Saturday, October 20, 2012

I don't forgive you...yet

Thursday night was fairly uneventful, from snuggling with kidlet, to telling her it was time for PJs and she did a  little happy dance and skipped off giggling "hooray!", which is rarely the reaction to PJs/bedtime. After a few minutes of giggling at Disney channel silliness, we popped her in the shower to get the Kid Grime off.

That sentence belies what really happened though. It went more like this:

"Mom, would you help me?"
Me - "No, I'm cleaning up/doing laundry/stuffing my face. Go start your shower."
(It should be noted here that she is perfectly capable of starting, showering, ending and drying off after her shower without assistance.)

"But Mooooooooooooooooooom!! I need help rinsing my hair!" Said while still fully clothed, simply standing in the bathroom. The water's not even on.

Me - "I will help you rinse your hair, but you need to actually START YOUR SHOWER, as I've now asked 4 times."

"But, will you be in here with me? It just makes me feel more comfortable."

Me - "Nope, sorry kiddo. I'll be in there in a minute to rinse your hair. Use your time wisely!" 
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This exchange was repeated about 3 times, so by the time the water was actually turned on, and her clothes came off to get in, 10-15 minutes had passed. Seriously, kidlet? You could have been in and out in that time!

After the shower, she went around to all the family members and said her good nights - grandma, grandpa, the cat (who tolerates good nights, but really would prefer that she ignore him as much as he ignores us), and dad. We shuffle into her room, where she takes a flying leap facefirst into the bed, giggling maniacally.

One of these days, I swear, she's going to miss her mark, and it's not going to be funny, but will make for an epic story later in life.

After wrapping her in the vintage sleeping bag my parents handed down to us (seriously, this thing is from the 70's, and is still mostly going strong. I can't believe it's survived this long!), layering a down blanket, and then her favorite quilt, which was Matt's when he was a baby, on the very top, she's finally ready to hear a story and go to sleep.

I settle in read some of her favorite, Doctor Doolittle. Being the big Doctor Who fan that I am, every time he's referenced as "the good Doctor" in this book, I immediately flash to Doctor Who, instead of the doctor they're actually referencing. After reading for a few minutes, I snuggle with kidlet a little, and go to move her wet hair out from under her head to make it a bit more comfortable as she's falling asleep.

Unfortunately, as kids are wont to do, she moved unexpectedly as I moved my hand to do so, and I ended up poking her directly in the eye with an outstretched finger.

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Poor thing! It would have been a Three Stooges type scene, except it was a direct hit, and of course hurt like the dickens. I apologized over and over, gave her lots of hugs and kisses and snuggles. Poor thing, she valiantly tried not to cry, but I could tell it was hurting her pretty badly. Once she felt she could open her eye again, I held up the nightlight we were using to see if I'd actually cut her or anything. Thankfully no broken skin was to be seen, but goodness, her poor eye!

I apologized many more times before she fell asleep, but I noticed something. Not once did she say "it's ok", which is her typical response.

This makes me VERY proud. Automatic forgiveness is not always going to come, and we've talked about how you can accept someone's apology without the "it's ok" dismissal that kind of downplays what happened to warrant the apology. I'm certain she will eventually forgive me, but I understand that it might take a bit, because I managed to really hurt her.

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We'll talk more about the incident as her eye feels better, and see how she's processing it. Just because someone says they're sorry, doesn't mean you are required to forgive them straight away. God gives us the grace of forgiveness, and in our brokenness, it can take time for us to see our way to forgiving others. God also gives us patience, and I'm glad to be patient in this case, because I don't want her spouting empty words. When she decides to forgive me, I want it to be her decision, not because it's what she feels pressured to say.

How do you deal with the "I'm sorry" and "I forgive you" scenarios in your life? 


  1. Oh, it's so awful when you accidentally hurt your children! :(
    I'm so glad that she didn't just do the automatic dismissal thing. I've never thought that was a good thing.
    I absolutely love the approach you're taking with it. It really respects who she is as an independent person with her own feelings. :)

    1. Hey, thanks! It's hard, I do the automatic dismissal more than I'd like. At the same time, she's come home talking about kids at school who apologize, and she reenacts it for us, showing why she doesn't believe they're sorry. I think that's important too - don't say you're sorry unless you mean it!


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