Thursday, February 26, 2009

This Isn't Going to Work for Us

I have depended so much on my hubby lately. He's been taking Jackson to and from school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It's helped tremendously, particularly in the mornings. It's only a 15 minute drive, but then I'd actually have to get out of the car and be seen by people. And I'm not really sure I'm fit to drive so early in the morning.

Today Curtis not only took Jackson to school, but he also offered to come home for the lunch hour and chill with Annabeth so I could join my mom and co-workers at Panera. How sweet! I took him up on it and had a great time with the girls. Then I thought I should buck up and try my first school pickup with the baby in tow. I really haven't wanted to take her in at such a young age. Can you imagine all the germs floating around in that air? *Shudder* And February has to be the worst month for the flu, RSV, and stomach viruses. I mean, everyone we know is or has just been sick.

I got baby girl in the car and, of course, was running later than I had ever been. We arrived just in time. I had considered carrying her in the building in my sling, but opted for the stroller because of outfit issues. I draped a light blanket over her infant carrier to be her force field from germs. That probably doesn't even work, but it made me feel better. Inside we went, visiting with my friend Renee on the way. Everything was going well at that point. I felt some butterflies because I could tell that most kids had already been picked up. I hate that feeling.

Then I arrived at Jackson's classroom. I quickly found out that the teachers began implementing a new reward system today. The little boys who obeyed the teachers well would get to take home a new Matchbox car. My little boy did not qualify for this reward. Dang. It. And he was absolutely devastated. Matchbox cars are the greatest thing in his world. So there I was, alone in public for the first time with my two children, and one of them was having the biggest meltdown of his entire life.

Meanwhile, the teachers were meeting Annabeth for the first time. What should have been a sweet moment was a blur. All I could do was think about how to keep my son from spiraling out of control before we made it to the car. Oops! Too late! Let me be clear that I LOVE his teachers and his school. And I totally understand that this reward system is great and will bear much fruit, yada, yada, yada. But oh my word, this is not going to work for us. It cannot be like this every time I pick him up. Oh, please, please, Jackson, learn to obey your teachers the first time! As much as I'd like to voice how much this system isn't going to work for us, he is the one who's going to have to change.

What seemed like ten minutes later, we finally arrived at the car. The weeping and gnashing of teeth showed no signs of stopping. Before we even got out of the parking lot, I was crying too. Not even from embarrassment or frustration. I was so sad for my boy. I know he didn't deserve a reward, but my heart hurt for him. He kept crying, "Race car at school! Race car at school!" Just picture your own kid at his or her most devastated state, and that's how Jackson was. It lasted ten more minutes until I threatened him with "rest time" once we got home and then found a suitable distraction. It may or may not have been a McFlurry. If it was, does that make me the worst mom of all time? Actually, don't answer that. I already know and I won't do it again.

So I guess today was my first taste of one of my children experiencing consequences I had no control over. My brain says he needs it, but my heart says ouch. If this works it will be so great, but if it doesn''s going to be a long Spring.


Colored With Memories said...

oh my...that sounds awful...and you described it oh so well....

i would opt to do drop off duty from now on and get daddy to do pick up duty for a til the end of the year!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...


I cannot tell you how much I love your posts. Forgive me for not commenting more often.

I have finally, after months of wanting to, entered the blog world. Holly and Patty were so kind to help me get started. I now understand how much the comments mean. In just a couple of weeks, I feel like I have made so many new friends.

You have inherited your Moms "gift of writing"! In my humble opinion, she is "the best of the best"!

How I love "little boy stories"! I am blessed with 3 little grandsons and another arriving in June. And I am sitting here now wanting to put a little car in the mail.

Thanks for sharing your life was us. So many days you have brightened my day.
I pray tomorrow is a BRIGHT and FUN day for you.

Teresa said...

All I'm gonna say is, "Oh that we as Mothers didn't have to bear the burdens of our children's hurt". It is too much. My two are 13 and 17 years old and it DOES NOT get easier. I still feel badly when they have to suffer the consequences of their own bad decisions. I still "reward" them for bad choices that others have punished them for. My heart still breaks at their tears and longing.
Wish it were better advice but all I can say is 1. Love him 2. Remember he is only a LITTLE boy who has to function in a BIG world. I think you are a good Mom. The McFlurry sounds awesome. :)

Rachel said...

My mom, the wisest woman I know, sent me an email entitled "39 Lessons, 20 Tips and 10 "Don'ts" For Parenting". Lesson #18 states, "On some days, it's just fine to accomplish nothing more than keeping your kids fed and safe." I think a McFlurry falls under that category, right? No judgment here!!! : )

debra parker said...

Being a parent is such hard work. Poor little guy. As much as he loves those cars he may just find his way to them.

Sara said...

Oh I remember that!

My oldest has problems anyway, havent really gotten it diagnosed but he has many problems (sleep issues, behavior issues, he's one of those kids that everything has to stay the same for or he's a basket case). Our school came up with a similar preschool reward system which was candy for the "good kids." My kid was only a good kid two times (I remember exactly because it was so tramatic for me) the whole year. Sadder still was he got used to not getting anything. SIGH

Now he's in first grade and while he's still not the good kid all the time. He gets to go to the surprise box more often. One week he got to go three days in a row. And just last week, the teacher in his reading class said that Alex was the only one who knew whatever thing they were doing, I don't even understand it. But I can't even tell you how proud I was.

The mcFlurry doesn't make you a bad mom. We do what we do to survive.

Congrats on surviving an outting with both piglets. It gets better! I promise.

Melissa said...

Noogs, I am so ticked Jackson did not get a matchbox car. Ticked. The McFlurry was brilliant.

Jackson's Aunt.

Anonymous said...

well, i taught kindergarten for 4 yrs before becoming a school counselor and my 1st two years we had a "treasure chest" that the kids could go to on friday if they had been "good" all week. well some of my kiddos, sweet as they were, were just not gonna make the treasure chest. it wasn't that they were "bad," they just couldn't follow all the rules for five whole days in a row! and boy would we have weeping and gnashing of teeth on friday afternoons. i hated this. so i changed my system and it was very successful. instead of having treasure chest on fridays for kids that were good all week, we didn't have any designated treasure chest day. i made a chart and the kids earned stars anytime i noticed they were really doing a good job. once they earned 10 stars (which could take 5 days for one child or 8 for another), they would get to go to the treasure chest. that way, if they had a bad day on monday, they weren't out of luck for treasure chest on friday. knowing that they could go as soon as they got those 10 stars kept them motivated....just an idea to throw out there....however, i don't know that i would propose it to the teacher until some time has passed. who knows, they may be like me and hate to see the tears as well and change it! but i would get hubs to pick him up in the meantime! :)

FitzandMolly said...

Oh, I'm so thankful that you and I can start the worst moms club together. Moriah had a total meltdown on Tuesday b/c my mom (who teaches at the school & is on her break when I get Moriah) was out on a field trip & forgot to tell us she wouldn't be there. Moriah kept saying, "I want to see her...I don't want to go home...Why we can't see her?" The only thing that I could think of to console her was a strawberry shake from Sonic. Yes, I am teaching my child the valuable lesson of emotional eating. "Here Baby - you're sad. Have some ice cream."

Kylie said...

My little boy just turned 3 and a few months ago, he was offered a reward of a matchbox car if he sat really still while getting his hair cut. This was offered by the hair stylist, not me, because I knew he could not sit still for a hair cut. Afterward, the lady actually did not want to give him the reward! Appalled at her dangling this before him and not giving it to him, I praised him for his behavior, which really was good in my opinion, knowing just how bad it could have been, and gave him the car :) So don't feel bad about the McFlurry! Anyway, I know what you mean... Seeing our boys sad is SO hard! My guess is, he will be an angel next week and get his new matchbox from his teachers!

Sarah said...

If it makes you feel any better, my three yr. old had a major fit in the middle of the food court at the mall last Thursday. When the mall was buzzing with tons of extra people due to a high school wrestling tournament.

We were thankfully on our way out of the mall, but had stopped to get ice cream before heading home. I was highly embarrassed.
Caleb proceeded to bawl (loudly) through the food court, to the van, 1/2 way home, you get the picture... Then we got home, he ate his ice cream (which is how the fit started in the first place - we traded his kids' meal toy in for ice cream and then he changed him mind after the fact) and all was fine.

kittyhox said...

The first day I brought our new baby to pick up our 2.5 year old from preschool all heck broke loose. It was very similar to your experience, without the matchbox cars to make things much crazier. Sorry that happened to you guys. It will get better in no time.

TOTALLY know what you mean about your heart hurting when his does. When they're this age things like their favorite toy in the whole world are so important to them! My son goes bonkers over any sort of small-sized vehicle. It's not a trivial hurt at all and I'd be crying for him, too. The McFlurry was a perfect compensation prize. You didn't run out and buy him another matchbox car.

My son would NOT handle that kind of reward system well. People have advised us to motivate him with potty training with some reward that he could earn, but I just know the moment we even mentioned something great he would lose all sense of time and be devastated that he couldn't have it right at that moment. He's just not that mature. Like the time I tried to explain that the first time he went to the dentist (in several months) he'd also get the reward of going to Chuck E Cheese afterward. (They have C.E.C. commercials on some of his favorite shows and he had no idea what it even was, but had been asking about it for weeks.) Well, guess what. His Dad took him the next day because he's such a softie and couldn't bear his little boy's disappointment that he couldn't go immediately.

Our kids' hearts are the whole world to us. How I wish we could wrap them up in bubble wrap and keep anyone or anything from hurting them!

Gran Jan said...

Oh Amanda - your post brought back mommy memories and it made my heart hurt. (My "boys" are 24 and 27 years old...) There is nothing worse than someone ELSE disciplining your boy and you know it's for good, but it hurts, oh it hurts. It's so hard because you want to reinforce the discipline, but you want to comfort...

You hang in there girl - it will get better and better. At age 3 he will grow and mature by leaps and bounds - trust me.

My youngest LOVED hotwheel cars and "micromotor machines" and I went everywhere with them in my purse.

You're precious - hangest thou in there girl -

Much Love,
Georgia Jan

Gran Jan said...

Oh Amanda - your post brought back mommy memories and it made my heart hurt. (My "boys" are 24 and 27 years old...) There is nothing worse than someone ELSE disciplining your boy and you know it's for good, but it hurts, oh it hurts. It's so hard because you want to reinforce the discipline, but you want to comfort...

You hang in there girl - it will get better and better. At age 3 he will grow and mature by leaps and bounds - trust me.

My youngest LOVED hotwheel cars and "micromotor machines" and I went everywhere with them in my purse.

You're precious - hangest thou in there girl -

Much Love,
Georgia Jan

Rose said...

I think you did nothing wrong!! Good for you to try to mend his little broken heart. something similar happen to me, now everyday from here til he goes back, remind him to obey you (and when he does immediately praise him) and always tell reference school, like this was great, thank you for obeying me, when you go to school, remember to obey teachers the first time. . . before you know it he will get a car and the joy, will make up for all the other days! Trust me I've been there!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh being a mom is sooo hard some days. ((hugs)) I had one of those days today too. Now my incident is not a discipline issue but rather a "I understand your mommy heart breaking".

My DD(14) competed in the regional spelling bee today. If she won the next step was the national bee in Washington, DC. Now mind you this is my girl's category...she's a wicked good speller. Always has been. She used to read the dictionary because she liked learning new words. :) We were so excited for her today. What happened? She missed her first word and by one letter. Bee over for her.

My heart fell to the floor for her. I wanted to rush the stage and demand a new word! I know completely silly but I was so sad. I watched from the audience as her face fell when they said I'm sorry that is incorrect. I so wanted to hug her right then but had to wait till the end of the competition.

Oh some days are just hard mommy days and they call for an occasional McFlurry! ;) We had Shamrock Shakes. *wink*

I think what is important is what you take from the experience. My DD and I talked at length about it afterwards. I really felt the Lord impress upon my heart that sometimes He does things to protect us. So maybe He was protecting us from something that would have happened on the trip to DC? We may not know why on this side of glory but it comforted her to think that God had this all in the palm of His hand. It all worked out as it was supposed to. That was our JOY in it. (I always tell my children to find the JOY in something bothering them.)

So what did God want you to learn from the experience today? What is the JOY in it? It could be that it's just as simple as getting to enjoy some time out of the house with your two precious babes and a McFlurry. :)

Just remember this you are a good mommy! The fact that you were concerned shows that immensely.


McClure Family said...

oh, girl. I feel your pain. I am so sorry that his feelings were hurt. It hurt mine to even think of that happening!

Katie said...

I am a preschool teacher....I feel so sorry for your little Man.... please give him a big hug for me...I never allow my children to leave my class crying...self esteem is so VERY IMPORTANT!! If or WHEN he has a bad day.... search and find out what he did good that day.... then YOU reward him for doing something GREAT!! I always reward children... every child has bad days... can always find something good in each child... GOD DID!!!

Rachel said...

I have no words but dern!

Sending you lots of love,

The Milams said...

Worst part of parenthood for me---watching my boys face the consequences of their actions!

Give that boy a Mcflurry. I bet he figures out the whole "car thing" before long and will have a collection of them before you know it.

Haley said...

I feel your pain! Right now, that's probably one of the hardest things of being a parent. I want to say yes to my 3 year old EVERY time, even when she doesn't deserve it. I'll be praying for you! I'm sure that you are going to have many amazing moments out and about with your children, so don't worry about this little incident :-)

Kiki said...

My heart hurts for Jackson. Sweet boy.

Your a great mom, McFlurry and all.

Kolby wouldn't have gotten a matchbox car either.

Leslie said...

Object lesson: judgment and Mercy. Good parenting!

LOL I totally understand.

Just wait until he's 13 and cries over a girl. Your heart will die.


WendyBrz said...

Dear Amanda,
It has been delightful to discover your blog. Today's post touched my heart! I taught 2 1/2-year-olds at a Christian preschool for nearly ten years, and those little boys and girls were such a joy. As they all turned 3 , I watched them g-r-o-w emotionally - you'll be amazed by the end of the year!

Of course this has been a wonderful, yet stressful time for your whole family, and your little guy is going to release some of that tension now and then, especially with the high-stakes world of Matchbox in the mix.

Your tender mother-heart, on the other hand, will never outgrow its sensitivity. My precious daughter is a college sophomore, and five hours away I still feel every joy and pain as keenly as when she was a newborn. You know when they do the little heel-prick blood test on your baby and the tears just jump out of your eyes and your stomach sinks? It keeps on happening for the rest of your life. What a burden, but really, truly, what an incredible, amazing gift to be so linked to these little human beings that we literally feel their pain, be it physical or emotional. How blessed is a mama!

If I know anything, it's preschoolers, and if you'll permit me to offer you just a tiny bit of advice, I will say that if you can, hide your emotions from Jackson regarding this whole reward thing. The key here is to be confident and matter of fact with him. You want to inspire confidence in him, and kids can sense our "fear" uncannily. So just (as I bet you're already doing) smile at him with that beautiful, peaceful smile you have, and say, "Oh, honey, I know you can be the best boy your teacher ever saw and one day very soon you will earn that brand new car."

And if it's any consolation, when my daughter was in the 2's, the teachers called me in to tell me that she was not progressing with potty training to their satisfaction. As we discussed it, Betsy skipped over to the alphabet carpet and said, "Look, I tinkled on M for Mommy!"

Tara G. said...

I'm not going to touch with a ten foot pole what I think about the reward system. Maybe you can stick his own cars in your pocket for pick-up time.

If it makes you feel any better, my boy had to be taken home from a birthday party that he had looked forward to for a week. He screamed the entire way home and I felt so bad- he just didn't get it that Alexander wouldn't have another party for a year to try again at.

Lesley said...

Bless your heart! I am right there with you at this very minute! I ran across your blog and just had to tell you that my little boy is four and is going through this very same thing at school. I don't know how to deal with these behaviors and consequences that I have NO control over, either! It's tough. I've been doing a LOT of praying and begging God to help my son make better choices at school. Peer pressure is a hard thing to stand up to when you're four! I wish you the best of luck and hope that things get better! You aren't alone!

Anonymous said...

Just wait until you're dropping off three kids at three schools in two counties!

Or the day when you've been knee-deep in scrubbing toilets and all that other nasty stuff you've let slide and you almost forget to pick them up and you've got greasy hair and haven't had a shower and walk in wishing you had a paper bag to cover your head!

Or when a phone call from day care wakes you up because you accidentally fell asleep and didn't pick up your kid on time!

And yes, i have personally experienced all three.

i think i have you beat on the Worst Mommy Award! A McFlurry isn't even a Mommy Misdemeanor! :-)

It really does get better, though. Hang in there!

lori said...

Awe that is sad. Good thinking with the mcflurry, mine was always a carmel sunday.

Unknown said...

McFlurry equals grace. Don't feel too bad. Sometimes we all get something we don't derserve. Still a teachable moment with your son and a great way to talk to him about God's grace on a level he can understand.
Don't be too hard on yourself. You are doing great!

jennyhope said...

my heart says ouch and I don't like the prize system. I am such a bad mom I would have run out and bought her!!!! or maybe just chic-fil-a.

Marla Taviano said...

From one fabulous mother to another, I have the perfect idea.

Just tell him that when he's bad at school and doesn't get a matchbox car, Mommy will buy him a new one on the way home. :)

Oh, Amanda, I'm so sorry! I'd be half tempted to just take him out of pre-school. None of my girls went, and they survived kindergarten just fine. My middle one is a melt-downer, and sometimes I just have NO IDEA what to do about it.

Pray and pray and pray. And I'll pray for the little guy too. It's so hard to know when he needs a life lesson and when he needs to be cut some slack since a new little sister just came along and ransacked his world.

I love you!!

Lydia said...

I completely understand and feel your pain! My 3 year old boy has the same reward system in his MDO as what the commenter "Jazzy J" mentioned above. But as far as I'm aware, he's still only managed to compile enough stars to do the "treasure bag" twice this entire school year. Yet he asks every Tuesday and Thursday if he will get to do treasure bag that day. I always have to tell him that if he's good, he'll get a star and if he gets enough stars he'll go to the treasure bag. My only problem is that his daily report always says he's good, but he still struggles with getting enough stars for treasure bag? I don't know. Unfortunately, these reward systems really don't work the best for boys in my opinion. Not much consolation, I know, but you can atleast know you're not alone.
And we have many days where we get a cone from Dairy Queen whether he earned a star at school or not. :)

Mary said...

Oh bless your heart. I feel for you! The great thing is that soon the sick season will be over and little miss can be around people!

Rhonda said...

While shopping this past Christmas season, we visited the cookie store, both boys in tow. Youngest had a cookie that broke in half, and the world stopped. Threw himself down on the floor in the U turn of the mall, wailing & nashing of teeth, end of the world. People literally stepping around us and looking at me with the look. On Thursdays like clockwork, oldest boy has emotional melt down- why can't I be like so & so? They got to go to the treasure chest & I didn't. Why can't I be good like so & so? I never thought boys were drama "kings" but oh how they are:) Just find comfort that when most are looking at you , the horror in their face is not because of you, but for you as they flashback to their own childrearing days.

The Wootens said...

Bless you heart! Yep! Congratulations! You have a three year old BOY! :) I can see mine having the exact same meltdown.

Rikki Kreger said...

My boy's report card consistently says "we are working on listening" and I feel that teacher's pain!! It is hard to see those consequences in our children's lives (thus my own discipline difficulties). I'm sorry it was so rough for you today!

The Wootens said...

By the way...I love Melissa's comment...just like an sister shows up on days when even I wouldn't give Noah a toy car...with a snow cone AND a bag of Hershey's kisses in-hand!

Kim ~ Kay Kay said...

LOL...Auntie Melissa!! Funny, now that's what I would have said if I was the auntie too!

Hard lessons for our children to learn! My heart goes out to him.
Hopefully by the time he goes back tomorrow he will have a better outlook!
Hang in there...God will bring peace once again.

Big Mama said...

This whole story makes me want to send that baby a Matchbox car.

And maybe some sugar cookies for you.

Holly Mathis Interiors said...

I am sort of with Marla Taviano..i mean i know you arent going to pull him out and dont need to over a little thing like that BUT my little guy HATED MDO and their rigid system and I DID pull him out..i figured i would just ruin him at home with extra mommy love;; now he is four and READY for preK in the fall ( I think, please GOd let him be ready)..after reading Eldredge's WILD AT HEART I was just convicted about the rigid system we force boys into (like expecting them to behave like girls at school and other places)..boys are wild, that is not an excuse for being BAD but i just feel boys/men have to fit in a "system" full of stress and rules their ENTIRE lives and i just wasnt ready to impose that on him at 3..i knew i made the right decision when he told me he didnt like to color because the teacher said he was not good at it if he did not "stay in the lines"..not saying no discipline or rules but we gotta cut our little men some slack..and love them up because they have a HARD journey ahead leading our world.

Beki said...

oh goodness I feel your pain....same thing happened to me about a month ago except the reward was a sucker or some kind of candy. Really hard to see their little hearts break but my little man has been listening to his teachers much better @ Mother's Day Out. You are too sweet!!! And a great mom!!

Tonya said...

Jackson sounds so much like my Jonah at that age - totally and completely obsessed with CARS! He's 6 now - and I can tell you it does get better. Your description of the meltdown really brought back memories for me. Don't feel bad about the McFlurry. It's moments like that when all you can think about is whatever will make your child happy again (and whatever will stop the screaming!). And to think - in the moments that we disobey and don't earn our matchbox car, it is then, right in the middle of our meltdown, that all the Lord really wants to do is take us for a McFlurry. Hang in there - you are doing a wonderful job!

AnnG said...

I can assure you this will not be the worst day of your life, nor will your son be permanently damaged from it. You on the other hand got a few minutes of peace and based on your experience at the school, I would say you deserved it. He'll make it through this stage and move onto others...!!!

Lauren said...

Awww, poor Jackson!!!!

Ang said...

I love reading your blog! I too have a "big" boy (he's 4) and have a new little girl on the way! It's neat to see your fun perspective on a lot of similar life events!

I just wanted to let you know that your beautiful girl has popped up on another of my fave blogs. Not in a bad way, actually in a very awesome way. I just wanted to share, and let you know that Annabeth's name alone is being used by God to comfort and heal(and not only for the auther, but for the many that still follow the Nischan journey).

Tammy is the God-Mother of my first roommate at a small Christian College in KY and I met her 11 years ago. Her husband is a prof at the college, and they opened their home many,many times over the course of the years to many students. They had a daughter who passed away many years ago, God continued to bless them with more children (1 adopted,others biologically), however they recently lost their son Nick to Brain Cancer. Please go visit her at and know that your family is being a blessing! (By the way you may want to take some tissues!)

Ang said...

I love reading your blog! I too have a "big" boy (he's 4) and have a new little girl on the way! It's neat to see your fun perspective on a lot of similar life events!

I just wanted to let you know that your beautiful girl has popped up on another of my fave blogs. Not in a bad way, actually in a very awesome way. I just wanted to share, and let you know that Annabeth's name alone is being used by God to comfort and heal(and not only for the auther, but for the many that still follow the Nischan journey).

Tammy is the God-Mother of my first roommate at a small Christian College in KY and I met her 11 years ago. Her husband is a prof at the college, and they opened their home many,many times over the course of the years to many students. They had a daughter who passed away many years ago, God continued to bless them with more children (1 adopted,others biologically), however they recently lost their son Nick to Brain Cancer. Please go visit her at and know that your family is being a blessing! (By the way you may want to take some tissues!)

Darlene R. said...

Oh Amanda, that makes my heart hurt for you! I work at the school that my oldest son goes to. It's part of our church.
Anyway, there has been a time or two when he has lost recess because he was told to "stop with all the talking!" and he "forgets" and talks again.
Even though I know that his teacher(one of my best friends)is
being totally fair and consistant with the rules, it hurts this mama's heart to see him sad over it.
I know that it's the best thing for him and his character is being shaped, but it stings.
Just know that all of us mommies face it and I'm sure we've all folded at some point, too! ;)
Jackson will learn to do what's right. Just keep doing what you're doing, because as far as I can tell you're an awesome mommy and Jackson and Annabeth are very blessed!

Julianne said...

Amanda, my heart just broke for you as I read your post tonight. I'm not loving this whole "Matchbox Car Reward" thing. My son is now 17, but back in the day, if the kids behaved, they got a piece of paper with a bear on it that was called a "Bear Hug" and don't you know if he didn't have it IN HAND when I got him each day! At least in the old system, the parents could choose the reward system. Five Bear Hugs in a row might have meant a Thomas Train at Toys R Us. But it was up to us! My boy would have really struggled with seeing others walk out the door of school with a coveted toy.

As I said, not loving it. :(

McFlurry = stroke of genius.

Keep keepin' on. It's a long road and you are just out of the driveway, girl!

Kelli said...

I hope you got a McFlurry too.

Holly said...

I am so sorry, friend. I TOTALLY would have taken him to Wal-mart and gotten him a car. Really.

Some things are learned over time...and sometimes...sometimes, dear one, you teach them about grace. And in the process, I believe that God nods a well done.

Ashley said...

Poor Jackson. And poor you. Makes me so sad. :(

Brittani's Holding Little Hands said...

Makes me just want to break down and mail that little sweetie a whole stinkin' set of matchbox cars! I feel certain there was at least some part of the day that he obeyed well, right?

I have a special place in my heart (and home:) for three year old boys that struggle to obey the first time. Every time I'm tempted to wish for a child who complies a bit easier, I am reminded that the strong will the Lord gave Park will serve His Kingdom well. I just have to do my part to shape it into something that honors God. Some days I do better than others, but on my "Mcflurry days" I trust God will make up the difference. Press on, sweet friend!

Joyce said...

I could feel your heartache when I read this. I was the director of a preschool prior to moving overseas. I've seen many a meltdown-actually one 3 year old had a meltdown to the extreme all whilst gripping my thumb. He ended up ripping the tendon in my hand and it had to be surgically repaired. I couldn't use my right hand for almost 5 months. I still loved that little boy btw.

I agree with the poster who said it doesn't get easier to bear our childrens hurts as they get older. I think the early years prepare our mother's hearts for the teenage+ years. My 18 year old phoned just last night, feeling very overwhelmed by something. I'm an ocean away. Wish I had a mcflurry to give her. We moms do what we need to do in a given moment.

Thankfully God's mercies are new every day. We so need to know that. Praying today is a bright one for you.

Also, just curious-where in the UK did you live? Saw your post from yesterday and I can confirm the dairy products are lots richer here. It's the reason I can't lose the extra 5 pounds I carry around : )

Jenny said...

That does sound sad! My 16 year old had a melt down yesterday, she has had perfect grades her whole life. I mean very, very close to 100 in every class until Honors Algebra II. Right now, she has a 74 and she just broke down.

On one hand, not being perfect will be a good lesson for her. But watching the process just broke my heart.

Not quite the same, but still hurt my heart.

Living4Him said...

Wow. We can all feel your mommy pain. I know my 3 year old wouldn't be getting a car on many days, because she is 3 and is still learning to obey. I have had many experiences like this for my children and wish the rewards would be left out because it makes it so hard for young children to understand. Keep pressing on.

Maria said...

Bless your heart. I PROMISE it will get better. Give yourself a little time. You'll soon be able to care for both kids without going insane and/or crying throughout the day. Last year I had my second child and it was a good few before I was confident and not crying my way through some days. But once the confidence came, I felt like my old self. You will too.

I'll be praying for you. What you are going through is the right of passage for those of us with more than one child. "It will pass."

Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife said...

Though I do realize that incentives are a great thing, dang! Couldn't they have picked a prize that was a little less inflammatory?? What happened to the treasure box filled with plastic slinkies and tootsie rolls?

The McFlurry was absolutely justified. And, I'm just guessing here, something also tells me his Bibby an Aunt Melissa may shower him with a few extra hot wheels. :))

Traci said...


Bless your heart. My son had the same mini melt down yesterday because he was not chosen to pick something from the "treasure box." I say mini because he is getting used to it--who comes up with these ideas?

The McFlury idea was nothing short of brilliant. Way better than going to Target and buying a box of matchbox cars to make up for it!

I'm liking the idea of Curtis doing some more afternoon pick up for a while. Summer will be here before we know it.


Paige said...

Oh Amanda! I am so sorry. That is so hard! I will pray he learns very quickly how to earn that car!

I am with Colored with Memories...totally do drop off...even in your pajamas!

Melissa said...

Oh ... my heart goes out to you both. I so hate when little ones are upset! I know they have to be taught, but sometimes it hurts us so much more than them ...

Hang in there, girl. May today be a day of ease for you and those you love. Sending hugs your way :)

Sarah said...

So sorry about your rotten afternoon! It brought back memories of Caiden in preschool, and bless his heart, but he could not obey to save his life! I was convinced he was going to turn into a juvenile delinquent. It's several years later now, and he's the easy one, while my 4 and 2 1/2 year olds are the naughty ones--so I'm holding out hope for them, too :) Just chalk it up to a stage!! My mom always said the saying, "This too shall pass" should've been spelled with "two" instead! The toddler years are hard!! I hope next time he comes home with a car :)

Unknown said...

Wow, what an ordeal! I would have done the same thing with the McFlurry!

lavonda said...

It may or may not have been a McFlurry.

I love it!
Honey, it's called "survival mode" and it's okay. We've all been there. You're a great mama.

He'll get that matchbox car one day and be SO proud when he does! It'll probably be his favorite one :)

Hoosiermama said...

Poor guy, that doesn't sound like a very good reward system to me......

Mary H. said...

I totally understand. Hang in there. I could tell you several stories, but I will spare you. Just so you know, it will get better. Bless your heart and his.

connorcolesmom said...

I know that was so hard!
I pray it gets better for you both :)

Tarah said...

I don't like that system either! It's so difficult for an active, little boy that age to grasp what he did or didn't do all day to miss out on that enormous blessing! Of course he will need to learn to obey (and he will!), however I would hope for a more immediate and tangible reward system. (like the stickers suggested above) But who knows....maybe Jackson will rise to the occasion and surprise you next time!

Poor Mama! I'm sure that was mucho frustrating!

Unknown said...

My oldest son was very spirited when he was toddler/preschool aged. At the time I found myself apologizing for him because he didn't meet other peoples expectations. Obedience is so important and I totally understand why MDO has to be structured, but why does it have to be so darn hard?

I would have cried too. Their little hearts are so precious and innocent.

I would have done the McFlurry too. I might have regretted it in retrospect, but seriously, there is grace.

I have made SO many parenting mistakes, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Especially when you are postpartum and sleep deprived.

You are a great mom, and Jackson will be fine! I agree with Big Mama, I want to send him a mess of matchbox cars! Bless his heart!

Fran said...

It just flat out stinks. I'm so sorry for all of you. Its so hard to seem them experience it. I don't think it ever gets easier either. Bless you both. I hope today is a wonderful day.


Keri said...

I read this post yesterday and was still thinking about it this morning.

My boys are older now, but the days when the Matchbox car reigned supreme are still vivid to me.

I still go through these exact emotions with them, well, minus the just-had-a-baby hormones you got raging right now. Now it's in the form of other boys being picked for the All-Star team when my son thought he had done a great job. Watching peers get celebrated for things at school that my child worked hard for as well.

While thinking about this, I realized that I am just like Jackson even now! I pitch a complete fit when life isn't fair.......and I hate to admit that a McFlurry will usually pacify me, too!

Hang in there....what gets easier is the fact that as your kids get older and communication is more mature, you can talk about these things. My heart did break for you and sweet Jackson.......that's a tough day.

Beth said...

Oh, how I totally feel your pain! And no the McFlurry doesn't make you a bad mom. I am a Mom of three and sometimes you just do what you have to do--completely understand! Have a good day:)