Friday, 6 June 2008

Ever wanted to stamp RETURN TO SENDER on a kid?

I had a day like this yesterday.

We had to go to the doctor - yet again - and the child varied between moments of perfect behaviour (sitting and listening while I read them all a book from the play area on Thomas Edison) to moments of complete insanity (screaming, but thankfully not quite at the top of the child's lungs, as we bought lunch from the supermarket waiting for our script to be filled. Yes. All around the entire supermarket.) What on earth could I do?

I prayed: "God, You know how I feel. I'm sorry, but I just feel like giving this child back to you. Please, please, PLEASE change my attitude and I'd really appreciate it if you'd change the child's attitude too!"

I got out of the doctor and shops as quickly as I could.

When we got home I attempted to feed the child some food but they refused it so I sent the child to their bedroom until (maybe half an hour or more later, the others had all well and truly finished their lunch) the child came to say sorry and I could see the child was in a better frame of mind.

Later that night, when the child was not settling down in bed, they got stuck in the high chair and proceeded to demonstrate just exactly what "the top of their lungs" was all about. For simply ages! Scream, scream, scream. Deep breath. Scream, scream, scream. Deep breath. Scream, scream, scream, scream. You get the picture.

So after everyone else had been kissed and cuddled, I went and sat in the room next to the high chair and sang. Very softly at first, but the child tapered off screaming pretty fast, and I raised my voice a little as the child lowered theirs. I sang "Shout to the Lord" and "In Christ Alone" and "Amazing Grace" and "Crown Him with Many Crowns" and by that time the child was almost asleep, still sitting in the high chair. And then I read my Bible. Because that was what I needed for my own attitude adjustment.

Later, I talked to my husband about this child. I told him that I don't want to leave the house with this child anymore, except to go to BSF on Wednesdays, when they are in class with other children (this is the one thing I would most hate to give up from my week, for both our sakes). Thankfully, Jeff has just begun his study and exam period so if I run out of something like milk, I can ask him to get it from the shops, or to stay late in the morning or come home early so that I can get it on my own, rather than take this child anywhere in public. I think I even want to stay home from church with them and have mini-church services and special mothering time with the child then, for a month or so, but I'm not sure how that idea will work out. I am also committing to spending more time one-to-one with the child during the day. And over the next five weeks before we head down to the farm, we're going to work real hard on the basics of first-time obedience again.

From my end of things I'm going to have as many afternoon naps as I can manage and take my antibiotics diligently so I can get over this sinusitis and blah feeling and begin to cope with life. I'm also going to be more diligent with my Bible study. And do more singing. That really helped both of us last night and it helped me this morning as well.

I think we need to just stay at home and focus on important things until this attitude problem is not a problem any more, for both of us. Because the child just can't handle the responsibility of being out in public at the moment, and at the moment I can't handle the mothering stress that comes with taking the child out.


Mrs. Edwards said...

I'm experiencing similar frustrations with my two-year-old. Somehow, it is a more difficult time for me than when the others were two. Perhaps because now I have three older children. Yesterday at the library, said two-year-old just went "limp noodle" and plopped down on the floor refusing to walk. He obviously knew that the usual disciplinary choices weren't at my disposal...

I'm praying for you.

mom24 said...

I know just exactly how you feel - REALLY. We are just now getting to the point where we can take our 5yo dd out again. And now the 2yo is following her lead. We don't take him anywhere. We never experienced this behavior with the 1st one so it has been a heavy burden for us to deal with, knowing that it is a heart/training issue.

You did the right thing at the store and with singing at home. Do not fret about the noise they make at the store or the screaming - the Lord will give you strength to endure these times and wisdom to train in times of peace.
Also, the opinion of others (those giving you the 'looks' in the shop, etc.) is no matter - your child rearing is between you and the Lord. Others may not understand but you need to remember that you are not in 'control' of them but in 'charge' of training them.
God will get you through this phase and will grow you AND the child in the process!


Sharon said...

"you need to remember that you are not in 'control' of them but in 'charge' of training them." Thank you so much for this insight Andrea! I think I need to write it on my hand or something so I will be reminded of it frequently.

My problem is indeed that I do want to be "in control" rather than "in charge" and I get annoyed when the children rebel. This is the same frustration that James said leads to anger. Once again I need to keep my mind on the smaller job God has given me rather try to take than His job - being the Sovereign Lord over all.

Thank you for your prayers, Mrs Edwards. I do appreciate them.

~ Sharon