Do you ever feel flattered by God? When I consider the parenting needs of my two boys, that is exactly how I feel. Sometimes I cannot believe God really thinks I can do this. . .well. However, I know God's wisdom far surpasses mine and if he thinks I am the perfect mommy for these boys, who am I to disagree.
This leads me to my post title. When The General was just about the age of Bubby, he became so incredibly challenging to my brain I wanted to scream (I'm ashamed to say, there were days that I did. Alot.) For example, if I would tell him not to do something he would come back with, "So, what will the consequence for that be." Yes, enunciated perfectly (my kiddos talk early and speak quite clearly when they are young toddlers). I began to dislike him, where had my sweet obedient boy gone? I know that sounds terrible, and I felt tremendous guilt. However, when there is a little person CONSTANTLY pushing your buttons and dancing on your line, it is exhausting.
Enter the gratitude journal. Each night I would sit down and take stock of my day. The first things that would come to mind would be the mud in the guest room carpet. Everyone knows freshly watered plants make the best place for serious construction work. Right?? Well, I challenged myself to go beyond the messes, the frustrations and poor choices (his, and mine). I made myself think back to the good parts of the day. I would list 5 sweet things The General had done that day, it worked. I had been so bogged down by the work of molding this very intelligent, strong willed child I was missing out on the beauty.
Here I am 9 years later with Bubby, and guess what? I need my journal. Last night Bubby informed me, "I don't want to be a nice boy. I want to make bad choices!" My sister-in-law says he can flip you off with a look alone. (No, he doesn't know what that even means, but if he did. . . .) Of course Bubby's issues are completely different than The General, God wouldn't want me to stagnant. I'm going to have to use some new ideas and skills to parent this very hard headed boy. But, I can think back and use some of the coping skills that helped me through my first boy.
So, here goes:
1) I love when he gives me a big hug and tells me, "Your the bestest mommy in the whole world!" and nearly squishes the stuffing out of me in the process.
2) When he says, "Oh, that will make me so much happy!" and gives me the cheesy grin.
3) Everyday when he does his daily business, he has to "push out a big daddy one, just for daddy."--Daddy should feel so honored.
4) The other day when he announced, "my best friend L. Yeah, he's a genius."
5) Most importantly, I am just so grateful that even though he is a challenge, he is healthy. I'm grateful he has the strength and energy to give me a hard time. I'm so grateful he is mine, bad choices, attitude and all.
Wish me luck.