Lately I have been struggling a lot with what the right way to discipline Lily is. Sometimes she is so good about not doing no-nos, for instance she never even goes close to the stove or iron when I'm ironing, but there are some things that are just too tempting to forgo like CDs, DVDs, deodorant and cologne, anything on top of the bookshelf, whatever that might be. And as she continues to repeatedly disobey I feel increasingly frustrated and sometimes choose to explode at her in the hopes that a bigger negative reaction will achieve the desired result. It isn't working. And again and again the cycle repeats of her looking at me with a look of betrayal, sometimes tears sometimes not and then me hating myself for it. There is so much demanded of us as parents, especially stay-at-home-parents (in my opinion) because it's just need upon need upon need upon need all day every day. And of course that's not to say there isn't joy in it and without a doubt I wouldn't trade it for anything, but it is hard. My mother-in-law is a perfectionist who runs a perfect household. Not only perfectly clean with perfectly cooked meals at all times, but perfectly frugal in every way. She holds this standard for me too, but I do not hold this standard for myself. I think women who have perfect houses...let me put this delicately...are robots. (hehe that made me chuckle a little bit). I honestly don't know how they do it when they also have kids. I'm telling you I am forever doing something, whether laundry, dishes, diapers, picking up, shopping, taking the girls out, cooking and I promise you it is all I can do to do this much. My caveat to that statement is that yes, I do prioritize a cup of coffee a day and some me-time if the girls happen to nap at the same time. My coffee is never drunk warm, much less hot. My meals are never eaten in one sitting. I get precious little time with Tomáš. And the worst part is that I know this won't last forever. I say ''worst'' because I don't want to wish it away, even though it's hard. I never, ever, ever want my girls to grow up faster. And so I try to remember this. Occasionally I am proud of my reaction when things are at their hardest. When Lily is impossibly frustrating. One evening something happened that has helped me a lot. She was running around doing something or other that she ought not to have been doing and I asked myself a question, What is love? In other words, how can I respond lovingly? And I remembered I had the faultless answer in a nice little list, memorized since early childhood and the first thing on the list is this, Love. is. patient. It stopped me in my tracks. And it struck me that I had never stopped to wonder why that is first. Or think about whether or not chronology is important. But I think it is important. I guess all aspects of love are difficult, that's what makes it meaningful, important, imperative. But given my track record, I think patience might be one of the hardest. When I think about Jesus on the cross, perhaps the most amazing thing to me about what He did is that in His perfection, amidst all the accusations, He never once defended Himself. Katie Davis says that nothing gets us much closer to the heart of God than injustice. I think this is profoundly true. Love seems to mean the most when it is wholly and utterly undeserved. I can attest to this in my own life, for the times I've felt His love most keenly were when I had been a complete jackass and still He was faithful. When I've desperately needed money and lost faith in Him and still He pulled through with exactly what I needed. When I've been so embarrassingly selfish, deserving nothing less than a good spanking, and still He graciously shows me the error of my ways. And maybe worst of all, when I've projected human characteristics onto Him, believing He asks me to give because that's the sort of person He wants (one willing to sacrifice), and He, in ways I cannot explain, shows me that no, it's because He loves me desperately and knows what's best for me, what would bring me joy. He's so patient with us. It's no mistake that He calls us His children. And often when Rosy is trying to zip up her coat herself or put the keys into the door, and it's all I can do not to grab everything and do it myself, I really try to see it from a higher perspective. How unceasingly patient God is with me when I, full of pride, insist on clumsily and ineptly doing things myself, rather than asking Him who knows all things for help. And it softens me. It helps me have patience with her. As far as disciplining our girls, I still feel pretty lost. Confused, even. But if my disciplining hand can come out of love rather than impatience, I suspect I am much more likely to get the desired result.
|Heading to pre-school, My Little Pony #1|
|My little pony #2|
|Kitty and the bee|
|Gorgeous moons lately. Too bad our camera doesn't capture it.|