Thursday, April 26, 2012

Not on my "To Do" List

It was a usual Tuesday morning.  We needed groceries, I had my list, and my son asked to come along for the ride.  He promised to ride in the cart, not complain, and be on his best behavior.  I agreed to take him along.  As soon as we got inside the store, he began to resist getting into the cart.  Ok, time to employ the boundaries lessons I've been learning: "You can either ride in the cart, or you can go home."  He chose to go home...but then changed his mind when he realized I was serious.  "Fine, but remember you promised to not complain and be on your best behavior."   I wheel to the first aisle on my list and my son started misbehaving!  Ok, I put the item back on the shelf and wheeled for the exit.  Once he realized I was seriously going to take him home, he begged me to let him stay.  Alright, last try...we go back to the aisle and I pick up the same item off the shelf.  He whines, "The store is BORING, I want to go home."  Item goes back on the shelf, and we begin wheeling for the exit again.  Thanks to the Boundaries with Kids book, I'm staying calm but this is all very annoying to me.  My son is feeling rather triumphant that he is getting what he wants.  That annoys me the most.  As he climbs into the car he looks across the parking lot to neighboring store and comments that Costco is not boring.  I mention casually, "It's too bad you decided to go home, you won't be able to go to Costco."  Then everything falls apart once he realizes he might be missing out on something fun.  The whole drive home, my son- four and a half years old- wailed loudly.  He did not want to go home.  I kept calm (on the outside) and eventually stopped responded to his cries to not head home as he wasn't listening to me at all.  Thankfully, my husband was home so I was able to get his help in calming our son down and deciding on a proper consequence.  I was ticked, by the way, that I'd lost about an hour and a half of my time because of my son's misbehavior.  We decided he'd miss out on a movie and have to sit it out in his room while sister watched.  I'd lost a lot of time so he'd have to miss out on something fun that mattered to him.  Furthermore, I took his sister to the grocery store with me while my son stayed home with my husband for a discussion about being considerate and respectful.  (Thank you, God, for blessing me with a great husband!)

I was in need of some sort of treat after that craziness, which was so out of the ordinary for my sweet but strong willed son.  So, I took little Miss M on a date to the coffee shop.  I let her pick out a donut for us to share.  I got a chai, and she had a milk.  She was wearing an adorable little dress, and her hair was in piggy tails with bows to match her dress.  M was so darn cute, and was absolutely golden on our outing.  (I wished I had my camera with me!)  As we sat there enjoying our snack, I realized this was the first time I'd actually done something fun like this just her and me.  It was a special time for both of us.  After our treat, we went to the boring store and I got all my groceries without any fuss.  I was thanking God for my daughter, and showering her with kisses and praise as we shopped.  I arrived home refreshed and feeling merciful toward my son.  He was in a much better frame of mind, apologized, and all was forgiven.  He even got to go to Costco a few days later, and he was very well behaved!

Later on Tuesday, I had time to process all that had happened.  I realized that my "to do" list for the morning had been to get groceries and make a healthy dinner for my family.  Instead, the Lord was asking me to take the morning to teach my son how to be considerate of others and to respect and obey his parents.  Parenting can be tough, especially when the misbehavior is on display for the general public at the grocery store.  But, parenting is what I'm supposed to be doing in this season of my life.  Every day it stretches me.  I make a lot of mistakes.  Often I feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities on my shoulders.  However, God is teaching me that He will give me the grace and strength to be a mom.  The main thing is, I need to ask for His help.  I just finished reading Kisses from Katie (by Katie Davis), and her story has been a great reminder to me that we can do amazing things with God's help.  Well, I've gotta run... there's a little lady down the hall that just started crying in her crib.  (It's 9:40 pm, and she's still awake!)

My family...blessings each and every one.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Book Club: Kisses from Katie

Want to read along?  I've been waiting for this book -Kisses from Katie- for a few months.  What a sweet surprise to find it on the hold shelf at the library today.  Usually I don't even try to read when the kids are awake.  However, I couldn't wait till bedtime to start reading this one, so I read (somewhat successfully) in the midst of the kid chaos.  This is a book that is going to challenge me, but in a good way.  It's about a young lady who visited Uganda for a three week missions trip during her senior year in high school.  After she graduated from high school, she returned to Uganda planning to stay for a year and teach at an orphanage.  A year turned into years and now she's adopted over a dozen girls and continues to do what she can to help the people around her.   If you have read it, or decide to read with me, please let me know!  I had so many great responses (via comments, email, or in person) from the last book, Choosing to SEE by Mary Beth Chapman.  I love hearing from you all and finding out your perspective on the books I'm reading.