with him, or anything he was or wasn’t doing. I wasn’t sure how much of that he took in, so that I was shocked and delighted when he showed he not only understood but went well above and beyond where I could have.

      • Deb
        January 15, 2016 at 6:57 pm

        You have a pretty darn emotionally perceptive child there Deb, which reflects hugely on the way you and Anthony are raising him. Bravo 🙂

  2. January 15, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    You are raising wonderful boys! 🙂

    • January 15, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      Sometimes I think of my mom and wonder, “Am I doing it right?” I think in awe how she can’t have known how right she was doing it. And then I see moments like this and think, okay, so no matter what I’m doing less-than-awesome, good stuff is clearly taking hold. And I’m thankful. ♥

  3. January 15, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Aw…… 🙂

    • January 15, 2016 at 7:37 pm

      I definitely saw his daddy in that. Much as I believe in love above all, I am inclined to throat-punch first. But his dad? Love first, and then throat-punch only as ABSOLUTELY necessary. 😀

  4. January 15, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Great job using his words!

    • January 15, 2016 at 7:38 pm

      I really, really hope he keeps it up!

      It was so exciting to me to see what could happen from us not trying to resolve, but letting him know we really were there if our presence was needed.

  5. January 15, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Awww. How humbling to watch your small boy behave in a way that I wish more adults could. Humbling – and wonderful.

    • January 16, 2016 at 7:35 am

      I’ve learned a little from it. I did my best to talk him through all the reasons someone would do things like that, and encouraged him not to do like things in kind … but did also let him know he would not get in trouble for defending himself. Of course, when I envisioned “defending himself,” it was a very physical thing. I’m so touched how he chose to defend himself. ♥

  6. January 15, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    Aww. This warms my heart. I’m glad they were able to make up.

    • January 16, 2016 at 7:35 am

      Me, too. He was so anxious in the days before school resumed. I could not have anticipated just how quickly and beautifully things would be resolved!

      • January 16, 2016 at 8:06 am

        If only the powers that be in this world took notice of something like this. Our world would be a much better place.

  7. January 16, 2016 at 6:21 am

    What a sweet post.

    • January 16, 2016 at 7:37 am

      I’ll probably have to do another one about all the ways Littler shows his love for his big brother. The only recurring point of contention is who gets rights to Mommy’s lap any given moment. :p

      As an added bonus, I tried to write this and wrote another post instead first. So … a twofer! My next post already written. :p

  8. January 16, 2016 at 10:16 am

    I speak from experience when I say, there are very few things that can hold as much space in a young heart as an older brother.

    • January 17, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      I love this comment.

      Did you see A’s picture of the boys yesterday? I saw it and, immediately thinking of your comment, smiled.

      • January 17, 2016 at 8:22 pm

        Hadn’t seen it. Just went and found it. Yep. That. Exactly.

  9. January 16, 2016 at 11:33 am

    I’m impressed at how smoothly this problem worked out. Good job to everyone!

    • January 17, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      I’m impressed with Li’l D’s handling of it! I did not even anticipate this outcome as in the realm of possibility, but man, am I glad to be proven wrong. 🙂

  10. January 16, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Adorable babies.

  11. January 16, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    They are adorable!

  12. January 17, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    It is so nice to see children work through their own problems in such a sweet way. Your sons are far to adorable!

    • January 17, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      It ones again reminds me that experience isn’t always the best determinant for good outcomes. There’s a lot to learn from folks anywhere along the age and experience spectrums!

  13. January 18, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    That’s great! Sometimes I think parents are too quick to get involved and make situations which could be resolved on their own worse.

    • January 20, 2016 at 4:30 am

      I agree. It can be hard to find the right balance, but in this case, we wanted to see how things would play out if D knew he had his support and other adults were apprised in case things got really out of hand. I’ve learned a lot for the next adventure, since a next one seems certain with two little ones. 🙂

  14. January 18, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    What sweet boys ❤

    I'm glad the situation at school didn't get worse and things are okay! The kid at LM's school that was bullying him (that we had to get the teacher and guidance to intervene on) still calls him names quite a bit. I've told LM that most of the time kids hear that stuff from other, whether it's a parent or older sibling, and that it's by no means a reflection of LM. He seems to get it, although it hurts that he even has to deal with that.

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