I am such a verbal processor (with those that I know well), and it helps me so much to be able to get it all out, thinking it through as I say it (and/or type it), and then continuing to think it through as I get feedback. I am loving the smoothie idea and the putting fruit in his sandwich idea. If he sees bread, he wants it, no matter what it is, so I think if I hide the fruit in the bread, he will be good to go. And, by the way, add cheese pizza to his list of favorite foods. As you know, our family is on a tight budget--have I mentioned that, ha:)--but I like to take one weekend night off from cooking. Pizza tends to be our cheapest "eat-out" option as a family. Well tonight we decided to try a local pizza place that we had never tried before, where we could order by the slice. It was near Publix, where we were headed, and we just spur of the moment decided to give it a go. And that is where John ate almost an entire piece of cheese pizza. A large piece. I had a piece of pizza, mine with toppings, but I didn't even eat my entire piece because the slices were very large. It was crazy the amount that John was able to eat. Ada opted for the "side" of spaghetti instead of pizza. She also enjoyed her meal. So, the restaurant was a hit.
And the best picture I could get of John-John and his pizza.
So, anyway, our bedtime situation...
every single night Ada comes up with a reason why I need to lie down with her until she falls asleep. Every. single. night. Her eyes itch; her nose is running; she heard a noise; there was a light outside; etc. etc. etc. When I tell her no, it turns into an all out, kicking, screaming, pitching a fit, battle. And that's from both of us. If you want to see me at my absolute worst as a mother, find me at bedtime. By 8:00 at night, I am done, ready to clock out, and if Ada decides that she is not done with the day, my flesh flares up and begins to demand my "right" of time to myself at night. It's not pretty. In fact, I have done away with spanking at bed time because I don't believe in spanking in a fit of anger, and when Ada won't go to bed, I am always in a fit of anger. So, last night, I was over it. I went downstairs, Ada screaming, Scott trying to deal with the situation, and my not trusting my response if I didn't remove myself from the room. So, there I sat on the couch, hearing Ada crying for me, and I just began to pray. I am out of ideas. We have tried every punishment under the sun, and none of it helps. As I was praying, I was reminded of the potty training situation, and how much I was at the end of myself with that. God absolutely showed up in the potty training and got it done. I really felt like God was telling me that I had to give up the fight. Continue with the consequences of disobeying at bedtime but give up the fight. So...I went back upstairs, got in the bed with Ada, who was hysterically crying at that point, and I just began to talk to her. I told her that we had a problem, that we were both dealing with yucky hearts, and that I didn't know what to do other than pray. I reminded her of the potty training situation, and she absolutely can tell you who took her fear away. She knows it was God. I told her we will pray every morning and night until God helps us with the bed time situation (though she will continue to deal with consequences if I have to lie down with her). So, finally she fell asleep with me beside her in the bed.
Tonight, before baths, before we were in the midst of the situation, Ada and I sat on the couch and prayed. She didn't want to, but I made her repeat after me, and then I prayed, and we proceeded with our normal routine. So...tonight she fell asleep while Scott and I were doing our nightly prayer. Answered prayer that I didn't have to lie down with her, yes, but it doesn't solve our problem of her being willing to go to bed without me in there with her. So...that is our bed time situation. I am out of ideas, so I am simply praying about it and praying that God is going to use this to sanctify me and perhaps draw Ada to himself.
Ada is so full of fears. Two nights ago, as we were tucking her in and getting ready to pray, I asked her if there was anything she wanted me to pray for. She said yes, "that I won't fall off the bed (she fell off a few weeks ago) and for the tigers." I said, "Okay, like that God will keep you safe from the tigers?" "Yes," she said very matter-of-factly. I replied," well, I really don't think you will be near any tigers, ever, so you really, really don't have to be scared of that." She was not convinced, and in fact, she went on to ask me to "pray about the dragons and the giants," and there was no convincing her that she need not be afraid of these things. Which, in the conversation it dawned on me that what we need to teach her is that God is bigger than her fears not just the things she is afraid of, and that is how we approached the tigers, dragons, and giants prayer--that God would free her from those fears and help her to feel safe. I am hoping that maybe this whole bed time situation, like the potty training, will teach her much about God and how in control he is of all of her fears. He is so much bigger than all of those things. And, in reality, much of what I am afraid of is just as ridiculous as tigers and dragons and giants. I mean, "we can confidently say, 'the Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?" (Hebrews 13:6)
So that is where we are...very, very, very dependent on God to work this thing out. And, of course, open to suggestions. I feel like I have tried everything, but maybe not. Maybe you have something I haven't tried yet that will be just the thing to snap us out of this "situation."