The last couple days have really been a struggle for me. Maybe it had something to do with the gloominess of the election... Anyhow, my girls have been driving me crazy! Never never listening to me. As if they can't hear me. As if they had water in their ears....
For example, yesterday after breakfast I told them to go upstairs so we could take a shower and get ready to go. We all went upstairs and then I made the mistake of getting on the computer. A few minutes later the girls come running into the "work room" (Marryn named it that, although it's more like our junk room). Reganne was wet, holding onto a squirt bottle. Marryn was next, not as wet but likewise holding a squirt bottle. And then she proceeds to squirt the water bottle. She thought it was very funny; me, not so much (did I mention I was in the work room, electronics and paperwork everywhere...). Anyhow, so I give her a look like "Are you stupid?" (It was only a look, no words.) She immediately stops and says, "Ok Mom, I'm sorry, I won't do it again" in a sweet, sorry voice. (Yes, I have heard that phrase quite often lately.) I then proceed to tell them to put up the squirt bottles and go get undressed in the bathroom, I'll be there in a minute (and yes, that is a phrase they hear quite often...). I of course get engrossed with whatever I was doing on the computer and pretty soon hear a ton of noise downstairs. I yell for them to come up. I yell a few more times. I then finally go downstairs to find Reganne is soaking wet and Marryn, well, a little damper than the last time. (I guess we know who was the better shot.) Now, this was Wednesday, after an awful Tuesday with the girls (I had called Joey to tell him not to be alarmed if he came home and Christian and I weren't there...just the girls...). So of course I blow my top. They just stare at me and then Marryn utters her famous little phrase, "I'm sorry, I won't do it again." So I drag them back upstairs, tell them 3 times to get undressed (which they finally do) and then I turn around to find them running out the door, heading back downstairs, naked! What, do they have water in their ears?!? The rest the morning continued about the same way. Me telling them something three times, each time my voice getting louder and louder before they finally do what I say. And it wasn't like I was asking them to do anything hard. It was things like, stand up, put your underwear on, bring me a diaper, etc. Stuff they do everyday. Then I finally hit Marryn's weak spot. She spied it. Her lifeline. Her little purse filled with her everyday essentials. You know, a little doll, colored pencils, empty pez dispensers(?). Her most precious possession that dad took away last night for misbehavior in which she cried herself to sleep over. Not a chance was she getting it. Unless, unless she was good. Unless she did everything I said, the first time. Not the second or the third, the first. That whipped her into shape. As for Reganne, well, she's two. Although as Marryn was better, she was better. So I think, for now anyhow, I found my secret weapon.
Interesting enough, as I look back over the past two days, I have to laugh. By Tuesday night (the night before the whole squirt bottle incident) I was so mad at Marryn, that I didn't even want to look at her. I didn't want to talk to her. I just wanted to ignore her. (I'm telling you, it was a bad bad day.) She, of course, sensed this and would try to be real sweet (only to ruin it minutes later with well, whatever she would do). I would be short with her (that's nice, good, fine, sure, whatever) and avoid any eye contact. And then it suddenly came to me. It was as if it was 20 years ago and I was the little girl, trying to win back my mom's affection and my mom, so mad at whatever I did (or we, likewise it was usually both my brother and me in trouble) was completely ignoring me. Oh, it was awful! More than any punishment, having my mom give me the silent treatment was the worst. And it was the one thing that would truly turn me around. I still cringe thinking of the times I have disappointed my mom. And now that I'm the mom, I see that it is not just a disappointment in the child, but also in myself. It is more than the simple misbehaving child that has to sit in timeout. It's a child that has gone beyond that and is now questioning the mother's worth. I know it sounds ridiculous, but that is exactly how I felt. "I must not be a good mother. I must not be teaching her right. I must not be loving her enough." I love my children so much, more than I ever thought I would. But it wasn't until I became a mother that I realized it. I mean, I knew that I would love my children, but to the point that I do was never even conceivable. I want the absolute best for them and I know that it starts with me. Hmmm. Let's go back to that 'election' I mentioned. Maybe it wasn't so much Marryn that was upsetting me, but rather the fear I have in where our country may be heading. Maybe it was the inadequacy that I felt; I can't get Marryn to listen to me at home, how am I going to get her to listen when she's out in the world, bombarded by unmoral, liberal ideas that are contrary to what I, or our Heavenly Father knows are right.
Whoa. I better stop there, or I might be here for days, venting those frustrations.
So what have I learned? Well, Marryn is only 4. And Reganne is only 2. They are good kids and I am a good mother (most the time). I can only love them so much and teach them so much then I must rely on the Lord to do what I can't.
There will be tough times ahead.
Oh, and my mom loves me more than I know.