A few days ago, Jordan and I were sitting down at our dining table with Jameson, talking as he ate his dinner. The conversation Jordan and I were having got contentious, and within a few minutes, both of us were raising our voices and telling the other person to “let me finish.”
From his high chair placed at the head of the table, Jameson appeared to be watching a ping pong match, but he was far from entertained. He reached out his little hands to both of us and started shouting to drown out our arguments.
If you’ve never been in an argument and been told to “stop fighting” by a small child, let me tell you, you might just have ice running through those veins of yours if you’re able to ignore that child and keep arguing.
Without using any of the 25 words that make up his little 22-month-old vocabulary, Jameson totally diffused the situation.
A couple nights later, I’d had a rough day and found myself taking him through his bedtime routine. Without warning, I was overtaken by an ugly cry. I figured Jameson might take notice by touching my tears, but that he’d ultimately be more concerned with his books and toy cars.
And at first he was just interested in the wetness on my face, but after a minute of my tears continuing to fall, it was like the switch went off in his brain that mommy wasn’t happy, and within seconds, his happy fascination with my wet cheeks turned to him wailing.
I scooped him onto my lap, pulled him into my chest, and told him I was ok. And after a few seconds, he calmed own too.
These moments really blow my mind, as I see Jameson not only learn words and letters and numbers, but also learn about interacting with people. About emotions. About sharing. About rewards and consequences. About getting over the embarrassment of falling down. About social norms of saying hello and bye-bye. About please and thank you. About empathy.
It’s my hope that Jameson continues to be inspired by learning and one day does really well in school. But it’s my prayer that he grows in emotional intelligence and one day becomes a person who cares about people, about ending arguments and wiping tears.