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I'm a 30-something wife and mom. My boys are my pride and joy. Together, we are navigating being a forever family post international adoption.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

It's Hard to Say "I'm Sorry"

Last night Buddy called me a pig.

We weren't having a fight or even upset with each other. I was tucking him in to bed after a perfectly good day. He didn't say it in a mean way, he was trying to make a joke (I think). But Buddy does not understand the line between funny and cruel.

When I was young, I danced ballet for several years. I spend hours every week with my hair in a bun wearing the typical black leotard and pink tights. I remember my teacher poking us in our backsides and tummies with her long red nails. "Suck it in," she would say. I remember her commenting on our weight and even asking one girl how many eclairs she ate on a Parisian  vacation and noting that she would need to "cut back" now that she was home.

As I got older, it became clear that I didn't have the dedication or desire to make it in the world of dance. But the years of scrutiny left me with a warped body image. I am so blessed to have always been surrounded by wonderful friends and family. If not, who knows what could have happened.

So, being called a pig wasn't funny to me at all. It honestly really hurt. I knew that Buddy didn't mean it, but I couldn't help how I felt. I tried to stay calm and composed, but Buddy knew I was upset. I told him that it is not OK to ever call any girl a pig for any reason. And I asked him to apologize.

Apologies don't come easy to Buddy because it means admitting to himself and others that he has made a mistake. We have tried to simplify the process by giving him a technique I learned from Cuppacocoa that breaks down into: "I'm sorry for... It was wrong because... Next time, I will... Will you forgive me?" It wasn't easy for him and definitely stressed him out to have to acknowledge he hurt my feelings, but he did it.

I hate it when Buddy is uncomfortable. But I also need to help him learn to operate within normal parameters of society, including learning how far is too far and how to say I'm sorry. He isn't quite there yet, but he is getting there for sure.

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