Monday, December 12, 2011

Definitely defiant, but still lovable.

Our son is not perfect.

My whole parenting world came to a screeching halt about three weeks ago when I picked up Colton from daycare and April, our wonderful daycare lady, told me that Colton had in fact bitten another child.  I FREAKED out.  MY CHILD?  Yes, I knew already that he bites occasionally, but I had been the only person that he's ever bitten...and only when he was super tired.  For a while, he was more accurately telling me that he was tired by attempting to bite me than yawning or rubbing his eyes (I'm thankful that he's over that stage).  When April told me the unfortunate news, I kind of understood how my mom felt when a police officer told her that my brother had stolen a stop sign.  I will not say which brother, in order to protect the ... um, innocent?  That phrase doesn't seem to fit here.  Anyway, I was very upset with Colton.

The biting episode was a stand-alone event, thank goodness.  However, that day it seemed like my son realized that being naughty was something that he should try more often.  THIS IS AWESOME!  BITING, HITTING, WHINING, DISOBEYING - yeah!  My docile, compliant, even-tempered toddler has quickly degenerated into a screaming, completely irrational, angry child.  Last Tuesday, after he went in timeout after timeout after timeout for not letting me brush his teeth, I sat down on my bathroom floor and sobbed along with him.  I don't know what I'm doing. This parenting stuff doesn't come with a manual, at least not a comprehensive one.  (Chapter 335: What to do when your 19-month-old tries to boss you around and won't brush his teeth).

Last night after the house was quiet, picked up, and I could begin to reflect on the last few hellish days with Colton, I came to the conclusion that he could even ramp up the naughtiness tenfold and I'd still love him with every fiber in my body.  He is my flesh and blood.  I'm not going to stop loving him even though I briefly thought about enrolling him in toddler boarding school.  I would keep extending him grace time and time again, because he is my son and I love him so much.

Our heavenly father, our most perfect parent, loves us intensely even though not a one of us deserves it. Imagine what we, adult humans, must look like in the eyes of a righteous God.  It's easy for me to look at Colton, shake my head, and remark, "What a toddler!" because I am much more mature than he is.  Imagine what our petty remarks, anger, selfishness and negative attitudes look like to our perfect God.  And yet he loves us so.

And you know what really strikes me?  God loves the wretch right next to you like that, too.  There are a few people in this world that really rub me the wrong way (but only a few...I'm pretty easygoing).  I have to check my attitude sometimes when I start to think that God has to love me more than the irrational, tantrum-throwing adults that I come into contact with.  Not true, Kendra, not true.  So if God is my father and their father, too, it's time to start treating others like the brothers and sisters that they are. (Can you tell that I've been convicted of this recently?)

If His grace is an ocean, we're ALL sinking...


Anonymous said...

Umm I so know how you feel about the biting.. oh wait my son bit your son! Ahhh these boys can be so very trying some days! It amazes me how much love we have for them though :) It gets better! Braxton has finally stopped his biting problem, after lots of cheek flicking.. I felt so bad but it worked.

PS you are an amazing momma dont ever forget that :)


MamaTod said...

True on the loving in spite of true.

Let him brush his teeth first, then you "finish" or "check" to see how he did. Give him the independence and self-sufficiency you can where it's safe. Some things aren't worth making into "you must obey mommy issues" (always having matching socks or shoes also falls into that category...etc.)Go to the mat on bigger things.

You're doing great. :)

Anonymous said...

As some wise people told me when little guy was born....everything is just a phase...this not so pleasant phase will also pass.

If ever he seems really angry...give him something to scribble with or something to tear up. It will give him an outlet for the anger/feelings he still has no way to express other than through aggressive behavior. :-) For my guy handing him a heavy duty tostada bag and letting him have at it always seems to work. :-)

And don't feel bad, my little guy (14 months old) is going through a tantrum phase...again, everything is just a phase. :-)

You are a great mom! Hang in there!