Friday, June 13, 2008

Oh, Annabelle.

What else can I say, really? This tiny little 23-pound two-year old of mine with sweet blond curls and beautiful blue eyes has made the last few days very hard. Throwing fits, whining, screaming, temper tantrums-- you name it. Continually, no matter what we do or where we go. Today, we even had a big ol' showdown in the middle of Home Depot that ended with my leaving the store, my cart and the shopping items sitting in the middle of the aisle, me with Emma in tow as I headed out to the car with a screaming Annabelle tucked under my arm. There was no way she was getting away with it just because we weren't at home. After many, many "battles" (that word really does describe it) like this in the past few days, I am exhausted and worn down, I am slightly discouraged, and I am tired of disciplining my child. It breaks my heart after so many times and so many tears.

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.
She doesn't look like she could cause any trouble....

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.


Megan said...

Wow. Talk about being ministered to. Thank you Talia. I love your honesty and it's clear how much you love your beauty of a daughter. Your going back to your source of strength is what really encouraged me today. Wow, your girls are blessed to have you. They really, really are.

Band of Brothers said...

Oh Talia, how I can relate. My sweet little Calvin has been giving me a run for my money lately. And I just finished reading how Solomom asked for wisdom and was granted it exceedlingly. I think it pleases God when we ask for his wisdom, because it means we realize we can't do it on our own. And just remember, even if you think your training isn't working, just imagine if you did NOTHING.Can you imagine the terrors our children would be? Even when I fail to get through to my children, I encourage myself by saying, "boy, I am getting lots of pratice here!"

Keep on, you are doing great!

Lisa said...

OK I'm going to have to file this one away for a couple years from now when my little one is throwing a fit.

You are such a good mommy!

Steph Corwin said...

Gosh I know, isn't it something like that to give you a nice wakeup call. Give the girls two big hugs from their cousin.

But for your sake I hope things improve with Annabelle. I do love the picture of her in the laundry basket, and am glad you got a date night with your husband! Sounds like it was a nice getaway!

Sarah Marie said...

I loved this post. Talia, you are the biggest sweetheart ever and SUCH a good mom. This entry was so sweet and thoughtful... it made me cry. You are so kind and patient and wise, I really hope to be a mom just like you one day. I'm glad you got a date night with your hubby- it sounds perfect! That picture of Annabel and you is SO cute and of course you gotta love that laundry basket. And I hope things keep getting better with your girlie.

Talia said...

thank you girls for your sweet encouraging words. I feel like I definitely do not deserve your good opinion of me, but I am still so grateful. :)
And, I am happy to report that while today has not been perfect, Annabelle is MUCH better than last week so far!

lorieloo said...

Gosh I feel so inspired by you. How many times I don't take that extra minute to pray before I react. And such an impact it would have on me and my boy. Thanks for the reminder friend!

Paulette said...

Lorie was just telling me how your girls remind her so much of mine and I definitely relate to this post!! Your words bring perspective and encouragement to my sometimes weary spirit!

Jenny said...

I have to join the chorus and say "thank you" for this post. Dealing with a willful two-year-old is exhausting at times :-) It is so hard to keep up the training when you don't feel like it's sinking in, but God is faithful!