Most mothers I know have a sense about their children’s cries. Different sounds mean different things. We pick up on these cues when our children are newborns, and in the 4 years I’ve been a mother that hasn’t changed. There are hungry cries, temper tantrum cries, fighting-over-a-toy cries, frustrated cries, injury cries, and cries of sadness. We know which ones deserve immediate attention, and which can be ignored so as not to encourage bad behavior.
So, imagine my heartbreak this morning as I heard my son crying the cry of sorrow.
“He’s dead, Mommy! Snowbally is dead!”
Over the weekend it had snowed (and I promise I did not talk about it on Facebook), and being the opportunists they are, my husband and son went sledding and built a snowman. My son named the snowman Snowbally. This has become a trend, by the way, this rather non-creative naming of things. Like if we had given Zoobie the Bear to my son today, his name would most likely be Beary.
My son was very excited to have built Snowbally. Right outside the backdoor too, so we could see him all the time. When my son went to bed last night, Snowbally was safe and sound. But when my son woke up in the morning, it had rained all night and Snowbally looked like this:
As adults we know that this kind of thing happens. Snow melts. So therefore so do snowmen. But imagine being 4 years old. He knows that snow melts, but probably wasn’t expecting it over night. So to him, Snowbally had DIED. (He may have inherited a flair for the dramatic from his mother)
I had to think fast, because 1.) I did NOT want to have a death conversation at 7:30 in the morning and 2.) While I can sympathize with his cries, it doesn’t mean I don’t get headaches from them too.
I remembered a lovely little book we received as a gift and it came to our rescue! Sadie and the Snowman by Allen Morgan, illustrated by Brenda Clark.
In the story, Sadie builds a snowman. Every time he begins to melt, she saves a little bit of the snow and rebuilds him again. At the end of the winter, when there will be no more snow to rebuild the snowman, she puts some of the snowman in a plastic bag and sticks him in the freezer. That way next winter she can rebuild him again. So that’s what we did too.
Now the next time it snows, we can rebuild Snowbally from the same snowball he came from. No more tears. Well, until the kids start fighting over a toy. But that’s a different kid of cry.
P.S. Wow. This is my 100th post! Had I realized it before, I may have tried to mark this momentous occasion with a fireworks display or something. Just picture one in your head, OK? *Boom* *Ooh!* *Ahh!* *Boom*