Thursday, June 23, 2011

Be gentle, mamma

She climbs out of her bed for what seems like the 15th time, walks over to the door and flips on the light. I hear her plop onto the floor and begin playing with her little toys {which, are EVERY where on her floor instead of her toybox} as if it were mid-day. The only thing is, it's not. It's 7:30pm and mamma and daddy are exhausted from life. We are ready for our "break" or at least a few minutes to not clean up a spill, hold a crying baby or pick up one more blasted toy. And wouldn't mamma be so gentle and gracious in handling this? I mean, it is the first time we've dealt with this issue, right?


I open the door and ask her, "Miss Ava, mamma just gave you a spanking because you disobeyed and got out of bed. Why are you getting out again?" She looks at me and... do I see a smirk in her eye? Every ounce of gentle-mother-nurturing drains out of me and I feel that ugly sensation of anger try to course through my mom-veins. I say TRY because I know I can control it with the Spirits help. I know I can have victory over my flesh and my human-ness. How is it that at 2 years old this little one already knows how to get my blood boiling? How can she see my heart to know where I struggle and where my patience lacks? Has it already been so obvious to her?

And I had a choice at that moment. Lose it, raise my voice {ahem, yell}, be quick to grab a little arm probably too rough, another spanking and some sarcastic-sounding disciplinary words... "Get into that bed and don't get out or I will throw every single one of your toys away and sell you to the gypsys". {please know I would never say that... ?} Or, I could scoop up this bundle of learning and 2 year old-ness and attempt yet another heart to heart with her. Because even when I think she isn't listening I hear her rehearsing Mammas words later in her playtime. She IS listening. Always with ears open and heart taking it all in. And so I begin: "Ava, Mamma and Daddy told you to stay in your bed. You are disobeying when you get out and it makes us sad. God tells us to honor Mamma and Daddy by obeying. You are a big girl now and you know how to obey, I've seen you do it! I love watching you obey. etc." The conversation goes on a few seconds more and she for just a few minutes wants to rock and say she's sorry. I stayed calm. I took those 3 big breaths and made the choice to choose gentleness over a quick tongue and hand. Don't get me wrong - I think sometimes children need the immediate discipline - but sometimes, no - many times, doesn't it seem a gentle word and guided correction go so much further? Isn't that biblical somewhere?

All this to say, I'm not boasting in my superior parenting skills. Bah! More often then not, sadly, I'm the example of what NOT to do. I'm just so humbled and reminded today to "Be gentle, Mamma" because little hearts are on the line. And so you know... that little two year old gave me the biggest neck hug and fell fast asleep right after our little chat in the rocking chair. And the next morning told me how she was "a big girl who didn't get out of my bed" with a huge smile on her little face. It's THOSE moments I live for! To God be the Glory!

"He who keeps instruction is in the way of life,

But he who refuses correction

goes astray."

Prov. 10:17

1 comment:

Chrissy said...

I'm reading the Duggar's new book "A Love that Multiplies" and Michelle talks about this a lot, and she quotes Proverbs 15:1 "a soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger". I'm REALLY bad about raising my voice to Livi and reading those words have really hit me hard to learn to watch how I react. It's a constant struggle, but it's encouraging to know I'm not the only one it happens to!