Today was one of those out of control days. I believe the chaos of my feeling out of control began this morning with my daughter, who has reverted back to peeing and now pooping in her pull-ups. I realized that as unhappy as I was going to the bathroom 100 times a day with her, it really was a step forward and now it all comes to a crashing hault and I realize it wasn't that bad! I am pretty sure this reverting behavior has to do with my daughter's displeasure in her change of schedule and her mommy taking her back to the sitter's twice this week. However, in my selfish pity party moments today, I was not able to see what I see now. I was angry and frustrated with her, we have the same talk every day "Remember Lottie, tell mommy when you have to go potty" (Yes, I even tried the fruit snack bribe again- which was successfully being weaned away) She would look at me with her beautiful brown smizing eyes (Smizing-smiling with eyes) and say "Ok mommy" And I would breath saying to myself "Good she gets me, we are good, it's gonna be a great day" (Do I hear laughter from you?) So maybe I am dramatizing just a little- very little! In my head and perfect controlled world- it was just like that. And then it started...and it continued...and it continued and pretty soon I found myself really angry and frustrated.
One of the things I am trying to do, as the Lord works on my heart is understand where the rush of emotion (in this case anger and frustration) is coming from, you would think it would be as simple as my daughter- after all she is the one I am directly dealing with, but if you thought that you'd be wrong. This anger and frustration, this out of control feeling stemed from someplace else and I wanted it gone. So while I was doing dishes tonight and my darling daughter was running around bottomless and freestyling it, I decided to have a chat with God. I am inviting you to see what I said...
"Umm God, about this girl- you know Lord up until this moment- things have been pretty good. But uh- she's sorta ticking me off right now and I was wondering if you could handle it for me"
(Enter your own version of God's voice here)
"My daughter, what can I do for you?"
"Well you see Lord, I am really frustrated with her because she isn't doing what I know she can do."
"I understand Nina, I can relate"
"I mean, Lord she knows how to go to the bathroom- she took the inititive in the first place and now she's just given up, and I feel like a bad mom."
"I understand completely" (Now, I don't know if your God speaks in the King James version, mine however speaks to me in a normal-sometimes with some sarcastic tones)"Why do you feel like a bad mom?"
"Because I can't control it, I can't stop her from going back and doing what she used to do! Know matter if I put her in a time out or share my displeasure with her, she is the only one who can decide to move forward and be a big girl"
"And Lord, can't you just make her do what I want? It's for her own good- I mean it can't be comfortable sitting in your own mess, there's freedom from releasing it" (I'm trying to be gentle with my words)
"Letting children have control to make choices is very difficult, and it can be especially painful when you know what's best and they choose to do otherwise. And part of that pain in the freedom to choose, may mean watching them sit in their own mess until until they are really uncomfortable and want to change. Believe me, there will always come a time when they are ready to be changed!"
"But I want her to change now!"
"Lord, I feel like a failure by letting her."
"Her bathroom issue is your failure? How so?"
"Because I should be able to stop it? I should be able to control it."
"Really? How is that working out for you? Remember last weekend, who is in control?"
"Last weekend........(An eternity of silence as I reflect on what really matters)....You are in control Lord, thank you for reminding me"
"I love you Nina, that's what I am here for"
Maybe this out of control feeling wasn't really about Lottie. So when tomorrow comes will I remember that potty training is not something to be stressed about? Yes, but after that I may need some gentle reminders.