Thursday, September 27, 2012


Has this ever happened to you?  You're sitting there, minding your own biz-nazz, and before you know it, your child is awake from nap and angry about it.  That anger doesn't stop, and it turns into a 2.5 hour battle of wills.  The battle of wills leads to dinner in one's room.  The toddler finally capitulates, and you can celebrate - for a moment.  After that sweet, brief moment of victory, you realize that your older child has lied to you earlier in the day and was not discovered sooner because of the aforementioned will battle going on with Thing 2.

Here's a list of helpful tips if your afternoon and evening ever go something like that.

1.  Do not think that just because you have one strong willed child that your second one will be compliant or that you deserve to have an easy kid after all the hard work with Thing 1.  That is a mistake, and in our case, simply not reality.

2.  Pick your battles.  I am glad that I picked this one, because it needed to happen, but it reminded me that battles can go on for much longer than I could ever imagine, and I better be committed or else my daughters will walk all over my lifeless, defeated body as I lay curled in the fetal position.

3.  Call or text for back-up and rejoice when it arrives.  Oh, I was so thankful to hear the garage door go up today.  It did not signal immediate retreat from my little enemy, but it did mean that reinforcements were coming for me.

4.  Do not lament the family frozen yogurt run that was not to be.  Get over it.

5.  Cuddle and tickle and laugh when it is all said and done to remind yourself that you really do love your children and are thankful for the privilege to parent them.  Then take a picture.  Aww, aren't they cute?


6.  Make yourself an overdone dessert to compensate for the drama that your evening contained that you did not anticipate, and be grateful that because of the hijacking, you ate Fruit Loops for dinner, so you have calories to spare in your My Fitness Pal day.

7.  Shoot annoyed looks at your pets as if to tell them, "How dare you be asking for me to feed you at this moment?  Can't you see I've had enough?"

8.  Remind yourself that this is a stage.  This is a stage.  This is a stage.  As you say this, click your ruby slippers together, and a hot air balloon will pick you up to take you to the next stage where rainbows and unicorns exist to make your children happy all the time.  I'm holding out for that stage.

9.  Write a blog post about your night, using sarcasm as a coping mechanism.  It may help a little.

10.  Round out your evening by reading a bit of The Honest Toddler blog.  Last night, I laughed so hard while reading this that I woke John up, much to his delight.

That's all I've got.  Maybe when I'm older and hopefully wiser, I will be brimming over with tidbits of wisdom gleaned from these tough parenting moments.  It will only be by God's grace, and I clearly need that in abundance.  As I was looking into the Potomus's eyes throughout the evening, I was struck by how stubborn she is.

And how stubborn I am.

It is humbling, this parenting gig.  It is not for the faint of heart, and though it can sometimes feel like we are falling flat on our faces, I believe this hard stuff is worth it and where the refining comes in for all of us.  And, oh my, if I didn't know it by know, I would never know it - I am prideful, and I needed a good strong dose of hard-headed children to teach me that I do not know half of what I think I know.  Apparently, I need to learn so much that I am getting a second helping of the strong-willed child bit.

In all seriousness, I am thankful for the God who loves me when I act like a beast and for the discipline that he has provided in my life.  "For those whom the Lord loves he disciplines" Hebrews 12:6a.  Maybe, just maybe, we can show a little bit of that to our children.  By his grace.