The other day, as le Petit was crying and flailing about upset about something too boring to mention, a breakthrough occurred. He finally -- finally! -- told me how he was feeling. He used his words, and English words at that, instead of just screaming and crying.
Or so I thought.
"I'm very very 'ungry!" he told me.
"You're angry! That's right!" I said enthusiastically and I hoped empathetically, thrilled to be getting somewhere with all of my intuitive parenting techniques.
"No! No! I'm very very 'ungry!" he repeated.
"Yes. You're angry because Mommy told you [...], and you can't do [...] because [...]," I said calmly.
"No, not 'ungry! 'UNGRY! I'm very very 'ungry!"
Le Petit kept crying and at the same time seemed to almost sigh and shake his head at his mother's inability to understand something so simple.
Then it clicked.
"Oh... you're hungry!" I said, almost slapping my forehead, "You're very very hungry!" It was after all dinner time, but I still wondered where this had suddenly come from. One minute he was throwing a tantrum about [...] and the next he was demanding to eat, and his slight French accent with the dropped 'H' threw me off.
I mentioned it to my husband yesterday.
"[Le Petit] was telling me that he was angry..." I started to explain.
"...and he wanted to eat," my husband finished, laughing. He shrugged. "Moi, j'ai compris tout de suite." He understood right away.
It reminded me of an incident years ago when my husband and I stood in the kitchen, having what I thought was a deep conversation about our feelings.
"I'm very 'ungry," he confessed.
"You're angry? But why?" I asked, deeply concerned.
I eventually figured it out that time, too.