I just had to have one with my two year old. What fun.
She was already up a little later than usual (we're night owls, she and I), and we are working on learning to help clean up our messes. So before she went to bed, I wanted her to put all of her tea party accessories back into their giant tea pot storage container. I was working on picking up the rest of her mess, and for her, this was a manageable and understandable task--that she has performed a few times before when asked.
But these past two days, a little rebellious spirit has decided to reside in my sweet angel--and in the name of Jesus he needs to leave! She's begun throwing things, pushing and squawking when she doesn't get her way, and the be all to end all that resulted in our little throw down tonight, telling mama no...
She thought that was a good idea. It wasn't.
So when I asked her to please put the toys back into her teapot (notice the please in there--and might I add the tone was pleasant as well)...and she replied with "no!", my nerves got a little frazzled. I then repeated the request to which she again replied "No!" and tried to crawl back on the couch. Frazzled was being maxed.
I pulled her tiny body back down to the floor, gave it spanking #1, and repeated the request with a little less of a pleasant tone. Still received a "no!" OH. MY. LANTA. Spanking #2 (and possibly #3, can't really remember). I continued to pick up some things that went in her room and let her know that if she hadn't started picking up by the time I got back, she would be spanked again and would have to stand in the corner.
I'll give you a second to guess what happened next.
So after more spats and spankings than I counted (I don't beat her, but she does need to be reminded of who holds authority) and two trips to the corner, my snotty nosed, puffy eyed, slobbery mess of a daughter still refused to pick up her toys. Since she really needed to go to bed and I was really ready for her to go to bed--but still refusing to let her win--I sat on the floor with her and grabbed her hand, forcing it to pick up all of her tea party pieces.
And then she went straight to bed.
I was so tempted to just cover her up, kiss her head, and walk right out. But my little baby who was still having the "stop crying, catch your breaths" whimpered "Jees luh me, Jees luh me..." And my frazzled retreated a little bit.
Because in the literal minute it took me to get her tucked in, sung over, kissed and loved, my mind and heart were racing with so many thoughts: she is your gift, treasure her; she needs to know you love her, be tender; she craves your grace, offer it; she won't be this little long...savor it.
I've been studying gratitude and grace in preparation for a Ladies' Day a friend and I are putting together. And it has been intense on my heart. And in these moments tonight, I remembered that I don't have to completely lose my mind every time my kid rebels or questions or hurts me. I remembered to be grateful for this beautiful gift of motherhood, especially as my heart was turned to remember the many women whose hearts long for nothing more. I remembered to take time to reflect and give myself the opportunity to offer grace.
And the Lord knows I need those reminders because these little meetings with my daughter are just only beginning, I know. I'm also trying to remind myself that strong-willedness and independence will be characteristics that I am so proud and so grateful for her to have...when she's older... :P
So I'm gonna take some deep breaths, settle in with a little glass of vino, and let my heart cherish my baby. Because she won't be this little long... And she is learning how to handle difficult situations and conflict by how I handle difficult situations in conflict. What a gracious burden.
be patient with your littles, and reflect the love of Jesus