Little Vipers

One of my most beloved college professors, Dr. Krabbendam once said that children are "Little Vipers in Covenantal Diapers." Oh, Dr. K you were right - they sure are. My sweet little baby has morphed into a back-arching, temper tantrum-throwing little viper!

Example: Charlie is beyond obsessed with his toothbrush (of all things). As soon as he can get his little hands on any part of the handle, it's over. He releases piercing screams so loud you would think that he was on the verge of death. He then begins choking and coughing - nearly to the point of throwing up, he's crying so hard. It's UNBELIEVABLE. He cries so loudly and for so long that his normal before-bed reading with Dad routine has been disturbed. He can't even stop crying to read. And tonight he took it to a new level: as usual, he started crying and coughing and arching his back as soon as Ryan took away the toothbrush. So Ryan got him out, dressed him in his PJs, all the while Charlie was escalating...he kept getting louder and more upset, not catching his breath, etc. for a good 10 minutes. So Ryan skipped the reading, trying to calm him down with some rocking and singing. Still the kid screamed and arched. So in I go, ready to diffuse the situation with milk. But for the first time in his little life, milk did not do the trick. He arched and screamed and pulled and punched and all out refused to nurse. He screamed his little head off until I laid him in his bed. I rubbed his head for a minute or two, he turned over and feel asleep. As if to say, "If you won't give me what I want, I don't need you! Leave me alone!" I had to admit I was heartbroken. I sat on the couch and cried a few tears for my stubborn, independent little boy. who must learn that he does not always get what he wants...and for myself, mother no more to a sweet angelic baby, who sleeps and eats on command. Instead, here I am with a little sinner who needs love and discipline. I guess BabyWise was right when they said that getting them to sleep through the night was not the ultimate parenting prize. :)

Those who say people are born good certainly are mistaken. Ryan and I, miserable sinners that we are, do not throw ourselves into the floor/wall/tub and scream...and scream and scream and scream. His recent behavioral digression was not learned - it is deep within his dark litle heart. I'm now more convicted than ever to pray for his salvation and trust in the Covenantal promises that God made to me and Ryan. And to pray for us as parents - whew, there is so much to teach him!


maryanne helms said...

WEll-written, Em. Yup. No taking salvation for granted in the Helms house either. Anna made me quite aware of that:). On to the real part of parenting. Are you ready?

Love you,

GL said...

Sounds like the recent behavior is worse than that of a certain 'emissary.' ;)

Good thing that a child of the covenant can't be an emissary. (For readers who are puzzled, "emissary" is an inside joke from Charlottesville days referring to their Satanic dog, Tyke.)

I'll join you in prayer since I can't think of anything else that would help this situation.

Emily said...

Tyke is not an emissary!

Jill said...

Awwww...Tyke isn't satanic! You tell Tyke Samantha Moody that his fairy godmother (me) says hello.

Libby & Colin said...

I'm with you, Emily. It truly is amazing how such cherubic babes can turn into little monsters when they don't get their way... And some people say that humans are innately good?! I've taken to just sticking Will on the carpet and leaving the room when he throws his tantrums, though that doesn't work so well right in the middle of Target. :)

Marlo said...

You sound like good, firm parents, Em- not giving in even though it would make the tantrum stop. Good for you!
-And both of mine started tantrums early, though Madeline (firstborn of course) was worse. I hope Charlie's are shortlived. I'll pray for your strength!

Jill said...

Yo, Emily...Check your email...and enjoy them while they're young!

Jeannette said...

Hey Emily,

It's been fun finding your blog and seeing what's going in yr life and little Charlie!! Sorry I don't always get a chance to comment. (btw, thanks for comment you left on my blog awhile ago...I've been MEANING to write...)

Anyway, I totally hear you on this one. One thing that has been helpful for us that I picked up from Early Intervention is making good transitions. That has cut down on the tantrum significantly. For instance, when it's time to give up the toothbrush (also a treasured item in our household) we go through this elaborate Farewell Ritual that involves waving and blowing kisses at the toothbrush while piling "goodbye's" on top of it. "bye, bye, toothbrush, see you later, goodbye, I love you, toothbrush." That helps a lot. Now we just have to say goodbye to something and then we can tranisiton pretty easily. Helps a lot to think of it from his perspective. Of course he doesn't want to give it up, he's having a great time, but helping have the language to give it up helps him then be able to give it up and move on. *shrug* my two cents.

I wouldn't have signed with Ellis if he hadn't been born deaf, but now that we are signign, it has been really amazing. He rarely has a tantrum, mostly because he has language to express his desires and feelings and that we can communicate with him about. Okay. Sorry, I didn't mean to get all soapboxy. My four cents, I suppose.

You sound like you're doing a great job. So...whatever works, eh?