Sunday, December 7, 2008

Grace (and hot chocolate) for the journey,

Ah my dear sweet Maren, what is mommy going to do with you? Maren is our youngest and very different from our oldest. I feel like I am in new parenting territory with Maren. So today at church, as we were leaving, she throws a mini (I have seem them much worse) tantrum and in an attempt to swat at me, misses, but hits her cousin Jackson who was walking down the church hallway with us. Let me rephrase - she hits his hand holding his cup of hot chocolate which causes him to douse himself quite thoroughly in the face, causing hot chocolate to run down his shirt and pants, into a nice sticky puddle on the church's carpet.

I was:

  1. ANGRY: This hitting and tantrum throwing has been on the agenda for too long. When is it going to get any better? If I were Ironman I would have shot one of those light balls out of my hands - not at her, but close enough to scare her real bad! Instead, I immediately threatened her with a spanking the minute we got home.

  2. RELIEVED: I do thank God the hot chocolate was not hot enough to burn Jackson's little face. I just cringe at the thought.

  3. EMBARRASSED: What? My child acting this way? I wanted to crawl in the nearest hole.

  4. DONE: I was about ready to bawl. It had been a hectic morning looking forward to a busy afternoon and I was ready to call it quits.
All in about 2 seconds...

Thankfully a few things happened that I will attribute to God's grace. Jackson immediately started laughing. What healthy five year old, "nothing but boy" wouldn't find it hilariously funny to be doused with water and globs of undissolved hot cocoa mix all over his face in church. Then our pastor's wife walked by with their child Josi who is in a wheelchair due to cerebral palsy. Shelly casually mentions that she had spilled an entire pitcher of lemonade on their kitchen floor yesterday. Perspective makes a come back.

By the time we got home, I had cooled my jets (and Ironman fire balls). I did not spank her, but Maren and I had a long talk. I know there is only so much reasoning you can do with a four year old, but I did see the look on her face when she saw what she did to her cousin and best buddy Jackson (They have been "married" at least three times - no kissing) We talked about holding her hands together real tight against her tummy and taking three big breaths instead of hitting - and I saw her use it tonight when she was tempted to wail on her sister while they were arguing over the Barbie's. So maybe this was the lesson she (and momma) needed to learn. I'll keep you posted.

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