Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The week we've had

Mark it down as one of the worst weeks Ada and I have shared. Neither of us has been doing a good job of living in "light of the gospel." ;)

My 15 month (soon to be 16 month) little girl is proving to be quite the challenging child. No means nothing to her. Nothing. Spankings mean nothing to her. Time-outs mean nothing to her. And oddly enough, at 15 months, calm conversations don't seem to do the trick either. Ahhhhhhhhhhh. (this is me groaning in frustration) That is what I have felt like doing nearly every second of the past three days. This child is trying my patience like never before.

Here is how our day goes. Ada wakes up in a good mood. We happily snuggle as she drinks her apple juice. We make vows that today is going to be a good day, and we smile at each other, and she giggles as I tickle her and so on. Ten minutes later, she hops down and heads straight for the kitchen chairs, climbs up in them, as I follow behind saying in my sternest voice, "No, Ada." She glances back at me, smiling, and continues on her desired path, not in the least bit deterred. Okay, after a few spankings, talks, etc., she moves on for the time being, to the oven. Yes, that's correct. My child has learned how to grab the handle of the oven door and climb up. Slightly dangerous, I think. And the craziest part of all is that one night while I was gone and Scott was watching her, she did this, and the door opened and she fell back, and it scared her to death. And we thought that would take care of the problem. Oh no, fear will not stop her. She also fell out of a chair in the dining room, hit her head on the wall, and ended up with a huge knot. After I comforted her for a very long time and reminded her that the chair was a "no-no," I discovered her trying to climb back into the chair. And we do this ALL DAY LONG. By about noon, I am worn out and stressed out and frustrated and discouraged and the list goes on and on. Then Ada goes down for her nap, I collapse onto the couch, and everything starts all over two hours later. All of a sudden, the instructions, "pray without ceasing," are really coming true for me. Because I am all out of ideas. All out. But this is what I hear from other mothers who have gone before me--be consistent and remember that my goal is to show her the gospel not to produce 100% obedience all of the time (thanks for that reminder, Tutti). So I am asking her to forgive me a lot this week because my frustration is getting the best of me. And we just keep starting over. And we just keep applying the gospel.

And somehow at night, when I go into her room to cover her up before I go to bed, I can't remember the craziness of the day. I just look at her and think about how sweet she is. I think God blesses moms with amnesia every night so that we will have the strength to wake up the next morning and do it all over again.


Lynn said...

Your struggles doing this time will pay off. Don't give up even when it gets tough. I remember that age and it feels like all you do is dicipline. It will get better and it will pay off. It seems like they go through times that are more trying than others. Pray for patience, strength, and guidance. You will get through this.

Tutti said...

I agree with Lynn. It will pay off. It is hard, really hard. How does that saying go, "It's the hard that makes it good". My toughest child is also, now, my most obedient. Hard to believe. What you are doing is not easy and is not for pansies. Rest and pray as much as you can:)

abbiegrace said...

I have a 6yr old and a 4yr old...I remember those days (and we still have issues--but just different ones now). I found myself thinking: what am I doing wrong here?!?! Anyway, fwiw, I think it takes day after day & week after week of lovingly establishing firm boundaries. Press on! You can't see the growth occurring--but that doesn't mean it's not happening. :-)