Yesterday was an interesting day. We got instructions on how to solve the Rubik’s Cube, and my son was determined to complete all the colours. Translation: I also had to learn how to do it. Challenges like these warrant choosing your words wisely. Not doing what I did…
The instructions were in English, but they may as well have been written in another foreign language because I didn’t understand them at all. I would have to read the same sentence at least 6 times before taking a stab at it. Here’s an example: ”Keeping the white centre piece on top, move the blue/white edge piece to the bottom face, then rotate it on the bottom until it is directly under the blue centre piece. Now hold your cube so the blue centre piece and blue/white edge piece are on the right face.” Don’t tell me you wouldn’t have to read that at least three times to understand it.
The further you go along and the closer you get to solving it, the less you want to take a chance at screwing up. Otherwise, you have to start all over. As we went along, my patience and energy levels began to down-shift into low gear FAST. Here were my choice words: ”I HATE doing this!! … I’ve ALWAYS hated Rubik’s Cube ever since I was little!” Which to me, meant: Oh my God! This is SO hard. I suck! But let’s keep going – I’m not giving up! To my son, they meant something entirely different.
Later that night at tuck-in time, I told him how special Mother’s Day had been for me. How much I loved spending time with him helping him solve the cubic puzzle (which he did by the way). Tears welled up in his eyes and he said, “It didn’t look like you did.” Punch! Right in the stomach (that’s what it felt like). I never thought in a million years that this was how he interpreted what I said.
I’m ALWAYS the one reminding my husband not to use sarcasm with the kids because they don’t get it and they take it personally. Yet there I was doing just that, not realizing I was making my son feel like it was a chore to help him. I spent the last part of the day with a glass of wine and chocolate. My two number one solaces (thinking I am the worst mom ever).
“Choose your words carefully. Once they are spoken, they can only be forgiven, never forgotten.”
– Unknown source
This was first posted on Natalia’s blog which you can see here.