Thursday, January 10, 2008

Learning the hard way

Why, oh why do children insist upon learning the hard way? Why can they not simply listen to the wisdom of what I know and have already learned, and obey?

This evening, Tgirl chose the hard route.

She has been having some issues with her attitude lately. Well, that and her tone of voice. Last night she had some consequences for talking smart to her daddy. Tonight she tried it on me.

Dear girl, I give the warning, and I mean it. Really. I do. I don't want to follow through. But I will. Must you really push and push until I have no choice but to follow through?

I told her if she talked smart to me again we would be turning around in the car on our way to ballet class and going home to an early bedtime. Apparently she did not believe me. Probably thought I had too much invested in this whole thing, too much preparation and hassle had gone into trying to get her there today. And she was right-but wrong. Right in that I wasn't happy about doing it, but she talked smart again, and so I pulled over in the turn lane to make a U turn.

"No, Mama, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!"

"Me too, baby. But you may not talk to me like that and you will learn not to."

Smart comment from Tgirl. Much argument from her. Whining. Tears.

I am pleased to say that I managed to stay very calm and followed through. Neither of these things is easy for me to do.

So we got home. She explained to TDaddy why we were home so early and took a shower. Played in the shower a bit too long while I was distracted having conversation with TDaddy. I dried her hair and she went to bed.

And realized that going to bed at 6:30 is no fun. Begged. Cried. Started to act smart again. And almost earned going to bed again early tomorrow.

Thankfully, she is currently snoring. She finally went to sleep at 8:15.

If nothing else, parenting has definitely given me a tiny bit of insight into how God must look at us, his children. We insist we know better than He. We kick and scream and talk back and have horrible attitudes about life and the lessons He is teaching us. So we leave Him really with no choice but to allow situations into our lives so we can learn the hard way.

Somehow I have the feeling that often he feels about this method of teaching and disciplining the way I do. It isn't something that I enjoy. In fact, punishing her (or her brother) really does "hurt me more than it hurts you." Before becoming a mom I never realized how much it could hurt me to just give a simple time out. Never realized how tortured I could feel inside watching my child make a poor choice and then have to live with the consequences.

So I am sorry, Lord. I really am sorry for all the lessons I have insisted upon learning the hard way. Thank you so much for sticking with me and for continuing to mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray that I may become more pliable that I may learn my lessons easily and not insist upon experiencing the consequences. And when I do insist in my poor choices, I pray that I may have the grace to not whine about how "unfair" it is.

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