A Child’s Ability To Empathize

Thank you to everyone for your positive comments, advice, and support on Wednesday’s post.  I’m happy to report that yesterday was a better day. I was more mobile and not in excruciating pain.  Today is even better.  I also have an ortho appointment for first thing Saturday morning (two hours after we land).  Fingers are crossed!


As of 5pm Wednesday evening, our “vacation” to Stowe Mountain Resort hadn’t gone as planned.

The pregnancy pain that I talked about on Wednesday forced me (and my son) to stay in the hotel room most of the day.  I was able to move around a little more than Tuesday, but was concerned with my ability to keep up with my speedy 18 month year old and/or hold him when he decided he was tired of walking.  There’s only so much coloring and reading that an 18 month old could do in a hotel room before he starts to go stir crazy.

Second, my son is fully in the tantrum stage.  We headed to the resort restaurant for breakfast on Wednesday and returned with most of our food boxed up because he had no interest in sitting.  We decided to make our exit before there was any sort of scene.  I know most toddlers his age go through this – but that doesn’t make it any less embarrassing or frustrating.  He is a great little boy – I love his personality and sense of humor…but he is VERY opinionated (he totally gets this from me =) ).  He knows what he wants and if we try to take that away from him – or prevent him from having it to begin with – things get ugly quick.  I always feel like I take one big massive breath before we go into a public setting with our son and don’t really take another breath until we are safely back outside.

By Wednesday evening, I was tired from being in the hotel room all day, frustrated from being SO immobile, and just down from not having the vacation I had been envisioning the last few weeks.   We decided to head to the restaurant to get us all out of the hotel room.

And then something amazing happened.  It was as though my son knew that mommy and daddy needed a little break.  He was an ANGEL at dinner.  We enjoyed a 90 minute meal – which consisted of appetizers, entrees, AND dessert.  For the life of me, I cannot tell you the last time we were able to do this.  Usually we take turns getting up with our son – one parent eats and the other lets him wander outside.  But Wednesday night was different.  We sat as a family and enjoyed the meal together.

The night only got better when I put him to sleep shortly after dinner.  He’s never been a cuddler nor has he slept in bed with us (he thinks being in mommy and daddy’s bed is playtime).  When I laid him in the center of the bed to put him to sleep, he crawled over me, draped an arm around my neck, said “Mama”, closed his eyes, and within minutes, was fast asleep.

The night was exactly what we all needed.  Yesterday was a perfect day and today is off to a great start!

Have you felt that your child(ren) knew that you needed a break?  Or that they understood what you were feeling and took it easy on you? 

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    12 thoughts on “A Child’s Ability To Empathize

    1. Cutest story ever! He really did know exactly what you needed that night:) So happy you were able to enjoy the dinner and evening. I am so sorry that you have been experiencing so much pain. I need updates asap about how you are feeling now! Thinking about you!

    2. What a sweet ending to the day! And so glad you are going to see an orthopedic Dr. Hopefully they’ll have some personal experience in this area and can point you in the right direction. I’m not sure on Chiro, but I know that the pelvic area is very loose and mobile. Ask about gentle muscle energy techniques to get it in place and then overall pelvic, abdominal and back stability if/when things settle down and are feeling better. Sometimes SI joint belts help to keep things in place. I had a bit of this too and my body was just preparing for child birth. Best of luck and hop you are feeling better. Maybe swimming or biking are options too.
      Andrea recently posted..Babywearing: The Benefits of BabywearingMy Profile

    3. I am so glad you were able to enjoy the rest of your trip! I absolutely agree. Last week I got stuck in completely stopped traffic because they closed the outerbridge crossing for an HOUR! Just the two of us, a drop of water left in his sippy cup and no more snacks. I was really panicking. But, kept giving him empty cd cases (yes I still listen to CDs in my car), a pen and old receipts because he loves to write, and anything to keep him quiet. As he started to whine and get bored a little I seriously thought I was going to have an anxiety attack. But, as if a switch was flipped, he began singing the ABCs and other familiar songs, saying, “hi mommy,” and playing peek a boo, I just had to smile and calm down. We were able to spend the last 20 minutes of being parked on the highway playing from our seats and making each other laugh. When we started moving along he was actually mad i couldn’t keep playing hide and seek behind my driver’s seat! I was amazed and so thankful that we got through that without a full on tantrum because James is also unable to sit still for longer than maybe 20 minutes usually. Just a reminder that they aren’t babies anymore I guess… It’s bittersweet!

    4. The unpredictable twos are such a challenge- I’m right there with you!! So glad you got to have a bit of a break. I can’t say that’s ever happened for us, where I noticed she sensed that we needed that peace and quiet- usually she senses it and gets worse. :) HOWEVER, I definitely agree that kids have an amazing sense of empathy. They pick up on all sorts of emotions that are unspoken. I’m constantly amazed by that.
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    5. So glad you are feeling better! But oh do I feel for you being stuck in a hotel room all day like that. Very hard to do!

      Yes, I do think kids get it somehow, sometimes. I flew across the country w/ my two when they were 9 and 5, sans hubs. We had the 6-hr. flight followed by a 4-hr. drive. Honestly, they couldn’t have been any better for me that long, long day. I was amazed! Now if I could get that to happen on an average day at home…
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    6. Miche, AJ “…had me at ‘Mama'”. Though Paul could be quite stubborn as well, he could read my sentiments early on…sounds like your little guy has a good deal of both in his precious nature…wonderful mix of genes…so pleased you are better today and salvaged some pleasurable vacation time as a family!

    7. Oh my goodness – you described my two and a half year old to a T! I feel so bad for my older two because we often don’t do a lot of family outings because he is so much work and the tantrums are so bad. Just like you, I take a deep breath and every grocery store trip is a crazy disaster – high energy and VERY stubborn, but the sweetest kid in the wolrd. Hopefully it will serve them well later in life! Also, my hubs and I are going to Stowe mountain resort next weekend for a wedding, can’t wait! Glad you are feeling better, good luck at the ortho!
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