Thursday, August 12, 2010

In the trenches with a two year old

Jenna is livin' up being two. Nothing I say is taken seriously, let alone half seriously. Occasionally she'll do as asked just to throw my off, but mostly it's all about pushing the limits and seeing how far and how long I'll let her go before she has to give.
There were moments yesterday when I questioned whether we would still be going back and forth over the same disobedience when Joe came home from work. After disciplining her, she would do it again, and laugh! This happened over and over, until something I said or did clicked with her, maybe she just grew tired of playing the game. The big moment for me was when I went outside to pick some flowers on my back deck. I grabbed the door knob and it was locked. I knocked and heard, Jenna laughing hysterically. It was definitely the best part of her day. If it weren't for Bethany and Joseph I would have stayed out there until I melted.
And somehow in the midst of all this two year old rebellion, I see her sweetness. She is absolutely super fun to mother. We have been working on potty training over the past week, thus my lack of extra blogging time. She is doing amazing, I just keep holding my breath, hoping this is really the real deal. My potty training experience tells me that just when I think I'm about to arrive at the diaper burning party, I may just be getting ready to start all over again, and again.
We {yes we, it's a joint effort}made it through an entire day yesterday with the same pair of dry panties and Joseph had a vacation day from carrying out diapers with his grab-nabber to the garage.

As I typed, Jenna came into the room and informed me that she had pooped in her panties. See, this is why I gave up blogging for a week!

I told myself I wasn't going to post any pictures online of my child sitting on a potty chair or running around with a cheek hanging out of their underpants, but this one, I couldn't resist sharing!
As I feared, taking the paci away brought about a slew of bedtime drama and wars. The paci was the one thing enticing about bedtime, she loved going to nap and bed for the night, because it was only time she got her paci. Now that element of reward is not there and she sees no benefit in sleeping. She throws fits and occasionally climbs out of her bed. Her disrupted bedtime routine, obviously disrupts everyone elses bedtime routine, but especially Bethany's. I have to get this situation remedied soon, but it's mostly just a work and wait patiently kinda deal.
My experiences with Bethany and Joseph's toddler years, bed jumping and potty training have taught me some valuable lessons. That progress will be made in due time and with consistent and loving training I will eventually {not immediately} see results. Their behavior is not for me to take personal, not because they don't love me, it's because they like me are human. We are born sinners. Proverbs 22:15 Folly is bound int he heart of a child. I learned that my attitude is my problem, my loss of patience is my problem, my frustration when they defy my instruction is my problem, and my attitude is a reflection of my heart, not theirs.
I am convinced there is no greater honor than to raise and train a child. How often I disgrace that honor with my behavior and words, and frequently I take it for granted. I was recently challenged by Jacob's reply to Esau when meeting him after years of separation. Esau asked Jacob "Who are all these with you?" Jacob said, in Genesis 33:5, "These are the children that God has graciously given to me."
Lastly, I know something with Jenna that I didn't know during Bethany and Joseph's toddler hood, the days feel sometimes never ending, but the months and years pass far to quickly. I'm learning to enjoy each day with each of my kids, because I never get to go back. I'm livin' up the morning bedheads, the hugs, the funny word mispronunciation, the poopy diapers, the demands for more peanut butter and jelly, the tears over simple things, the repeated sibling offenses, because amidst all the bad I can find more good, if I'll only take the time to look for it. Savor the day, embrace the here and now. In my house that means a messy house, half dressed children, one poppy pants girl, an un-showered mommy, a runny nosed child giving all her germs to her little sister, paying out $200 to have the air conditioner repaired, on and on. I have a blessed life and if these trials are as hard as it gets, I can make no complaints


Arlene said...

You have learned some of life's secrets, way before I did. One of the main ones is life is short, children grow up fast, moments missed can never be retrieved. Life is hard, frustrating, confusing.... at times, but life with our children is precious. Enjoy
Love you

Lyndsay Taylor said...

beautiful and inspiring, you are!!