Friday, May 10, 2013

An Anger Problem

Let's just say it was a long day. There were good parts and not so good parts.

Good parts: going to the playground TWICE, once in the morning, once in the evening. Levi spent the whole time on the swings. When I wasn't pushing him, he was begging me to push him. I keep explaining to him how to pump his own two legs, but I don't think he even wants to learn. I kind of don't care. I mainly love his delighted laughs as he goes higher and higher.

Bad parts: hmmm, let's just say there was lots of disobedience and lots of screaming.

Lord, You are teaching me something, help me to learn it.

One thing I'm working on right now is nipping disobedience in the bud. This is difficult when your child goes from one disobedient thing to the next to the next and ... well, you get the point. Maybe we need some new toys or something to preoccupy little ones. They seem to really get into it when I'm trying to focus on something important, such as making dinner or lunch or prepping any kind of food.

We were hurrying home from the park. We had been playing in the sunshine for about an hour and all I had brought were those Annie's version of Teddy Grahams and water. No protein, no healthy carbs, no fruit... Aria wanted to eat the whole box and threw a fit when I took them out of her dirty little hands. She was laying there in the mulch screaming as I talked to another mom about this great parenting book on how to train your child. Excellent, you are making me look SO GOOD right now Aria. I called Ben and told him I would come pick him up as soon as we got home. He works about a mile away. He tore (yes, completely TORE) his Achilles on Sunday and can't drive. He can also hardly walk and can only stand for a small period of time.

We got home and I was going to make nachos with black beans. I started getting out the stuff when Aria screamed to be held. Levi was asking all kinds of questions, asking for food, grabbing things. Ben couldn't help, so he went and sat in the recliner. I was trying to hurry because I knew he didn't have a ton of time for lunch. I realized I needed to grate the cheese for the nachos. I also needed to drain the can of black beans and let's just say I wasn't working in a meticulously clean kitchen. (A pet peve of mine is working in a dirty kitchen. I basically prefer to clean the whole kitchen before I start prepping for dinner only to get it dirty again. Deep sigh...)

I remember my stress level soaring.

Those are the moments when you want to start doing things to your child that would not be good. You find yourself wanting to spank them so hard, so that you would feel better and get some of this anger out. I started to think to myself, I can't do this, who am I kidding?

Rewind: A few days ago I had a talk with Ben about his tone of voice towards Levi and how it was a little too harsh sometimes and how he needed to watch his attitude towards him. I kind of think Levi is going through this phase of seeing how much he can argue and push back. Everything is argued. So many things he manipulates and it can make you pretty touchy if you don't watch out.

Today I needed that talk for my own heart attitude.

Ben is gone for the evening and I had to handle the kids by myself. Aria's not too big of a deal if you just wrestle her into her diaper and pajamas while she screams. She goes right down and then maybe cries off and on for maybe an hour. Yes, she's the easy child. That's because she's in a bed with WALLS.  Levi got out of bed several times.

The problem was the fact that I chose to make pita bread and that requires a lot of attention. Levi would come out and ask for more water and I would explain to him that he didn't need more water because that would cause his Pull Up to overflow like it did the past three nights. We aren't drinking huge glasses of water or tea before bed anymore, mommy finally learned her lesson.

Then I would tell him to get back in bed and he would complain or tell me he was hungry or he had to go poopoo or his tummy hurt. Sorry buddy, you just went poopoo earlier today, I fed you dinner and you didn't eat all of it and you don't seem like your tummy really hurts and you weren't complaining about it earlier, so, get back in bed.

Again, I'm concentrating on cooking these pitas, and I see him standing just outside the kitchen. Anger, flares up and I ask him, what does he think he's doing? Again, he pulls out the excuses and he wants to help....

All the while I'm listening to a program about anger.

I realize that I'm angry, not because he is sinning and disobeying, but because my day is getting interrupted yet again. I'm angry because he's manipulating me and wanting to disobey and draw out his bedtime and here I am, trying my hardest to make good food and he's infringing on my cooking time, and I've had it.

I cannot say that I am proud of my behavior following that time. It was a struggle and the more I let my anger control me, the worse Levi got. It was like my anger was feeding his disobedience.

Finally, by the end of the night I was apologizing to Levi. I told him I was sorry I burst out on him and treated him the way I did, dragging him into our room so I could spank him, feeling I was completely justified in it.

Lord, help me to respond in love. Help me to be diligent in the first time things happen. Help me to be long-suffering. I need You so badly in this. Thank You that Your power is perfected in my weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in weaknesses, with insults with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Lord, as I confess this and put it before You and say that I can do nothing, I am surrendering it to You. Please, help me depend on You in this area of my life. I cannot do it alone. Give me wisdom and give me strength.

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