Recently I scored an awesome thrift store find. I found a vintage, early 70's era Irish wool coat. Not just any wool coat but a "North Dakotan by Straus" Irish wool coat. I had to purchase it because it was
A: only $10,
B: so heavy it would surely keep the bone-chilling, face-freezing-off North Dakota cold from my skin
C: it had an amazing and immaculate faux fur collar
D: My size, which apparently is the same as a 1970's man (?!?!)
It was all a sign that I needed this coat. It is a double breasted style of coat and I realized after a week I had been buttoning the coat like a female does, right over left. After realizing I could button it the proper way, left over right, it just felt so weird! Buttoning for me has always been right over left and this just felt akward and uncomfortable. This feeling jarred a memory for me that happened a few years ago with my son.
My oldest has always fought me over wearing dress pants or jeans. He would come out dressed for church in a shirt, a tie, and a pair of sweat pants. We would go round and round, tears ensuing from his hatred over "pants that button!" Really I just assumed he was being lazy or that his sensory issues made him sense the jeans too tight and uncomfortable. But mostly I just assumed he was being lazy and didn't want to go through the work of buttoning and zipping his jeans.
Then, one day I was helping him get dressed and was standing behind him tucking in his dress shirt. I went to button his dress pants and had a huge "AH HA!" moment. As I buttoned his pants, I imagined being left handed as he is. I then imagined being 6, and not having the greatest coordination and trying to button my pants. I challenge you to try it sometime. Buttons are made for right handed people. The dominate right hand manipulates the button through the hole that is mearly held by the left hand. If your dominate hand is left and your right hand lies there like a dead fish because you are 6 and frustrated, stranded in the boys bathroom because you don't want to be the "baby" who can't get your own pants buttoned, you would fight tooth and nail to wear sweat pants every day too!
This small experience was eye opening for me. I think often times we attribute adult characteristics to our children; laziness, manipulation, carelessness etc. While sometimes these are natural characteristics I guess, I think if we took a step behind our kids and saw things from their perspectives their behaviors may make much more sense. Are they careless or are they exhausted from nightmare filled sleep they aren't able ot recall that is not allowing them to get quality rest? Is their falling grades because they don't care or because they are consumed by angst from the kid that just won't leave them alone? Is their behavior resembling a rabid weasel because they are are naughty or because the chicken nugget and fries from their 11am lunch is long gone and their blood sugar is 12 when they get in the car after school?
For the most part, I don't think young children's behaviors are ulterior or manipulative but moreso reactionary to things happening around them and to them. Sure there are those times where they may look right at you, and proceed to deliberatly dump their water on the carpet or grin devilishly at their sibling as they shove the last Oreo in their mouth. But more than not if we can step to the side, or behind them and see situations from their perspective, their behaviors may make more sense. And really isn't that what all of us really want? To be heard and understood? And to score vintage goods at the Thrift store.