Those kids...constantly working on me. I've only got two kids. It really shouldn't be this hard to raise them. But it is.
Take bedtime tonight: one kid jumping off the wall before she even went upstairs to brush her teeth. The other exhausted. Teeth are brushed, potty done, in their beds, stories read. All done, right? Nope. But we head downstairs to sit and watch a bit of TV thinking we might get away with it.
"Mom, I'm not tired! I need something to help me sleep! I've been doing somersaults on my bed!!"
"Lay down and read a book!"
"But my stomach hurts!!"
Head upstairs... "Do you need something for your tummy?"
"No, I think I just drank too much water."
"Mom! My tummy hurts!!" (This is from the little guy this time).
Back upstairs..."Would you like something for your tummy?"
Meanwhile in the crazy girl's room: "You need to mellow out, Child!"
"But I don't have anything to do!"
"Go to sleep!"
Back in the boy's room: "Whimper, moan, whimper..."
"What's wrong with you, buddy?"
"Jayne is the special-est. She is more special than me!"
"What?! What makes you say that?!"
After some nonsense, I distract him into laying in his bed correctly and give him a big hug so he feels special too.
Head back downstairs...
"Mom, I'm bored!! I'm bored. I'm boooooooored! I'm borrrrrrrrrrrrred. I'm boooooooored. Booooooored! I'm soooooo boooooooooooooored!..."
"Child! Sleeping is not about being entertained! You are supposed to be trying to go to sleep, not trying to find something to do!!"
Husband heads upstairs to give her a good talking to.
He heads back downstairs after saying his piece.
Slight moment of silence....
I head back upstairs to have a heart to heart conversation. Peek in on little boy to see him sleeping through the yelling.
Conversation over. I head back downstairs....
"Moan, complain!! Complain, moan, whimper! Whiiiiiiinnnnnne, mooooooan!!"
This is parenting. This is a pain in the neck. This is developing my husband and me into something awesome. I'm not sure what kind of awesome and I'm not sure when we are going to get there, but someday, we will be awesome. Maybe only awesome to our own kids when they start having kids of their own, but still awesome.
You know how I know this? Because God gave us these kids to grow us into something better than who we were. Eight years ago when we started this parenting thing, we were pretty much experts. Yep, experts. We knew exactly what we needed to do to be perfect parents and to raise perfect children. And then our child was born and we took her home and had to parent for real. Every year that went by, we realized just how ignorant we were! More and more each year.
But as each year passes, we can also look back and see just how much we have grown. Growth in patience, wisdom, character, humility (because with children, pride goes out the window, especially when they are throwing a huge hissy-fit in Target!), understanding, humor, and so much more.
So, yeah. Nights like tonight stink. We've had nights 10x (I dare say 100x) worse than this. Those really bite! But those nights are developing things within us that would never have been there if God hadn't put these two strawberry blondes in our lives.
Can you see the character God is developing in you because of someone He put in your life?
Rom 5:3-5 (NIV) Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not
disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by
the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.