What I learned today

or How to Not to Act When One’s Toddler is Being Impossible to Deal With


What a difficult morning. But I am learning a lot about myself. My default reaction to any given situation is to overreact, either on the estatic side or the upset side. Today was definitely one of the latter.

God gives us children to improve ourselves, to draw us closer to Him, to help us understand how utterly dependent on Him we really are.

Aviana and I got into a big fight about picking up the toys strewn all over the living room. She was being sullen and slow, intentionally defiant and disobedient. I had given us a certain amount of time to get ready to go to my appointment with my counselor. She was pushing me and arguing with me over every. little. point.

I would say, “Let’s put the cap in the bin.” She would retort, “It doesn’t go in the bin, I want to hang it up!” I would say, “Fine, hang it up!” She would respond emphatically, “NOOOOO! I want to wear it!” After almost an hour of this, the last straw was when I said, “Pick up your slippers and put them in the closet.” And she yelled at me, “THEY’RE NOT SLIPPERS; THEY’RE BOOTIES!!” Believe me, I had tried everything from making a game of Simon Says out of it, to setting the timer to try to beat it, to offering to help.

I went into my bedroom and closed the door, just screaming in frustration. Seriously screaming. My throat hurt the rest of the day. Aviana came in and asked me what I was doing. “Why, Mama?” I don’t know. Obviously, I have issues.

It didn’t help finding out later that the basement guys heard me, and were wondering if they should come up and help me. Nope, just psycho. (Basement guys: the workers on our basement. Our basement is over 150 years old, just limestone blocks. They are cementing in the walls and putting in new windows to make it more weather, critter and water proof.)

Oddly, after my temper tantrum, Aviana went out into the living room and quickly and happily picked up each and every remaining toy, putting it in its proper place.

I had a counseling appointment, which is why I was trying to get everything picked up. Sandy is really hard on me. And truthful. She wants to know why such a small thing can drive me over the edge like that. I’m praying on it.

Psalm 51:5 & 6 says “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Surely you desire truth in the inner parts, you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.” It helps to know that Aviana is a sinner just as I am, just as we all are. It helps to know that God will teach me about my inmost places, and understand why I react the way I do, and help me fix it.

This is not the mama I want to be. This is not the wife I want to be. This is not how I want to be.

5 thoughts on “What I learned today

  1. Do you believe in spanking?

    I think we can really get stressed out when we “try so hard” to make obedience a fun thing. Sure there’s a time for it, but also, children who are expected to obey the first time are a lot less stressful to deal with.

    That said, my own toddler isn’t very well trained. I hate to see it too, b/c I really worked with my older two and they were always helpful and happy (well, mostly!).

    Just keep trying your best. We all have “screaming” moments, whether audible or not! My worst moments have been when we’re running late to get somewhere and I’m hustling the troops, or when I’m sick to death of the unpicked up toys/crafts/you name it.

    You are not alone dear! But seriously, I think half the battle is children that know their boundaries, that don’t get away with pushing mom’s buttons. And they are much happier, honest.

  2. I forgot to edit the comment info…it always defaults me back to blogger, through which I don’t have a blog…rolling my eyes. Plus, I’ve moved to my own domain…homesteepedhope.com, still tweaking my “look” there, but I hope you drop by!

  3. Aunt Barb says:

    You are awful hard on yourself girl! and
    Grandma says amen to that!

    If you were the first mom to lose it over something little, it would be different, but it would be tough to find another mom who hadn’t lost it over something that was nothing.

    I remember when we lived in Georgia and I only had Tim and Phil was gone all the time. I put Tim in his crib and got in the shower, turned it on and boo-hooed like nobody’s business. I felt better afterwards, even though nothing had really changed

    You’re only human sweetie!
    It all sounds so trite but … you are such a good mom and you have a challenging job

    What you want in your heart to do and to be is what makes the difference for you and the fact that you are aware of it and constantly standing back and looking at it

    Just remember your grandma and your aunt whispering in your ear … don’t be so hard on yourself.

  4. Mary–Hear hear!! I’m with you sister! I try to put what is outlined in Shepherding a Child’s Heart into practice, but stop when I feel myself getting upset, and try other tactics.

    And familial matriarchs—THANK YOU! I love you too!

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