7.27.2006

On the Right Track

Yesterday, I was the early riser and was in the kitchen when Cal came down a few minutes later and quietly started where he'd left off the night before with his wooden train tracks across the living room floor. He has spent hours and hours the last couple of days lining them up and curving them around the expanse of the floor, sometimes with cute "All Aboard!" dialogues.

He has spent almost as many hours in frustration over his little brother, hollering at Henry for sitting on his tracks, falling on his tracks, or borrowing his tracks just to carry them around with a rock, a gear from a tool set, and a "shell" of an ink pen. When yelling at (or pushing)doesn't alleviate the problem, he starts yelling at me. Or drama crying.

To which I respond, "Cal, he's not as big and smart as you yet. He's just learning how to play with train tracks the right way. He wants to be with you and play, because he likes what you are doing, and that's why he sits down, um, so close, to your tracks. You can show him how to put the tracks back the right way, and how to drive the train on them, right? We have to teach him, and not push him away, OK?"

Most of the time he growls at that, but when he realizes I am not going to exile Henry, he keeps playing until the next track disaster. If the rough stuff continues, Cal spends some time out, but goes right back to the tracks and the cycle beings again.

So yesterday morning when Cal was playing, I left him alone while I finished in the kitchen, thinking he was enjoying his only quiet train playing time before the,'It's not OK to scream and push him for messing up your train' broken record began again with Henry's awakening.

Cal was thinking about that, too, apparently, because when I was halfway down the stairs with Henry a little while later, Calvin came running to the foot of them, looking up. "Hi, Henry! Come look! Mom, I made Henry his own circle track, and put a train on it for him so he can play. See? Come look!"

I walked into the living room, and sure enough, there was this little set-up:
See the perfect little round track he put together for Henry? (I forgot to mention that Cal has an ongoing frustration with making circles meet - he always has the wrong piece of track in there somewhere and he needs me to help him figure it out...So he really worked hard on this, without saying a word to me until Henry came down.)

No, they didn't cooperate perfectly the rest of the day, and of course Henry lost interest in his personal track and wanted to be right in the middle of Cal's again, but these are the moments that keep me from throwing in the towel (even though I can't, anyway, but you know what I mean...).

Note to self: He hears. Yes, I might have to say it countless times, and he might growl and disregard me most of those times, but he is hearing it. And as soon as he processes it, and understands what I mean, he will do it. So don't give up. And don't stop believing brothers can get along. And don't stop expecting them to.

16 comments:

Morning Glory said...

What a great story. They really do hear us, don't they? He'll be making figure 8's for Henry before you know it.

MugwumpMom said...

What a sweet story...and the little personal train circle for his brother tweaked my heart! Aaahhhh.

Thoroughly Mormon Millie said...

So cute. Every so often they'll just shock you with how sweet they can be, won't they? Love it!

Katrina said...

That is SO sweet. And it shows that you are doing an awesome job as a mom!

Tammy said...

What a wonderful story! I love this!
I have two girls rather than boys, but often go through similar trials at home...you handled things very well and it's so sweet that he was listening to you the whole time!

Way to go, Cal!

Gina said...

How encourgaing for us moms to know our kids ACTUALLY hear what we're saying.

Sketchy said...

Don't you just love moments like that? When you can really see how they are growing and developing?

Jen3 @ Amazing Triplets said...

Awesome. Great story - and great title for the post. :)

Bright One said...

You have a perfect little boy! THAT was just the sweetest story ever and thanks for visiting my blog! Spice jar envy huh? That made me laugh!

Stephanie said...

What a perfect moment! I keep thinking to myself when we have *those* moments that one day they will grow up and won't be able to live without each other.

Jennifer said...

I think that your explanation to Cal was right on and easy to understand--everyone wants to be big and smart. And it really does a heart good to see them looking out for each other.

GranolaGirl12 said...

What a precious story. Another reason we should save our blogs for our kids to read. How much fun will Cal and Henry have reading this when they're older? Just another example of great parenting!

Gabriela said...

That is so sweet! What a cute little guy.

That's why I love blogging so much, now you won't ever forget it!

Stephanie said...

I can relate to the trains and the getting upset when the younger sibling messes up the tracks.

My almost 4 year old boy gets very upset when little sister destroys his creations.

Moi said...

I can relate. I cannot stand it when I can't make the circles meet up. It's very aggravating.

Your Husband (Traveling Edition) said...

Just when frustration rises, they pull something out of thin air and suprise you. What a sweet little thing for his little bubba.