If I had a subtitle it would be: Naptime Manipulation. But there's no little box for that and since I'm lame at this stuff I'll just say that's my subtitle.
Confession: I just lost it with my two and a half year old over going to the potty.
I seriously thought I was going to scream at him (I have been trying my hardest not to yell at my kids because I don't think it's biblical. I spank, but I don't yell.)
Here's the story, and you can see if you would have lost it in this situation too.
It's Sunday, we've had church, I'm tired, I played, sang and painted at church. I didn't sleep much last night. Five plus about an hour after Aria woke up at three am... so I'm kind of tired. (This is part of my excuse). It's beautiful outside, absolutely gorgeous, the Lord has recently blessed us with rain and the temperatures have been incredible outside. So I took some trucks out to the front yard and had Levi play with them in the shade of our pear trees. Ben is working hard on painting the living room and my job is to basically corral the kids. I got Aria down by two (naps are normally at one, but we have all been sleeping a little later these days and everything else gets pushed back with it). I was watching Levi play in the front yard and thinking, "Do I really have to put him down for a nap? He is playing so well and it's beautiful outside!" But on my other shoulder my mom voice is saying, "We have been fighting sickness and he needs a nap." Plus, he's going to be a beast later on if he doesn't get some form of sleep... okay, nap wins.
In order to get him to go down without a major breakdown I decide we are going to read a couple of books before bed. I tell him we are going to read and then go night night. Time: 2:30. I pick out two books that won't take long, maybe a few minutes each. Perfect. But he wants to read a Bill Peet book called Bruce the Bear that takes an average of 15 mins to accomplish. I read it as quickly and quietly as possible hoping he doesn't ask for the other books.
Of course he asks for the other books. No, just one book. Pick one.
He just looks at me with those big brown eyes.
We are edging up against three o clock. I'm starting to get anxious.
We take another three minutes to decide which book to read. We could have read the other book by then and I'm starting to get a little more impatient.
Goodnight Moon is read the fastest it's ever been read. (Although I'm sure it's been read quite quickly by parents in my same situation.) We barely stop to find the mouse in the corner of the room or to notice that the moon that the cow is jumping over is "broken" (I haven't explained to him what a half moon is yet, I don't think he would get it...)
Finally, it's over. We have our doggies and our blanket. I am closing the blinds and the curtains starting out on Jesus Loves Me and he tells me he has to go poo poo.
This is the point when I start freaking out.
This is when I go from nice, going-along-with-things, being-strung-along, okay-one-more-book mommy to crazy mommy.
In my mind this all made sense. Inside I had been annoyed and anxious from close to the beginning of this bedtime process. I had been like a volcano of a pot about to boil over if you left me there long enough.
But what I realized later is that this explosion might have seemed out of nowhere for my two year old son. It was no longer mommy might be going along with my little plan, it was mommy is handing out spankings at any little thing I do.
I tried my hardest not to lose it, but I was for sure having a different attitude with him. My patience was GONE and we did have to go to mommy and daddy's bathroom to have a tearful spanking. He was tired, I was tired and frustrated. Things had gone on long enough and it was now around 3:30, this was not going well.
I brought him into his room, apologized to him for not being kind in the way that I disciplined him. We hugged and I tucked him into bed. I left the room and he started crying.
It's not usually until I step out of his room that I realize how badly I have been manipulated.
Levi ended up with no nap today. He was crying it was my fault that I didn't put him down earlier. Ben and I discussed it and agreed he would just go down for an early bedtime.
Some things in parenting are never perfect. Every stage has it's own set of difficulties. We are dealing with sinful little beings who are never going to get it right. I am never fully going to get it right because I am still in the flesh. Lord, help me to walk humbly. Thank You for a two year old who humbles me on a daily basis. Thank You for the joy of all the smiles and laughs, thank You for the blessing that children are. They are an inheritance from the Lord, they are arrows in our quiver, let us send them out strong and true. Help us as we mold them and teach them about You and about the world around them. I am weak. You are strong.
I am amazed at how desperately I love these two little ones. Help me to have patience with them. Help me to discipline them in love as You discipline and correct me. Please Father, in your mercy, please save them.