Starting to Figure It Out
The precious first born of mine that we call Samuel is spirited. You're all familiar with the crazy things he's always saying which I take as a sign of sheer genius but for as quick witted as he is and as wickedly smart as he is, he is pretty much socially retarded. I say that with as much love as a mother can have for her child but its the truth. I'm certain much of it comes from the fact that he's never done the daycare scene and hasn't been old enough for preschool until this coming Fall. Plus, he's a first child. Plus, he's only 3. Plus, he's nuts.
Regardless, the kid can throw a tantrum like nobody's business. He's got this high pitched scream that can clear a room. If there is life on another planet they can hear Samuel's screaming--that's how loud it is. And if there is life on another planet and they are planning on coming to earth, killing all human life form and keeping Planet Earth as their own they are now rethinking that because they have heard Samuel's screaming and it has pierced their ears and struck fear in their hearts and any human who can scream like that is too much for them to take.
So in one regard, thank you Samuel for single handedly saving us from evil other life forms hell bent to destroy us. On the other hand, FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING HOLY PLEASE TAKE IT DOWN A NOTCH YOU LITTLE KNUCKLEHEAD. MY EARS ARE BLEEDING AND I'M ON THE VERGE OF SLAPPING YOU RIGHT HERE IN THE MIDDLE OF WINCO.
Ok, so here's where I get to the little nugget of where I am learning, albeit slowly, of what it means to put my children before myself. I have a Bible study at my house every Thursday morning with 3 dear friends. They all bring their kids and we have my 12 year old neighbor boy watch 7 kids under 6 (I know that is almost criminal but he likes the extra money and we're just in the other room if they try tying him up...). So anyway, back to my story, we had friends over for dinner last night and Samuel didn't get to bed until almost 9:45 verses his usual 7:30. Yikes. And so this morning, my very sweet on-a-good-day-not-a-morning-person son was done. I mean, like super-over- cooked-give-it-to-the-dog done. He was crying, rubbing his eyes, crying, hitting his sister, crying, couldn't decide on what video he wanted to watch, crying, holding his penis 'cause had to pee but was crying too hard to go, and crying.
After talking to the other ladies we decided it would be best if we cancelled this morning (Shannon's actual words upon hearing Samuel screaming in the background: "I'm not comin' over".) If Samuel is already strugging with being a good friend why would I subject him to other children on a morning when I know he's not emotionally capable of dealing. It would be setting up him to fail; I might as well put him in a timeout in his room right now because that's where he would end up. Of course putting him in a pre-emptive time out would eliminate the arm pulling, body dragging that would certainly accompany the time out following him hitting Claire over the head with a sandbox shovel.
Here are the two lessons I'm taking away from this morning's cancellation. For the record, neither came from me but from two people way smarter than me, one of who is of course, Sensei Jen Roth. 1) When we put our kids in difficult situations (i.e. keeping them up past their bedtime for our dinner guests) we have to show extra grace. It is not Samuel's fault he's tired and as a result grumpy and whiny. It would be easier on both of us, not to mention gracious, for me not to do everything that I am able to help ease him through the morning until he can get a good, fat nap in.
2) Recognize the difference between immaturity (developmentally normal immaturity) and disobedience and react appropriately. Sometimes, not all the times, Samuel just can't handle the social situations I put him in because he's just not emotionally mature enough to handle them. He's still little and figuring out the best way to handle frustration and anger without hitting or throwing himself on the floor. Its my job to be patient and give him the tools to figure it out. (By the way, I'm still trying to figure out what those tools are. I'm not ok with Samuel's tantrums and I don't want him to evolve in to a crazy brat that no one likes to be around but I'm confident this is just a stage and we'll get through it together with a lot of love, patience and tequila).
So that's it and I gotta go because Roo needs her diaper changed. And you know how much I love to chase her around just to catch her and have her flip out because God forbid I'm going to give her a nice dry diaper instead of the urine soaked one she's happily wearing right now...This post begs the question, What is up with my kids?? Seriously. They are trying to kill me, I just know it.
Don't let me forget to tell you about Samuel's playdate with Jackson earlier in the week and the lesson I learned about forgiveness.
p.s. I'm editing this 10 minutes later because I got distracted with M's diaper and forgot to add one point. God has blessed me this morning for showing kindness and grace to Samuel. Instead of having to get myself ready for Bible study I was able to snuggle in pajamas on the couch and watch Bob the Builder. The three of us snuggled and kissed and had breakfast. He came right out of his foul mood and we went outside and the kids played in the sandbox, in their pajamas, while I wrote this post. Samuel, while still needing a monster nap, is in a great mood. He's loving, affectionate and showing kindness to his sister. I firmly believe had I pressed on with the Bible study and mongo playdate it would have been a different story.