there have been a series of accidents recently, which have resulted in things being smashed; three things
. . .my favourite jug from a Cornish potter, almost twenty years old now
. . .a beautiful lamp base which I managed to find the perfect shade for, which I bought before xmas to brighten up a dark area
. . .one of four new glasses I bought when we moved in last year (really chunky ones, with daisies with yellow petals on)(another one has already been broken)
all accidents, but all smashed so unexpectedly that the smashing caused me to cry out in shock and momentary upset. . .
it was the same small child involved in each occurrence; the other two siblings cry out "clumsy" and "careless" in a disdainful fashion as if one chooses to cause an accident of this kind; as soon as the cry of shock has left my lips I try and reassure the small child that accidents are accidents, they happen, it's a consequence of having things in the house
the child's lip trembles and the face flushes and eyes start to fill and breath becomes short, and I can see the same terror and upset and shock that I can remember feeling and experiencing when I was that age, growing and becoming all gangly, and causing a similar smashing by mistake
I broke an egg cup once - one of a set of six;
my mother was furious with me:
she shouted and screamed about how careless I was;
I was sent to my room, pocket money was docked
- the usual punishments. . .
how can I be cross with a child who is already so upset? I can see how overwhelmed the child is already by the flood of adrenalin, how could I then make that worse? doesn't that child need instant reassurance and love, need to feel calm and composed after such a horrible shock? what state of mind must someone be in if, after an occurrence like this, they shout and scream and punish a child for an accident, belittle that child, make that child feel far far worse than the child already was feeling. . .
what damage does it do to a child for them to feel that household items are more important than their feelings, someone else's fury and anger is more important than a child's need for love and reassurance
as my mother used to say "it beggars belief"


Rimshot said...

It's only "stuff" and stuff can always be replaced. Better that nobody got hurt.

Rimshot said...

20 years old...sheesh, it's high time you replaced that old thing anyway! I'm sure they have new and improved jugs.

I, Like The View said...


so why did my mother yell and scream at me and make me feel so bad about it? perhaps her mmother yelled at her, and she (my mother) never thought twice about the impact that has on a child. . .

I've tried to bring my children up so differently to how I was

but, unfortunately, I shouted out "F*ING HELL" very loudly when the jug broke - and she was so upset, but then I was more upset about her being upset than about the jug

it was just the shock

and then yesterday when she knocked the lamp over I didn't even shout and she just looked at me all terrified and it was all I could do not to cry myself

I don't want my children to be frightened of me


I, Like The View said...

no. . .

it was from my favourite potter in Cornwall, and was the perfect sixe and shape and had a design that she doesn't use anymore - fishes. . . I have a matching fishy mug and fishy tea pot. . .

. . .I've been buying her work since I was 17

I treasured it

but not as much as I treasure my daughter and her sense of balance and well being

I, Like The View said...

(my second favourite jug was broken while XCH was living here, don't know how. . . oh well)

I, Like The View said...

(perhaps I should just give up on jugs, and just use the cartons and containers that milk and juice come in?)

katherine. said...

I love glass things...and have had a few broken by children by accident. (one which I discovered MUCH later had been glued back together)

they have these growth spurts...and it takes a while to learn to maneuver the longer arms and legs...they are in such a hurry to do something so important they bounce off of things in their haste...their minds are on such wonderful new and exciting things they just don't pay attention to what is around them.

and they feel soooo back when they break something they know you cherish....but you are so right...they are far more cherished.

Mel said...

Yup--what Katherine said.

And I'm thinkin' you've lived what damage it does to a child.

Maybe it was a generation thing--my dad was reactive when stuff got broken. Go figure one of the things I resorted to when feeling angry/out of control was to (you guessed it!) break things to smithereens.
I tried very hard not to repeat my father's parenting patterns. But I'll be the first to admit that I didn't do that perfectly.....who does?

I, Like The View said...

I don't think anyone does. . . now I'm a mother I understand my mother more, and actually thinking of the generation thing she probably treasured every single possession cos she'd lost everything three times over during the war when she lived in the docks and they were bombed out so often

I know I've made enough mistakes with own my children for them to have a lifetime of grievances against me

but perhaps they'll put that down to noone being able to be (or do things) perfect(ly)

one of the main differences between my mother and I is that I don't strive for perfection in/from them, but I don't know - as a consequence - if the bar is too low sometimes

right now my main objective is that they have confidence in me, as their mom, and aren't scared anymore

(actually, right now my main objective is getting a coffee, which I can indulge - seeing as they are with their dad!)

mig said...

It does a child no harm to learn that Mum can be furious about a broken jug and instantly forgiving. And that a flash of temper doesn't mean the child is bad.

It's sad to lose treasures but new ones will turn up - one day :) It's one of the reasons that I have few sets but lots of odds :)