That was my day yesterday.
Joey and I have found it difficult- lately especially- to discipline Oskar in a way that he responds to. We have tried spanking, time-outs, toys being taken away etc., and nothing seems to work. In my opinion, this is why this stage of his life is so commonly called "The Terrible Two's". We have read a really good book, that I would recommend to all parents, young and old, "Have a New Kid by Friday" by Dr. Kevin Leman [buy it here]. He seems to have such few, simple, yet effective ways of getting your child to respect your authority and listen. Except I haven't experienced the results from the book because I think Oskar is old enough to be a Brat (I capitalized that on purpose) but too young to completely understand discipline/punishment. A spanking only works up until you spank- the leading up to it. He's crying, saying sorry a dozen times, "Mama, Mama!" But ten minutes later, he is doing the same thing! Time outs worked at first, but now Oskar just doesn't care. We've taken away toys, which doesn't seem to do much either because he has so many toys to choose from- he just goes and plays with something different! I've had "the talks" with him, where he seems to comply and understand, but proves me stupid when he plots out how to disobey what we just talked about. Don't get me wrong though, Oskar is a great kid- he's smart, has a good sense of humor, can play independently, helps out in the house (when he's not asked), but the problem is, he doesn't do the things you do ask him to do! We ask him to pick up his Mr. Potato Head when he's done playing with it... and he responds with, "No! Mama pick it up!" We ask him if he wants toast with his yogurt...he responds with, "No! I eat yogurt!" His sister being 10 months tomorrow is constantly the victim of Oskar's Fisherprice Bus hit and run. She doesn't have many of her own toys (we have plenty of toys to go around) but even when she does play with her PURPLE AND PINK toys, Oskar seems to think they're his or that he has the right to play with them over her. You tell him once, you tell him twice, you tell him a hundred times. A parent can get frazzled in these seasons of life (really all seasons of a child's upbringing!) So when do we get a break?! It seems like there will never be light at the end of the tunnel... or when you start getting a glimpse of something bright, you have the roughest day in what seems like a century and you're ready to pack in your day job (that being stay-at-home-mom). There are days when I just cry and say to Joey, "I don't want to be a mom today..." As mom's we all realize, that's not our hearts speaking, but our circumstances of that moment, but being a mom is a hard job!
My husband kindly and so graciously reminds me that my home is not only my job given to me by God, but also my mission field. These kids have been entrusted to me, under my care, authority, guidance and teaching to train them up to love Jesus. That's a big responsibility! I often talk about the plans for life after the kids are old enough to all go to school- sigh, then I can have a real job. Then I can do stuff for me. Then I can finally do what I want to do. Although this is the reality of our human and selfish minds, it is also an insult to the One who called you to raise these children in the first place. One day, when I have my dream job, have a day all for me and doing what I want to do, I'm going to look back at these crazy days and wish I was still here- raising little ones, staying home, doing puzzles and coloring, and yes- maybe, just maybe- even changing diapers. Heck, the "adult world" out there is tough too! There might be days in the working world that I would rather be changing diapers all day! Even just writing today has lightened my heart concerning my day yesterday.
The day is much worse when you and your spouse don't connect...but that will be in a different article!