But now I am Six...

...I'm as clever as clever,
So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.
AA Milne

Oy! It was one of those days. And still kinda is. The kind when every part of your body aches when you sit down listening to the baby screaming. The kind when your nearly 7 year old is so contrary that by the end of the day, you wonder if you make fit parenting material. When you cry genuine tears of frustration because she has run circles round you so many times, and emotion has slopped out of your "keeping it all together" bucket; your voice can no longer be tethered to the nice low ranges and instead scales up the bad-mummy heights (yet you expect her not to shout back and when she does, you adminster the old soap in the mouth trick and watch expressionless as she swills out bubbles with tears coursing down her cheeks). The kind of day when you get back from the supermarket with a dozen bags right on dinner time, hungry kids and no meal made. You discover the wrong cat food was bought despite clear instructions to your child helpers. You make a healthy pasta and vegetable meal amid half unpacked piles of groceries, while stepping over starving cats and everyone quietly eats it, except the Naughty One, who grinds away steadily at one's patience levels, making sure you are aware of how much she simply CANNOT eat green beans, let alone ravioli. And when the child is lying prostrate with loud rage at her lack of choices in the food department under the dining room table, you feel your ability to remain a sensible adult drain away to bare nothing-ness and you feel steam tooting out of your ears and YET she still hammers away, disregarding the warning signs. When the roar escaping your lips surprises you, when you bellow "Just Eat Your Dinner" and she retorts as loudly I CAN'T! I CAN'T! I CAN'T! and you hang in that weird place, it feels like the world just stopped so that you could rack up more "Worst Parent of the Year" points to go towards your trophy; and when you banish her to her bed for the night at half past 6 in the evening much to her shock, your own disbelieving observation tells you that it is your own fault she has been allowed to rachet her mother up to this level of craziness. When her will is stronger than yours and has been since her first infant howl you realise afresh that pitting yourself against the level of grit that this girl has is like, like...well...it rubs you raw. And messes with your head because she is cute and sensitive and hurts for others - and yet is so fiercely hard to bend. This is my girl. I am proud of her tenacity - it is a gift. But I feel woefully inadequate to responsibly parent her and guide her to a learning of self control. The other two are sweetness and light by comparison tonight - although the baby has been yelling on and off for an HOUR and a HALF, refusing to sleep and this is not helping me regain my calm. Please tell me that one day, this unending grind will pay off and I won't realise I did it all wrong and created dodgy offspring who have no inclination towards respect. Tell me that when I am homeschooling, I will survive the character training. Tell me I won't keep losing my rag and then have to crawl back down the shouty mountain, bent double with guilt. My prayer is that we will parent with grace, wisdom and the knowledge that we cannot do this alone. Tomorrow is a new day. Thank God.
I do love her (no really, I do).


Taken nine months ago

Erin  – (October 10, 2008 at 1:07 AM)  

In one young child resides the power to call up such tender love and such raging frustration. !!!

Our girls are kindred spirits. (Pink hair and all.) You and I are kindred spirits in the fight to love them well.

Thank the Lord that His grace is perfected in our weak-kneed offerings. Praying His grace and tenacious love to show through you today.

Dawn  – (October 10, 2008 at 8:17 AM)  

Oh Amy, I feel your pain! I have one just like that. . . my youngest is about to do me in with a much stronger will than I possess. I will pray for you as I pray for me, that somehow the love and wisdom of God will guide us as we parent, that He will make up for our lack, and that His Holy Spirit will give us, and our daughters, the fruit of self-control.

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