Sunday, April 29, 2012

battle of wills

A battle of wills.  I will not back down.  I will stick to my guns.  I will choose my battles wisely….but man, does it get tiring.

Arm Wrestle On The Grass

Today my “fountain dancing child” and I had a battle of wills.  There have been many times in his 6.97 years of life (oh my goodness, my baby turns 7 this week!) that we have battled it out.  Not necessarily because I want to, but because I know that he needs boundaries, rules and that as a parent I will need to choose where and when to draw the line.  I’ve also become keenly aware of when he is pushing just to see if he can find a weakness in the defense system…

  (yes…picture Jurassic Park when all the gigantic T-Rex dinos are systematically testing their electrified fence to find a weak spot to break free)

My beloved and I have also tried our best to foster that independent spirit in him – to encourage him to question and need to understand why.  We choose to train the strong spirit, not break the strong spirit.  Or at least we try.

Battleground? Hawaiian porkchops and rice.

For real?  Yes.

The boy did not want to eat his lunch.  Doesn’t sound like a big deal, right?  Oh, but it is.  My kids eat everything.  Literally.  Everything.  And if they don’t think they will like it, they know they are expected to try it and 99% of the time they end up eating it all.  But what is worse is that I don’t cook things that I intentionally think “Hey, this is going to make my kids gag.”  In fact, I try to include items in the meals that I know they will like?

Said battleground?  Well, I know Hudson likes rice, pineapple, pork and sweet and sour-y sauce.  All the things that were in the meal. (Easy meal btw).  SO when my first child decided to “throw down” his line, I stood my ground.  He would put some in his mouth and chew and chew and chew and chew and chew and not swallow.  He was given a time limit.  He expended it and the meal was put away with no afternoon snack.  When dinner rolled around, guess what came out for Hudson?  Guess what the response was?

I do need to say that I am proud of him.  Because he didn’t run from it, scream, throw a fit on the floor, or do a myriad of things he could’ve done like a toddler.  Instead, he resigned himself to understanding that the 6 bites had to be gone before he could move on to greener pastures.

After an additional 45 minutes of him-hawing (PA Dutch word from my upbringing), I sat on the front porch with him so he could see the rest of the family outside.  He ate the last 3 spoonfuls in a few minutes.  We talked about how much easier it was just to eat it and be done.  We also had a little discussion on how when it is foods he likes that his decision to not eat is truly in his head….and then he was in a delightful mood the rest of his short evening.

Battle of wills.  Seriously. AND YET ~ do I not do the same thing with my Father?  God says to me in a very clear manner, “Do this, because I am asking you to.  Because it is best for you.”

What do I do?  Oh, I dig my heels in and refuse.  I fight.  I whine.  I throw a royal fit.  I may not even take a bite and chew.  But because He loves me, he tries again.  He wraps it up, puts it away and saves it for later.  And He brings it out again.

But I’m just that stubborn.  I still refuse.  I still say no.  But I must imagine that sometimes the Father is standing in the doorway of His throne room smacking his forehead with the palm of His hand. 

I give in.  I eat the bites.  I grow and I learn.  Why did I battle? Because I am testing my limits apparently.  But because I have a loving heavenly Father He allows me the freedom to exercise my strong spirit.  He longs for me to choose what is right.  To choose Him. 

And all in all, that I guess is what we are praying for our son.

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