"Mummy when you shout at me like that, it feels like you don't want me."
Cue totally floored, anguished Mum, scrabbling around trying to think of an answer that will put everything right.....
"You know I want you, we always want you, Pup." (pretty feeble and inadequate, but what else to say?)
"Yes I know that Mummy. It just makes me feel like you don't want me."
Cue 'sorries' and cuddles.
I can't promise never to shout at him again, although I can promise to try. Truly we don't get so much shouting these days, but things can get very tense around here and sometimes Himself and I get to the very end of our rope... and fall off.
And I can lie awake all night wondering what damage I'm doing to these already damaged kids, and hoping that in the end the good will outweigh the bad, and that I can be a good enough mum... And I can be very grateful that my son feels able to say things like that to me.