Friday, June 5, 2009

Winning the War of Wills

Sometimes motherhood reminds me of being a commander in an army, in my case an army of one, fighting the war of wills. My two-year-old is learning boundaries, and it's up to me and my husband to set them. In that boundary-setting comes many battles. Some are worth fighting, others demand a diversion tactic.

A couple of days ago when it was time for my daughter's dinner, while my husband was in the shower, a fierce battle of wills ensued between me and my daughter. She was very hungry and anxious to eat, so I went ahead and began feeding her food that was still hot. Which meant I had to help her eat it, by scooping up a small bite and blowing on it to cool it off, then letting her have the spoon so she could shovel it in. She didn't like that idea one bit. She wanted to do it all herself, which meant she would take a huge bite and not bother trying to cool it down first. She couldn't seem to grasp the fact that I was trying to protect her, despite trying to reason with her on her level of understanding. It got to the point where I almost took her away from the table and not let her have any food until she would listen, but just didn't think she would understand and knew it would only upset her more. So I continued to insist on helping her, while trying to convince her it was for the best. I firmly kept telling her to quiet down and let me help her until the food cooled down. She would calm down only for several seconds at a time. Oh, the stubbornness! If only she knew how to trust me. If only she had been willing to wait for the food to cool down, then she could have eaten it all herself from the very first bite.

I have to wonder sometimes if God has that same frustration with us. If there are times when He speaks to our hearts and tells us it is best to wait on something, yet we insist on having it our way and fuss and fume and whine and demand it now, and think that God is being so unfair... yet little do we know that if He allowed us to have it our way, we would get hurt in some way, or it wouldn't be to our best benefit. Oh, the stubbornness! If only we would trust Him. If only we were willing to wait.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Precious Moments

You know those facial expressions kids give sometimes that are just absolutely priceless? My daughter had one of those yesterday. She wanted some of my diet coke, but I warned her she probably wouldn't like it. She insisted, though, so I let her, and she took a nice, big sip through the straw. Then came the look of utter disgust and confusion. She looked at me like she wondered why in the world I had let her do that. It was too funny for words.

Then last night, she pretended that a cabinet was the dishwasher. Opened up the door, threw in some toys, threw in a dime (I use those dishwasher tabs), closed the door, and said very happily, "Wash dishes!" I didn't see it, unfortunately, but my husband told me about it.

And this morning, there was a moment. I watched her while she was still sleeping. Suddenly she smiled, eyes still tightly shut, then she started sucking on the two middle fingers of one hand, while putting her other hand on top, palm facing out, and said, "Milk!" At first I thought she was waking up, but then quickly realized she was still fast asleep. She was dreaming about milk, her favorite drink in all the world. I smiled and gave her a gentle kiss on the cheek, careful not to wake her.