Tuesday, August 23, 2011

You Can't Always Get What You Want

Hadley, come get a bite.
I call to her from the kitchen.

She looks up from her play, hesitates, but doesn't make a move. I could see her weighing her options about something, a perplexed look etched on her face.

I assume she's ultimately decided that she doesn't want a bite of her favorite breakfast food, and go on about emptying the dishwasher.

A few moments later, I see her coming for that bite, dragging a large, cumbersome rocking horse behind her.

You see--Hadley just couldn't bear to leave the rocking horse, even for a moment, because her sister might "get" it.

I laugh, and sigh.

Each time she comes for a bite, she stubbornly, and determinedly drags the rocking horse with her, keeping a protective hand on "Howard" while she opens her mouth for a bite.


Lately I feel like my girls are in a gladiator ring, each on a mission to take the other one down.

I've broken up some pretty terrible fights between my sweet daughters. One look at Brynne and Hadley's arms reveal their battle wounds--bruises and bite marks blemish their soft skin.

Our pastor wasn't kidding Sunday when he said parenting toddlers is like taming an undomesticated wild animal.

At the heart of my two toddlers are two questions.
Am I loved?
Can I have my own way?
The answers are:
Hadley drags Howard with her to get a bite, because she's fighting to have things her way.

The girls bite and hit one another, because each is impeding the other from getting their own way.

In walks discipline--that's me (mostly), Brad and my sidekick Jesus.

We have the very hard job of telling (and showing) our daughters that they are loved unconditionally, and in the same breath we are telling (and showing) them that they can't get their own way.

It's tough.

I struggle and I flail. Especially when it looks like The Gladiator, minus Russell Crowe, up in here.

I'm working on finding that balance of love and grace and discipline and correction.

My wild animals need it--they need all of it.

And I need a glass of wine!


One of the scariest things I've ever had to do was to get through this high ropes course.

I was terrified!

I mean, really terrified.

I felt like I'd lost all control of my body---my legs were shaking, and I think I might have even heard my knees knocking together.

Even though we were told not to, I kept looking down at the ground really, really, really far below.

I started crying.

You see, the way to get through the course wasn't to look down at the ground. (even though I was harnessed in and had a death grip the ropes holding me skyward).

The way to get through the course was to look strait ahead--it steadied my steps and improved my balance.


Hadley walks towards Brynne.

Her arms are full.

She's carrying a green ball and a pink ball.

She gives the pink ball to Brynne.

Hadley looks at me, and signs "share". 

They laugh, and run off together.


I'm keeping my eyes strait ahead.

And giving my sidekick, Jesus, a high five.


Jessica said...

Such an amazing post!! I'm right there with you though! Especially, on those days when finley's lack of wanting to share turns into biting! I try to remind myself one day (in like 20 yrs) they'll realize they are lucky to have a built in play mate.

Jen said...

I love that last part -- giving Jesus as high-five. I think I've done that figuratively, too.

And I so get what you are saying -- the way to show unconditional love and discipline so that they are harmonious. The truth is if we didn't love, we wouldn't discipline.

Ahh, the joys of parenting!

Andrea said...

I know I am run of your newest followers, but I still have to say I have really enjoyed reading your posts the last 2 weeks!! This is another great one!! Thanks for sharing!

Olusola said...

He trully is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Your twins remind me of mine... it's like they were born with a wrestling gene or something

. said...

I just stumbled on your blog this morning and am so happy I did.

I completely know what you mean...the combination of "twin" and "toddler" is equivalent to the word "battlefeild." It's a rough road, but just like the inital 2-3 weeks of caring for twins, we'll get through it all.

I must add, I love your girls' names. My first angel's name is Hadley, so it hit home when I first started reading.

Can't wait to catch up on everything I've been missing.

Michelle DeRusha said...

It's an endless battle isn't it, from childhood all the way through. We constantly desire to have our own way, yet struggle to hand over ourselves to God.

Brandee Shafer said...

Hang in there, Mama! You're doing great! :) Visiting from Michelle's Graceful.