Last night we had an interesting conversation and experience with Ammon. He was talking to us during dinner and happened to say, "Me and Mom....." Of course you all know that with Dad in the room, he would say, "Mean Mom?! Is Mom mean?" Ammon thought Jim was saying that Ammon was calling me mean and that really upset him. He began to melt and cry and kept trying to tell Jim that I wasn't mean. We reassured him that I wasn't and that Dad was only trying to show him something with the English language. (You've all gotten it from him so you all know what he was doing.) Ammon just couldn't understand the whole thing and we told him it was ok, don't worry, forget about it, etc., etc. Throughout the evening he kept bringing it up trying to understand the whole thing. As I tucked him into bed, he questioned me about it again. I realized that he was more bothered by his reaction of getting upset and crying than what Jim had said to him in the first place. I tried once more to explain that it was ok if he was upset because it was the first time he had been corrected that way. He was quiet for a minute and then said, "Well, I guess I do have the tendency to be a little 'tempery' sometimes, don't I."
I gave him a big hug and told him it was ok if he was a little "tempery" once in a while.
What was so interesting with this little event was Ammon's realization that his behavior wasn't quite what he wanted it to be. He was upset with Jim at first but with our constant reassurance that he (Ammon) hadn't done anything wrong, he began to think through how he should have behaved. If all of us took a page out of Ammon's book, we'd make rapid progress in mastering ourselves. Maybe we ought to use the new word to remind ourselves to be a little more patience, a little more kind and a lot less "tempery."
I am amazed at how much I continue to learn about myself through this amazing child of mine.