“I’m fine” is Little Chick’s go-to reply when something happens that he’s absolutely not happy about, but suspects he is to blame for or results from not listening to us. The phrase is usually shrieked, accompanied by hand flapping, and, occasionally, tears.
We have heard “I’m fine” a lot lately. He has also heard the same reply repeated from us, “Yeah, you’re really not, mate.”
Without dismissing his initial reaction, we are trying to show him that it’s OK to not be OK. Fair enough, it took us decades to learn this, but if we start early enough maybe he will get there sooner. Equally, it’s important that we recognise that he isn’t always fine and consider if we could have prevented this. Certainly, there have been more preventable moments this month. The festive build-up has taught me to follow my gut instinct more because it is invariably correct. Each time I have second guessed and gone against my instinct Little Chick has become overwhelmed and upset at some point. Yes, I have supported and consoled him, but I owe him more than that. As much as he is learning so am I: I hope that soon he will say “I’m fine” and we will both knows it’s true. He will learn to accept that not being OK is an option and I will learn to be better at managing the circumstances, so he is fine.