Parenting is humbling. Its beyond humbling actually. I can read books, think through solutions to problems, pray, talk with others, and come up with good plans, but sometimes despite all of that, everything falls apart.
Last night was a prime example. Lately Leighton has been taking FOREVER to get his PJs on between bath time and book time. Sometimes it’s that he doesn’t want to put the ones on that I pulled out for him, sometimes he gets distracted playing, sometimes he decides that he is helpless and can’t put his underwear on (despite doing it multiple times a day normally). So we came up with the plan that we would set a timer, and at the end of the timer I would start reading a bedtime book, whether he was ready or not. Seemed like a great plan. First couple of nights went great, he did a good job and we kind of figured out how long to set the timer (7 minutes was what we had determined, why it takes him 7 minutes to do something that should take 30 seconds, only a 4 year old can tell you). Last night at dinner out of nowhere he told us, “I really like this new plan for my bedtime”. Until bedtime came of course.
And then he completely broke down. I asked him to put on his jammies and the timer was going. He began to cry and scream and throw himself on the floor. We ignored the behavior and continued to get Caedmon ready and read Caedmon his stories. And Leighton’s fit only got worse. Clint tried to help him change and he got more and more upset. The timer went off and I started reading the bedtime stories and Leighton began to wail and stomp his feet. I told him “all you have to do is put your jammies on”. You would have thought I’d ask him to scale the side of Everest without any assistance or oxygen. It went on for over an hour, and despite everything-talking, praying, reasoning, bargaining, forcing clothes on him, taking away toys, time out, walking away, singing songs, everything just made the screams and fit throwing worse. I was scratching my head trying to figure out who had taken my child and replaced it with the mess I was seeing. Clint and I both surprisingly remained totally calm, and I know I kept praying for wisdom and direction. I finally put him, naked and all, in the van in the car seat and went for a drive. He screamed for awhile, and I was concerned that I’d get pulled over for child abuse or kidnapping with a naked boy screaming in his carseat. He finally calmed down and we had a nice talk about lightening and electricity and Jesus and forgiveness. He fell asleep in the van and I put him down after putting jammies on him and had no further problems. He woke up happy this morning. And tonight, no problems at all, go figure.
I will probably never know what it was that sent him on a huge tail spin, all we did was ask him to put his jammies. I do know and I’m trying to learn and apply it each day that I am not alone, that I have a Mighty God that will give me the strength and teach me how to lead him. I just have to work on resting in Christ alone.
Quick adoption update-We have our first home study visit Monday evening and our second Wednesday afternoon! We are also gearing up to start some fundraising, I’ll keep everyone posted when we are ready to launch.