The other day, on the way to school, I heard a small voice from the back seat say, “I’m so, so sorry, Mom.” Nearing a red light, I glanced in the rearview mirror, curious about what had Robbie seeking forgiveness so early in the morning. Our day had been smooth so far, no yelling or crying on the way out the door that morning or at bedtime the night before.
“For what, love?” I asked.
“For dropping Alex on the floor. I’m just so, so sorry, Mom!”
Fortunately, the car was stopped at an intersection, giving me a moment to process the information. “What do you mean, Rob?” I asked. And then, suddenly, I knew exactly what he was talking about. About a week prior, I left Robbie and Alex in my room while I was in the kitchen fixing dinner. There had been a sudden, panicked screaming from the bedroom, but, by the time I got back in there, everything seemed OK.
“Robbie? Was this the other day when Alex was crying really loudly in my room?”
“Well, what in the world happened?” I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or to cry; after all, Alex seemed to be fine. And Robbie was so sincerely upset that I wanted to cry for him.
“Alex was crying, so I was holding him and standing up and bumping Alex,” Robbie started. Let me interject here – we have a very clear rule that Robbie is not allowed to hold Alex while he is standing up. Also, “bumping” Alex means jostling him to calm him down. “And I was singing ‘twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are,'” he sang, taking a pause. “And then Alex was on the floor. I’m just so, so sorry, Mom.”
“But, Robbie, when I got in there, you were both back on the bed, and you told me you thought he was just hungry.”
“Well, he might have been a little hungry, too. I’m just so, so sorry!”
What can you even say to that?