Please don't think that I am writing this to put my little daughter in a bad light, or that I am trying to complain. Yes, it's been a challenging couple of days for sure, but this is just part of life, part of my job as a mom-- especially with a young child, and especially when that young child happens to be quite temperamental! :) I'm writing this because I'm grateful that God has given me perspective just when I needed it most.
If I am discouraged, it's because Annabelle went through a stage almost exactly like this, although not quite as drawn out, right around the time she turned two. I remember thinking after things had calmed down a bit and she had returned to her normal happy self-- "Wow, great, all that discipline and instruction got through to her! I can see her maturing and learning, growing and changing. Praise the Lord." Well, obviously, the Lord needed me to teach her these lessons again... and I am pretty sure that I still had something to learn as well! I'm trying to realize that and stay consistent, trusting that God will bless my efforts and turn the discipline into lessons learned for my girl (and me too) yet again.
One thing that I have re-learned in the past couple days is the lesson of prayer. I have realized that it is not just each day that needs to begin in prayer; sometimes, it is each moment. Each time I go to discipline her. Each time-out, each spanking, each talk afterwards. When I am at the end of my rope because tantrum follows tantrum with hardly a moment of peace in between, when I am exhausted and in tears because I just don't know what else to do: "Lord help me. Give me wisdom, give me patience. Give me love and understanding for my child in this moment." And somehow, He always does. He is faithful if I only ask. I still have SO MUCH to learn, so far to go-- but He will help me.
After a very rough morning, she finally calmed down, parked herself in the laundry basket and proceeded to watch Little Einsteins while mommy took the opportunity to shower. A redeeming moment of extreme cuteness, for sure. Look at that cute little face.
Last night, Jeremy and I went on a date. I know when I need a little space from my kids, and it was time. And oh, I was so refreshed. A couple hours of good conversation and hand-holding with my honey as well as Tahoe Joe's shrimp, steak and cheesecake (yum) topped off with a pomegranate mojito (another yum)-- JUST what I needed. Date nights are a must!!
Caitlyn was so sweet to come and babysit for us, and while here she told us of the horrible tragedy that befell one of Stephanie's mommy friends. Heart-breaking.... I can't even imagine. What a reminder that news was. Our children are given to us for such a short time-- they will grow up so fast, or maybe even be taken from us, such as this little boy was. Every moment must be cherished. Even the difficult ones. God has graciously given me this child to train and teach, and I pray I will do it with a glad and grateful heart... it means she is mine, for now. She and all the challenges that come with her, but also all the many, many blessings and delights. And even in these times of struggle, I am going to cherish all that I can. Her sweet little voice saying "I'm sorry", the hug that we share afterwards, those precious teary blue eyes looking into mine as I cup her baby chin in my hand while I talk to her.
I hold her a little closer and tighter now when we pray together each time, just so she still knows how much, how very very much I love her.
She's still my amazing little girl, my blessing.