My 4-year-old is a little dramatic. Like most 4-year-olds, she bumps and bruises herself all day long. Just yesterday, on her frantic way out of our bedroom to some pretend land in another part of the house, she ran smack into the giant bed post. I laughed out loud, because… well… sometimes I’m just not a very supportive mom. Plus, it was hilarious.
But my sweet little dear tends to cry (LOUDLY) over any and every teeny tiny scratch or bump. It gets exhausting, especially when I know the pain vanished almost immediately, and the cries are hovering in their aggravating form for the simple sake of attention.
I have noticed she loves to hear stories, so when I’m feeling nice and un-rushed, I will kiss her boo-boo, hold her close and tell her a story when a similar thing happened to me as a little girl. She always quiets down for the stories, but she immediately begins whimpering when the story is over.
Hoping to put an end to the drama one day after a non-hurtful fall, I told her all about “Mommy Magic.” You see, mommies all have special magic dust. When their baby is hurt, they simply sprinkle the “Mommy Magic” on the owie, and all is well. She listened to the story, let me sprinkle my invisible dust on her arm, and immediately began whimpering for more attention when I pronounced her all healed.
I was sure my “Mommy Magic” had seen its first and final gig.
The next day, I told her that magic isn’t real. She asked about a non-related magic issue, and I felt I had to be truthful. I did tell her it’s fun to pretend that magic is real, though. I crush dreams, but I do it gently.
Later that day, when I had sequestered myself in the bathroom for some peace, there was a knock at the door, followed by dramatic gasps and sobs. I knew nothing was wrong — it was just another ploy for attention. I felt my blood boiling, and was about to let my little dear know she was headed for a consequence when her timid voice said through the door, “Can I please have some Mommy Magic?”
Immediately sorry for my angry thoughts, I rushed out to scoop up my little sweetheart and sprinkle my “Mommy Magic” on her non-owie. She stopped crying right away, and her good friend “the whimper” didn’t even think of coming to the party.
I now sprinkle invisible “Mommy Magic” on invisible hurts all day long. We have even developed a ritual where she must close her eyes while I sprinkle the magic, and the magic must be sealed with a kiss. It works every single time, and I am loving that her little mind forgot that I told her magic isn’t real. I still hope she can become more able to roll with the punches, but I won’t complain at this opportunity during this tiny time when she looks to me as the answer to her worries and hurts.