Monday, January 16, 2012

"My Brush"

Our child has a major stubborn streak. He's such an easy-going kid, yet incredibly stubborn at the same time. Seems like a strange combination, I know. You usually assume that I child is either high-strung and stubborn or easy-going and compliant. Not ours.  He likes to mix things up.

This stubbornness definitely leads to some battles of wills in our house.  I'm slowly finding ways to instill a respect for authority into him, while still showing love and patience.  It's a difficult balance.  Sometimes I let things slide.  Sometimes the situations end in tantrums or time out.  But sometimes, just sometimes, they end well.  Last night was a nice example of a battle of the wills that ended on good terms, which left me feeling like we'd both learned something.  I thank God for situations like that, when I know He was guiding me in how to be a good parent.

Krewson: Comes running from our bathroom with my makeup brush in his hand.  "My brush!" (Spoken in toddlerese, of course.)

Me: Squatted down to his level.  "Honey, that's Mommy's brush."

Krewson: Gripping the brush tightly in his little fist, grin slapped across his face. "MY brush!"

Me: "No, that's Mommy's brush."

Krewson:  "MY BRUSH!"

Me: "No, it's Mommy's brush."

Krewson: Silence, still grinning.

Me: "Whose brush is that, Krew?"

Krewson: Head bowed, grin still on his face.  "Krew brush!"

Me: "No, that's Mommy's brush."

Krewson: Silence, head still bowed.

Me: "Whose brush is that, Krew?"

Krewson:  Head still bowed, contemplative look on his face.  "Mommy."  Then his little arms reach out to me, brush in his hands, and he releases it to me without me even asking.

Me:  Heart swells.  "That's right honey, it's Mommy's.  Thank you very much for giving it to me."

Krewson:  Looks up at me, surprisingly without a hint of anger.

Me: "But you can play with it.  Mommy will let you play with it."

Krewson: Grin returns, takes the brush from me, and happily runs out the bedroom door with it back in his grasp.

It's crazy how you have to pay attention to every little situation with kids.  Every moment can be turned into an opportunity for learning.  But you don't want to overwhelm them.  You don't want them to feel like they're living under a dictatorship.  But you want them to understand that YOU are the boss, not them.  I've been reading some parenting books lately, and they all seem to mention how respect for parents' authority is the first step toward respect for God's authority.  Which makes sense.  And means we are somewhat representing how our children may later relate to God.  What an incredible, weighty responsibility.  I thank God for prayer and His guidance!

Sadly to say, our little boy stayed home sick from daycare AGAIN today. I called the pediatrician, and Dave took him in. Double ear infection. Poor kid. But we got some medication for him, so hopefully that means that we are all on our way to some full nights of sleep again. It's been a rough week, sleep-wise. But such is life with kids. :)

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