I asked myself, "What happened?" The first two times I took my boys to the chiropractor with me they sat so nice, they played in the little corner of toys provided for them as the doctor adjusted me. They didn't argue. They weren't loud. I was so proud of them. But today was a new day. A frustrating day. An embarrassing one.
It is times like these when I hear the words of friends with grown children, "These are the best days of your life" play in the back of my head. And, although I'm certain that these days when our children are little is a time to cherish, I'm equally as certain that there are a few details my friends have forgotten over time. Ha! :-)
Noah was still wailing when we got outside. There, on the sidewalk, we had a talk about how his (and big brother's) behavior was unacceptable and the consequences of such actions (in 3 year old terms, of course). He calmed down.
By the time we crossed the street and headed into the grocery store he was fine. In fact, he and his brother were as good as gold as I shopped. We picked up just a few items and headed to the counter. The cashier commented on their cute, blond curls and asked if my "good little boys" could have a sucker. They politely said, "Thank you" for their free treat as we headed out the door as the cashier commented on their manners.
Oh my! In mere minutes I went from looking like an incompetent mom to a grand one.
A few years ago, when my oldest was the youngest one's age, I would have been mortified when such a breakdown (like the one in the chiropractor) took place. I would have felt terrible about my mothering skills and the behavior of my child. In turn, I would have patted myself on the back when my child behaved well. Those things did cross my mind, but this day I refused to let my mind and feelings go there. Yes, I was embarrassed in the chiropractor's office (who wouldn't be, right?) and I was pleased when they "got it right" in the grocery store. But I have learned, even though it's not easy, that I have to separate my identity not only from my child's behavior, but from what other people think of me...and even what they think of my children.
I know the truth. I know that I love my sons and am trying to teach them rightly. I know that my boys aren't bad boys. I know they're just learning and it's my job to teach them. Much like I'm leaning and it's God's job to teach me. I know that God loves imperfect me and my imperfect kids. He sees it all. He knows our hearts. And He's the One that we answer to.
I also know that I love my kids too much to let behavior like that go. So I ceased the teachable moment and chalked it up to experience, for my sons and myself. And I thanked God for opportunities like this to see how He is teaching and growing us.
What I learned came in handy a week later when my little boy was running through the grocery store, just seconds after I told him not to, and knocked over a display of hot sauce...only feet away from the owner of the store. Sigh. It's an ongoing process, friends.
Now I'm praying they will behave the next time we go to the chiropractor! ;) If not, I know God will remind us of this lesson or teach all of us a new one.
"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."
(What a comfort to know this Truth!)
|Look at those sweet, little, dirty faces!|
Thankful we are learning together!
Today I am joining Jill Savage for the Third Thursday Blog Hop. Okay, so it's Friday. Better late than never, right?! ;-)
Click on the link below to check out what others had to say about today's topic,
"No More Perfect Kids".