Monday, October 12, 2009

I Saw That Look... I was taking my screaming, kicking two year old out of church on Sunday. Actually there was a variety of looks. There was the one of sympathy from the mother who has finally gotten her child raised. There was the one from the grandmother that said, "oh, just let her throw Cheerios all over the church, it's so cute". There was the one of relief from the mom who was wondering last week if she was the only one. There was the look of deep thought from the newlywed as she tried to remember if she took her birth control yesterday. There was the look of fear for the mommy-to-be as she was questioning if she had made the biggest mistake of her life. And though I couldn't have possibly have seen this look, just in case there was someone there that took just a slight bit of joy over my misfortune, to you my friend I say, YOUR DAY IS COMING! ..

So the plan was to make Chloe sit on the bench out in the foyer because I certainly couldn't remove her for her behavior and let her play. But, as the screams began to escalate, I took her to the bathroom in an attempt to mask her screams from the congregation. I accessed the situation and soon decided that despite my efforts, we were being well heard. So, I opted for a trip to the car in which I wrestled her into her car seat while I was saying, "you have the right to express your feelings but if you don't do it in the right way, no one is going to listen to you" and then shut the door and stood outside until I heard the surrendering little sobs of "momma, I'm sorry" about ten minutes later.. She then returned to her angel little self (with big puffy eyes) and went on to Children's Church ..

The comments I got after were quite entertaining as well. Things like, "I'm impressed you didn't kill her". "Is shes cutting a molar"?. "You're kidding me, Emma acted like that too? She seems so sweet". "Is she not feeling well"? To which I replied, "no, she's just feeling two". Okay, so maybe this doesn't happen with every kid. But, just in case you are one of those moms that is lucky enough to experience the terrible twos with all of your children, I like what Dr. Greene says, " Ideal parenting does not prevent the "Terrible Twos" -- it helps children navigate them." And, I will also say that the struggle for independence pays off. For the most part, Emma is pretty well behaved though she still has her moments and she's fairly responsible for a six year old. She evens sets her own alarm clock and gets herself up for school. Some adults haven't even mastered that skill. So to you I say, persevere, this too shall pass and the rewards are splendid.

But, to make sure, I did go back and check to make sure that Emma did in fact experience these crazy fights for independence. And seriously, deja vu'.

I now give you, my very first blog post ever (almost exactly 4 years and 3 months ago when Emma was the exact same age).. The inspiration for this blog, because it's cheaper than therapy.

Terrible Twos

Ok, Emma has officially hit the terrible twos. In the past week my little angel’s body has been invaded. I think I will refer to it as her first adolescence. She is definitely wanting to state her independence. She’s not quite big enough to slam a door or roll her eyes but she can sure put out a mean scream. After two big battles today, both about going to bed, one for nap, and one for the night, she is quietly laying in her bed looking like my little angel again. All of the sudden, she wants to do everything by herself, get into everything she’s not supposed to, and really let me know about it if something doesn’t go her way. Today, she wrote on her dresser with a Sharpie marker (yeah, those Mr. Clean magic erasers aren’t quite as good as they say) To go anywhere, I have to allow an extra hour to get there because she wants to pick out her own clothes, put them on herself, put on her own shoes, turn out the lights, open the door, get in her car seat, shut the door, and buckle herself in the car seat, all by herself. None of these things she can actually do by herself so I have to wait until she actually tries it and sees that she can’t do it alone, and she surrenders to needing my help. And, we have done this repeatedly. Even after all of this, I still have this over whelming love for her and I know my life is so much more wonderful than it was before she was in it.

There are quite a few lessons I could take from this. One being humbleness, yes, I had heard other mothers talk about temper tantrums but since my little Emma had always pretty much pleasantly obeyed, I thought we were above that (man I knew better than that). But, what I’m really wondering is, how often do I seem like a two year old to God. Running around messing things up, trying to handle things myself and then whining to God when it doesn’t go my way. And what’s worse, I do these things over and over again. All the while, God is standing there patiently waiting for me to figure out that I need to surrender to him and give him the control. Then, he picks me up, pats me on the head and lets me rest in his love.

God thank you for showing me in such a wonderful way my need for you. Please help me to rely on you!

One thing is for sure, I’ll be resting in his love tonight. After wrestling with a two year old all day, I’m too tired to do anything else.



Papakeith said...

Dana I love the pictures of the girls. Their faces are priceless. I also love my granddaughter's mother. I still have vivid memories of Adam as a baby crying out "I gotta pee" a numer of times when I stood up to preach! As his mom took him out to save the church!

Mandy said...

I love it!! I am so glad I am not the only one wrestling my child in church. Only problem kid is 3. You have the Terrible Twos and I have the Even Worse Threes. :)

Holly said...

What funny pics.

Everything you said is so right. Seriously, write a book! Someone mentioned before that you may be the next Beth Moore... I have to agree!

MSS said...

Ask my mom to tell you her "favorite" story of having to take me out of church for acting up.

MSS said...

Ask my mom sometime to tell you her "favorite" story of having to take me out of church for acting up.


Runnin' Mommy said...

Hey Dana! This is Casey Newsome Carter from Springville. I just read your blog for the first time! I love it! So funny! I too have an Emma who is 8 months old. She is our first. We are having a great time with her. I was telling my Husband about your latest blog entry. He just laughed after I told him about your Emma wanting to do everything herself until she realized she couldn't do it on her own. He said, "if she is anything like her Momma then we are going to have problems. It probably won't be just 'terrible twos'". So, if it makes you feel any better I too am always trying to do things MY way until I figure out I can't. Thank God for His perfect Grace! Thanks for sharing! Look forward to following your sweet family!

Jay said...

Oh My --- I remember that picture of Emma! Was that really 4 YEARS AGO?!

How did that happen??

--- and even if "phwoey" is a mess, I am 100% convinced that she is the reason that George is excited about this baby on the way. She won his heart immediately. She's so full of life and personality... now, that is easy for us to say as we just visit for the weekend and then leave.


Julie said...

I haven't even finished reading this post but I'm afraid I'm gonna fall asleep! This is hilarious! I was laughing and laughing...
No one would even have noticed Chloe "expressing her feelings" if my two maniac little boys were there. It's nice to know other people have these moments too. I always feel like it's just me!

Amy said...

I have read your blog for a while now, but have never commented. I used to attend church in Enterprise many moons ago! I have to tell you how much I love the things you write. They really "speak" to me. I, too, have an angel in the terrible twos right now! I can so relate to everything you say. Thanks for putting some perspective on things. It's refreshing.

I will leave you with something I think about often now that I have my own daughter. One time at church in Enterprise I went to the bathroom (I think I was in high school at the time). A mother and her daughter were in there as well. It was very apparent the mother was not pleased. The little girl was so beautiful in her smocked dress. I made a comment to the mother about how pretty she was. The mother looked at me and said, "Pretty is as pretty does, and right now she isn't very pretty." I have never forgotten that. I have felt that way many days myself.

Thanks again for sharing!
Amy (Mathias) DiMarco

Anonymous said...

Hi Dana - I love the "terrible two" pictures of Chloe and Emma. I remember Mama taking Alice out one Sunday. I'm not sure how old she was, but I do remember that she was trying to grab hold of people on the aisle seats and screaming "Help she's gonna kill me." Love ya, Lynn

Michael and Hannah said...

Hilarious. Too bad it's too hot in Florida to lock my toddler in the car!

Dana said...

Yes, I should probably add that it was a very cool 60 something degrees that day. Just in case the authorities are on me!

Sara-Beth said...

I love the pictures! Thanks for the warning of what is yet to come.

Tony and Susan said...

HA! I was going to leave a comment on the above post that said i am the loser that has gotten way to busy and can't even keep up my own blog, let alone read others and then i scrolled down to this one. it is nice to have friends with kids a couple of months ahead of yours so when yours lose their minds just days before they turn 2 you can realize that is normal. you will have to give me tips for church behavior. i will definately have to remember the car thing! i am scared to death of wrestling both of them by myself for church services, but equally as scared for someone else to help me because most people aren't on the same page with what i think the behavior should look like. i miss you! we need to figure out a way to get together soon! love you!