As I continued to sew, the machine started skipping stitches. I huffed and puffed as I tried to remedy the situation, wondering in the back of my mind if the lodged needle had anything to do with it. Once I got the machine working again it hit me…I had replayed one of my dad’s old records. He used to act the same way when frustrated with me. In fact, the first part of my initial response was one of his more common sayings, verbatim.
Last night I was sewing a sling for a custom order that needs to be filled. I noticed one of my sewing needles was missing. I asked Logan if he knew where it was and he replied, “I put it in the machine”, while pointing to the holes on the side.
I sighed heavily and responded, “I’m not sure why you would put the needle in there”, as I inspected the device to see if I could retrieve the needle. It was the last 80/11 needle that I had left. I was very annoyed at how my child had inconvenienced me.
Some time passed after I had the realization. I didn’t say anything to Logan because I wasn’t sure how to approach the situation. He was the first to break the ice by apologizing for breaking my machine. I quickly let him know that the machine was not broken. That only a needle was lost which can easily be replaced. I told him how I know he was just trying to help, and I apologized for overreacting. I explained to him how I was treated in a similar way as a child which makes it harder for me to not do the same at times.
He ended up saying sorry a number of times after that which made it painstakingly obvious that my initial reaction got to him. I now see that the problem was with my perception, not his behavior. If I had looked beyond my frustration with the situation I would have seen how his motive was good. After all, he was just trying to help me. I could have approached the situation differently by showing him where the needles go, and how they work. Instead of connecting with him I created a struggle.
Still, it was not in vain. When all was said and done a lesson was learned. Ironically, the lesson was learned by me.