A short time ago I won, by default, a battle of wills.
My two year old has quite a temper and he’s very stubborn. Hmmm...I wonder where he gets that from? I get the answer every time I look in the mirror!
It all started when I my son refused to clean up the mess he made. I told him he had two choices: clean up or time out. He spat. Yeah...that’s a time out. Allow me to speed through to the actual battle of wills. After several failed attempts at time out, my son just lost it. I had to step in and hold him until he calmed down. This was no easy feat; my son’s very strong and tall for his age, add an Irish temper and spitting to that and you’d think it was time to call two priests with SuperSoakers filled with holy water!
For parents out there in cyberspace, you know it can be hard to keep your cool when your kid goes crazy. Thankfully, that grace I prayed for yesterday must have kicked in. I remained firm, but didn’t lose it. After several minutes of my little cherub spitting and kicking, it dawned on me, Deirdre, you better finish what you’ve started. I knew that the only way our battle of wills would end would be if a.) he calmed down or b.) he fell asleep because there was no way I was going to back down. If I backed down, then I would’ve failed him. It would’ve taught him that it’s okay to lose it in order to get (or get out of) what you want. Finally, after 45 minutes of screaming, spitting, kicking and hitting (at least trying to) he fell asleep. When I laid him down in bed he woke up enough to spit again! Sheesh!
God is present - always. It’s hard to see that when your child is red faced, sweaty, and angry. But, I asked the question as my little boy started to calm down. Where is God right now? I told my little guy, “You are tenacious! That’s a great thing, but you have to learn when to be tenacious and when to be obedient.” Tenacity is a great gift; I have to help my son temper it.
I learned that I am tenacious, too...or maybe it’s stubborn. Being a parent is HARD! You have to follow through on every little thing. I pray that I do the right thing in discipline, behavior, and speech. There are two little eyes watching me every moment of the day.
Even though I won this battle of wills because of sleep, I know I did the right thing. I have to shape my chubby cheeked cherub into a man.