“There’s a lizard on your back”, I heard Layla say to him.
Let me set the stage for you. It was 6……in the morning.
I was a bit groggy, standing in my bathroom.
I heard her say the phrase a few more times, “But Dom, there’s a lizard on your back.”
I was listening but not paying attention. I got the feeling Dom didn’t believe Layla.
I think I was in the middle of doing my hair or putting on some eyelashes.
My son, Dom started walking down the dark hallway into my bedroom.
I watched him walk down the hallway when all of a sudden he’s patting at some unseen (but surely felt) thing on his shoulder.
There really WAS a lizard on his back!
At this point Dom’s FREAKING out. Jumping, smacking his back, hitting the side of his face.
I’m watching him in disbelief, wondering how the hell did he get a lizard on his back?
By this point my 4 year old is really interested in what’s going on with her brother. She really likes lizards!
So again it’s 6am, I have 3 kids to get out the door, 2 dogs to feed and myself to get ready. And now this lizard has got everyone worked up.
I started screaming, “Catch the lizard, I don’t want the lizard in my house!”
Remember I told you Dom walked down the dark hallway?
The lizard leapt onto the floor and Gabby (the 4 year old) tried her hardest to catch the lizard.
Now, Dom being the big brother didn’t want Gabs to touch the lizard.
Why? I have no idea. What is the big deal?
For me, I had no preference as to who caught the lizard. I just wanted it OUT of my house. That’s it.
Instead this is what I saw: the lizard slid away, Gabby on all fours tried to grab it and Dom reached over and pulled her away from the lizard.
I freaked out. I WANTED THE LIZARD OUT OF THE HOUSE!!
Again, I didn’t care which kid caught the lizard! Just catch it!
I yelled at Dominic. I was so annoyed that instead of catching the lizard he was too worried about grabbing his sister.
I remember screaming at the kids that morning. The lizard was long gone.
I yelled. Loudly. I was so irritated about a stupid lizard.
Thinking back now, I totally regret yelling at my son.
I get it, he didn’t want his baby sister touching the lizard.
Maybe he thought it’d bite her.
Can lizards bite? Ugh…
Or maybe he didn’t think she’d be able to grab it? I don’t know.
What I do know is that when I yell at the kids (and I sometimes do) it breaks their spirit.
This was one of those morning though, where I just lost all my patience.
But, I remember laughing so much when I told my friends from work this story that very morning.
Why didn’t I find it funny in the moment? Wouldn’t my attitude (or lack of one actually) have changed my kids’ day? Did Dom go to school in a bad mood because I yelled at him about the lizard on his back?
It’s a lot to think about.
But you know something? I think I was annoyed.
I was annoyed that Dom didn’t believe his sister. I mean why would she make that up? If he had believed her the first time she said it, he could have gone outside and brushed the lizard off onto the lawn.
But he’s got a tendency to always want to be right. (Yes, I know he probably gets that from me.)
I learned my lesson years ago, though. I’m not always right and that’s a good thing. I want my kid to learn this too.
I learned a new lesson that morning – stop being so serious and see the fun and funny in situations.
Dom’s learned lesson (at least I hope) is to believe his sister when she tells him there’s a thing on his back.
I think he got it though. The other day he came up to me while wiggling his shoulders around and asked, “Mom, is there a lizard on my back?”
I just about died laughing.
There wasn’t a lizard this time.
We did find a dead lizard in our washing machine a few days later, just thought you would want to know that!
Here’s lesson for you…if someone tells you there’s a lizard on your back, believe them. People don’t make that stuff up!
And moms, next time you’re in one of these situations, don’t yell like I did.
Take it in stride. Things will work out. The kids will be fine. Tomorrow will be better. Nothing bad is going to happen just because there’s a lizard loose in the house.
One day, the kids will be grown and out of the house. And we’ll be left missing these lizard-on-your-back mornings.
Let’s enjoy and laugh at these defining motherhood moments while we can.
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