Saturday, November 22, 2008

Day of Defiance

I would like to be blogging about the super fun day I've had with my son while Curt was speaking at a youth retreat. Not so much. It's a good thing I had my quiet time today. Although honestly I can't tell that I did. I'm in a very intense mood and if a smile comes over my face it was put there by force. I just know I would be feeling even worse if I hadn't met with God first thing.

Today has been a major battle of wills between Jackson and me. I should have known what kind of day it was going to be when, during breakfast, I looked over at Jackson in his high chair and saw him squeezing his banana with both hands. He smiled at me so slyly. It wasn't the action as much as the expression on his face that was the indicator of trouble ahead.

Basically, my son woke up with a hard heart and not one consequence he's faced all day has softened it. As soon as the sting of one consequence fades, the spirit of defiance comes right back. I've tried all my tricks and then some. Today nothing is working. He's not learning from any of it.

This has got me thinking about the difference between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow, which Paul talks about in 2 Corinthians 7:8-10:
Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

Meanwhile I can't stop looking at the clock, wondering why 7:00 is taking so very long to get here. Today's been a battle, and I feel that I'm winning, but I'd rather not have had to fight it in the first place.

41 comments:

Mommy Dot Com said...

I remember those days. And you are winning b/c you haven't given up. Love perseveres and never fails. It may feel like we're failing but really we're simply persevering. Unfailing love is a love that doesn't quit.

Ashley McWhorter said...

We are going through the exact same thing with my 2 year old daughter. With her being our second, you think we would already know the exact steps to take. Amazing how different two siblings can be. My husband walked through the door the other day with Dobson's Strong Willed Child. Have you read it?

Praying for you and your sweet family!

Leslie said...

I've had days like this, and sometimes just making it until bedtime is a win!

What a great reminder that our time with God is so important! We never know what the rest of our day is going to be like! Thanks for your honesty:) Hope tomorrow is better!!

3girlsmom said...

Oh girl. I am so sorry it has been a rough day. Those days are so hard.
Remember that tomorrow will be better. It always is when kids are concerned.
And tonight, after he's asleep, go watch him sleep. Something about watching the most wonderful thing in your life sleep will ease a lot of today's frustration. I know it does for me.

Praying for you and hoping tomorrow's better.

Robyn

Lauren said...

Keep up the good work, Amanda. You are a great mom, especially with God's help, and Jackson will be better for it. Train up your child, sister!

Linsey said...

I'm so sorry to hear about days like that. Being a worn out pregnant mom of a toddler is hard on our spirit. Just think of it as preparation of the road ahead...but with more smiles, hopefully! I will pray that little Tachi will wake up with a loving, cuddly demeanor (and if that isn't the case, I will pray that Curtis gets him out of the house for a few hours!). Hang in there!

Allison said...

I had a friend tell me recently "I am a firm believer that God doesn't give us more than we can handle, but lately I'm wondering just what He thinks I'm made of!" Sounds like you had one of those days! :) Thank goodness for early beditmes.

Mary - Joy Filled Living said...

ahh Amanda, what a day you've had. Some days are just .... well, just hard. And sometimes the little people are just defiant and the best we can ask for is just to make it through the day. Praying that tomorrow is easier for you.

twinkle said...

Do you point your finger just like your mom? I love that when she gets "the look" and that finger comes up pointing! There is so much power in a look, pointing finger, and hand on the hip...even if you're a size 0.
Hang in there. I know he's experiencing some godly sorrow over his behavior!

Michele Helms said...

It won't be the last!!! Those days sure are hard! Sometimes I think the Lord is trying to teach us as much about ourselves as He is wanting to reach the heart of our child. It is on those days of "squeezing" that what we are filled with truly comes out!

courtney said...

how i wish 7:00 were bedtime some nights...i have to stick it out until 8, which comes oh so slowly on days like this!

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

I hear ya! Sometimes 8 hours seems like 24 when you are waiting for the cavalry to arrive!

jmfried11 said...

Hang in there! I want you to know that your honesty about the hard days is such an encouragement to me (and perhaps others) who do not have children yet. Thanks for being real. Praying for good rest for you tonight, and for grace abundant tomorrow!

beyond this moment said...

Oh, but he *is* learning Amanda!

He is learning that you are safe and consistent.

He is learning that the rules are the rules and you aren't changing them because you are frustrated.

He's learning that he is still ok, and life still goes on, even when he can't have his way.

He is also learning that no matter how many buttons he pushes and boundaries he crosses, his Mommy loves him.

Hang in there. Pregnancy with a toddler is so hard, but the rewards are worth it.

Big Mama said...

Bless your heart.

Cheri-Beri said...

I agree with all the comments. You only really lose when you give up. My son nearly killed me at Jackson's age - and the years directly before and after his age :-)

I have a feeling God is going to bless you with a very mellow daughter. He blessed me with one! I joke (not so my son can hear) that she's our reward for not leaving him by the side of the road for wild wolves to raise.

((((((hugs)))))))

Sherry said...

How well I remember the battle-of-the-wills phase! It is a phase and there will be many more different ones to come. Phases, however, are temporary :)

Let me assure that at these times, he is learning but isn't applying it yet.

Keep up the good work. I know it isn't fun feeling like the Wicked Witch of the South, but your love and example will pay off in the end.

The Bargain Shopper Lady said...

Hang in there! You're such a great mom!

MamaCass said...

I was just reading an article on defiance and then I checked your blog and saw the title. These are hard times my friend. There are many days that I don't even recognize Tobey and then the next day he is back to his sweet self. Hang in there!

willblogforshoes said...

Maybe he's getting it all out of his system before Baby Girl gets here... cause I'll tell you that it is EXTREMELY difficult to deal with it when there's a baby around!

{{HUGS}} to you!

taralous said...

It feels so much better knowing you're not the only one going through definance times! Goodness! The squeezing the banana with a sly smile cracked me up. My 19month old son does this kind of thing all the time. Like looking at me with 'that look' as he SLAMS the cabinet or even his hand on the wall! At least he isn't banging his head like my little guys is right now! Good golly miss molly these are some tough times but yes these too shall pass and then people always say you will do anything to have these times when they are little and you can hold them, back again....ahhh bittersweet. Keep posting if you find anything that works!! :)
Also I'm so excited for you having a little girl! I have one 19 month old boy and a 3 month old little girl and let's just say I loved little boy stuff but girl stuff is oh my! SO FUN! :) Blessings!

Lisa said...

Oh My do I know where you are coming from. I have been learning so many lessons about my obedience to God from my sweet 3 year old boy. When I say something to him like "this is the 10th time we've had a timeout for the same thing today" it makes me think about my obedience to God, my repenting and how endless His patience and grace are to me. Some good news though, my 2nd child, a girl, is only 17 months old, hardly talks and is already listening up and obeying better than her 3 year old brother. Basically she has it much easier because of that. I am so glad that God is the ultimate parent. Because I don't love either of my kids less just because one has a harder time obeying, I know that God, THE parent doesn't love me any less when I have trouble obeying.
BTW, I just bought myself a neti pot like you talked about on another post and tried it. It wasn't instant pain relief, but I am still hopeful.
I will be praying for you, Curtis and Jackson.

Honea Household said...

I had some kind of morning with my daughter...before church of all things. I had to have some prayer time with the Lord before I started singing because my heart just hurt. She threw a fit from the time we started getting dressed (about clothes and shoes of all things!) until we got in the car. I spanked her three times, she stayed in her room, too. When we got in the car, she was just pouting and said, "Y'all hurt my feelings this morning."

I had to explain to her that I have to answer to God for the way that I parent her and if I continue to let her act disrespectful to us and throw a ridiculous fit, I'm not doing my job. It is so hard!!!

I feel your pain!

bethany said...

Hang in there girl...this posting is coming late afternoon on Sunday for you and I hope that you've had a better day with Jackson!
I understand all too well with my nephew (almost 3 also) and my students (preschool age). Some days are tough...but you are so right about the impossiblility of getting through them without beginning the day on the right start!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Yes, yes and yes.

Only I'm dealing with an extremely spirited 10-month-old who will not sleep for anything.

I'm exhausted.

This war WILL be won by the Mommy. But some days, I just want to crawl under a bush and have someone else lead the charge for a while.

Kari said...

Hang in there! Our third son had day after day of what you described!! BUT, he is now four and while those days do still appear they appear so much less now. So, keep winning the battles now and you will reap the benefit in the very near future!!

Becca said...

Days like that are so hard. Hang in there. You are winning by God's grace and the commitment you've made to be a good Mom. It's when we throw our hands in the air and give up that we really lose. Thankfully the next day is usually better!

Sharon said...

I can relate, Amanda. My youngest daughter (3.5 yrs old) is going through a phase of defiance. In just the last two weeks I've gotten after her sticking stickers all over our cabinets and floors, drawing all over herself, and most recently, for taking a pair of scissors to our bedsheets! Yes, our bedsheets! I'm grateful it wasn't her hair. Lord help us! Parenting is tough.

Hang in there, dear sister! You are doing a great job. God Bless you.

JenB said...

I wrote a post yesterday about almost the same thing. The 'daddy hour' as my friend calls it. That hour or so before daddy gets home when kids are tired and crazy and you are tired and crazy yourself. Unfortunately those times, like yesterday for you are times when we are just surviving. But apparently they do grow up and usually become pretty normal people. Here's hoping! :)

redheadcsm said...

Ooohhh...those are the days we earn those parenting stripes! It's on days like those, when can see them testing me, knowing that they're trying to find where the boundaries are what might happen if they happily right on past them that I see just how important it is to be consistent and to not let them get their own little way just because "she's only 2". I keep telling myself I will be gratified - rewarded isn't quite the right word - when they're grown up and they're sweet, polite women people like to be near!

R said...

motherhood is so full of ups and downs, isn't it? it's frustrating.

Becca said...

Oh..the fun I have to look forward to! You are such a gret mommy, Amanda!

Georgia Jan said...

Amanda: I remember those days - I just took a trip down Memory Lane to when my two boys were Jackson's age, and they are now 24 and 27! I can absolutely imagine Jackson's face while he was squeezing that banana - oh yes he LOVED doing it.

Boys - oh my, I love them!

Keep being consistent above all, especially in your loving discipline. I know it's hard when you are tired and pregnant - been there too. The battles will be won NOW and I promise you - when he is 15 and 16, you'll be so thankful you stood by the stuff!

You are a precious Momma!

Much Love,
Georgia Jan

Cindy-Still His Girl said...

I hope Sunday was a better day for you!

That strong will and determination your little guy has will be great strengths for him down the road; it is just figuring out how to direct it and channel it that way. :) Everything is harder when you're pregnant, I think!

Gayle said...

(((Hugs))) Amanda. I agree with Robyn...watch him sleep, it makes all the difference in the world.

Mel @ Studio MCA Designs said...

Oh, you bring back some memories. My oldest is so strong-willed, and when she was Jackson's age, I would often go to bed at night in tears. My Melancholy, people-pleasing personality type could not understand why she had to do things "the hard way". Today she is 18 and totally loves the Lord. She is just as strong-willed about her faith and decision to follow Jesus at any cost. For this I am thankful.

Alice said...

I had a horrid day with my almost-3-year-old yesterday and just blogged about. Then I popped over to your blog and saw the same thing. Oddly enough, it made me feel better...:-) But I'm sorry you had a rough day.

fuzzytop said...

Oooh those are tough days.... I remember a day like that when my son was about 4, and he had been instigating fights with his sister (age 6) all day. Nothing was working, so I finally put him in his room by himself for about 30 minutes. I went out to pick up the mail, and because his bedroom window was right by the door, I noticed that there was something seriously wrong with his mini blind - all the slats were hanging down. So, I went into his room to discover that he had snuck a pair of scissors into his room and he had been busy cutting the strings on the mini blinds. I was pretty steamed....! Hang in there... If you give in to defiance, it seems to get worse, and worse.....

Adrienne

Dionna said...

Sorry about your tough day, Amanda. I don't know what gets into us sometimes! Our kiddos just wake up bent on not listening to us. The same goes for us - we wake up sometimes just bent on being irritated, grumpy, or in a "get out of my way" kind of mode.
I am so glad that God brought that Scripture to your mind to help you put it all into perspective.

Jennifer said...

I'm glad I'm not the only who has those "off" days. But, thank you for the reminder that we are still winning this fight.

http://jennifer-asag.blogspot.com/

katiegfromtennessee said...

Greetings Little Momma:)

Wow, I see what you are saying about the hard heart, godly sorrow, and worldly sorrow. The propensity to operate out of the flesh as soon as any chastening is over is strong in any of us. We have to learn and change at some point, right? God uses children to teach us many things, doesn't He? Godly sorrow is what we should want; more than that, what we need, amen? Keep shepherding His heart, Little Momma, my prayer for my nephews and niece and my children(?) is for them to know the Lord early in life. I have prayed that for your Jackson, too:)

Love in CHRIST,

katiegfromtennessee