For months we’ve dealt with the fits that come with raising a 4 year old. Having raised a 4 year old before, I feel experienced enough to say I’m raising a strong-willed 4 year old. Yes, I know ALL 4 year olds can be strong-willed at times, but mine has some stamina. We’re in for the long haul when these moods strike him, and they strike him just about every day lately.

We’ve battled and butted heads. I’ve held him in all his screaming, crying, sweaty mess. I’ve tried all the tools in my tool belt with no success. So I lay in bed at night and cry as my mind races as to what tools I can possibly invent next.

Sometimes their fits are a direct reflection of my frustration.

My exhaustion.

My distracted inability to do it all.

I realize that as much as he screams and fights me. At the end of the day, he just wants me. He wants me near him. Holding him, singing to him, reading to him. Just being close to me is all he really wants. And so I made a silent promise to him as I watched him sleep. A promise to focus more on him. Give him more of my undivided attention that he so craves yet rarely gets as a middle child.

I made a plan for a day of just him. A day of just his mommy. No siblings. No screens. And lots of ice cream.

And guess what? We didn’t battle. We didn’t bicker. And we didn’t cry. We were both all smiles.

No this won’t solve everything. No this isn’t a quick fix. And no this can’t possibly be our daily reality. But it’s a start to a better attitude and a stronger bond between me and my little mighty. It was meant to be a reboot for both of our hearts and mind.

There are days when we both need space. Distance to make the heart grow fonder. And then there are days like this. Where we just needed each other.

Sometimes they push us away with their battling but all they really want is to be close. Sometimes you need to run and dance in the rain. Sometimes you need to put off the responsibilities of the day and just…play.

And sometimes, you just need a LOT of ice cream.

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