Friday, September 18, 2009


Lily is a good child. By good I mean just that- good. She is compassionate and kind. She is loving and caring. She is very well behaved.

But she is also 2.

We have been butting heads alot lately. She skirts the line of defiance almost with every interaction where I am requesting something of her she doesn't want to do. And the things she doesn't want to do is lengthy. She wants to do what SHE wants. All the time. No matter what.

And that just can't happen.

So, we have a night like last night. I make her a good meal of things she likes, but I interrupt her show to have her come to the table. Oh she doesn't refuse to eat, noooooo. She just holds every single bite of food in her mouth and doesn't swallow. See- skirting the line of definance. Infuriating.

Then, we go to change her diaper and get dressed. She doesn't want to come to me. She doesn't refuse...but she dilly dallies mightily. In the end, I have asked her to come to me no less than 10 times. I grab her arm, bring her to me. She flops like a fish, holding her hand as if it is mortally wounded. I change her diaper, and warn her she is going to get a spank if she doesn't stop.



So, she gets a spank and a time out to boot.

I have had a hard time with deciding if spanking was an option for us. In the end, Mark and I agreed that it was a discipline tool to be used sparingly. I know many people don't agree with it, and I get that, but for us, it works. But that doesn't mean I like it. In fact, I hate doing it. But if I say it's a consequence, I have to give it as one.

Afterwards, I sat on the couch while she was in time out. She was crying. I listened to her, and I started to cry as well. I don't enjoy any aspect of disciplining her. I know it's necessary, and I know she responds very well to it and learns from it, but damnitt, it HURTS me to hurt her.

When I called her out of time out, I held her for a long time. When I pulled back to talk to her, I began crying again. She was shocked, and then she cried herself. I told her of how I don't like to spank her, how it hurts my heart and makes me sad. I don't like to make her cry, and it makes me sad when she misbehaves, because I have to take things from her. As I cried, she cried. As I wiped the tears from her face, she wiped mine.

Eventually we just rocked together. I started thinking of all of the amazing things my child is. How kind. How loving. How giving. How she truly cares for others. She is empathetic. She is compassionate.

She is a reflection of me, and my treatment of her. I treasure her. I cherish her. I work very hard to be aware of her tiny spirit and her feelings. I am affectionate. I tell her I love her a thousand times a day. I am gentle.

And all of these things, she is as well. Even in the darker moments, when I have to discipline her, I still treasure her.

I thought alot about my hangups I have carried into motherhood. I tend to be always thinking 10 steps ahead, trying to avoid situations where she could be hurt. I break my neck to keep her from feeling rejected or sad. The idea of her hurting emotionally is almost too much for me to bear. But then there are times where I must be the one hurting her to TEACH her.

I also thought about how God must feel this way with me as well. I am stubborn. I want my own way. I do the wrong thing. I am defiant. He corrects me, often, and I am humbled and saddened by his disappointment. But I always know He loves me. I always know I am safe. I can only hope Lily always feels the same with me.