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!