Yesterday I was cleaning the kitchen and my 4 year old son proceeded to brush crumbs from the counter onto the floor. So I scolded him. A minute later he did the same thing but with scraps of paper. So I scolded him again. Then, very dramatically, he put his arms on the counter and then laid his head on his arms and said, "I am the baddest boy in the whole wide world!" And he meant it. He was really sad, almost crying. So I hugged him and told him that he was not a bad boy; that he was a good boy and that I loved him and was not angry with him.
I would like to take this opportunity to tell you that I have NEVER told him that he was bad. I will tell him that he has made a poor choice or a bad choice but have never told him that he, himself is bad.
Today at church we were sitting in the pew and he turned to me, in tears, and said, "Mommy. I AM a bad boy. Because I do things that are wrong." I quietly told him that I love him and God and Jesus love him, even when he makes bad choices. Since we were in the middle of church I could not really launch into a discussion but obviously this has been weighing on his mind.
I didn't have to wait long for an opportunity for a discussion.
Earlier this evening he got into trouble with my husband for something. I have no idea what happened but my oldest daughter came to me and told me that my son was upstairs crying and when she asked him why he said because he is the baddest boy in the world. So I went up to him. Poor little guy. He was so distraught (which was actually very cute). I asked him what was wrong and he started with the Baddest Boy talk again. So I asked him if he sometimes think about the things that he does that he knows he shouldn't do; and he said yes. I asked him how it makes him feel when he's made a bad choice and he said it makes him sad. I told him that he didn't have to be sad because if he just tells God what he did and asks God to forgive him, that God will love him anyway and it will be ok. So then I asked him if he knows where Jesus lives and he said, "In heaven" and I said yes, but he can also live in your heart. His eyes opened wide and he asked "how?" so I told him that you just have to ask Jesus to live there. I told him that the Baddest Boy feelings he has is the feeling of Jesus trying to talk to his heart so that he can make better choices. I asked him if he wanted to ask Jesus to live in his heart and he said yes. So we got the the whole family together and we held hands and we prayed for him. He said a sweet little prayer to God and Jesus. It was such a tender moment because he really, really meant it. His little eyes were screwed shut and I could tell that he was concentrating very hard on listening and then on saying his own little prayer. We all cheered for him when it was over.
As there is never a dull moment in our house, just as we were about to pray we heard the high-pitched squeak in the wall that can only come from a bat. Great. I guess the warm weather today woke the darn thing up from its hibernation. At the TOP of my To Do list for tomorrow is to call a Bat Removal service. I just hope it stays in the wall and does not venture out into the house tonight.