Monday, January 5, 2009

All I want is just a little respect

What a morning! Back to the grind, I suppose. Brian's back to work. Will's back to school. And I'm back to taking proper care of myself. My sleep is off schedule. My eating's completely off. My muscles have shrunk.

Time to get back at'er.

But that's not why this morning has been so crazy. It started out like any other school morning. No, I did not get up to exercise, but we were awake with lots of time and were heading downstairs for breakfast. Then it happened. A stand off between me and Willem.

I asked him to set the table for everyone while I changed Finny's diaper. When I arrived at the kitchen I saw my darling son sitting at the table with not one dish on the table. When I questioned him about it, he muttered something about it being my job.

I think you can see where this is going...

And so the mommy nagging started. He tired of it quickly and he said, "Fine. But I'll only set for me and Nate."

And that's when I lost it.

No I did not yell or spank or anything like that, but what came out of my mouth for the next 10 minutes can only be described as verbal diarrhea. At a slightly elevated tone. You could tell he was just waiting for it to end. And I kept talking because you know that the best way to get a kid to listen to you and change their attitude is to talk AT them for a very long time. The more words you say...the more they're gonna get, right?

Ha ha ha.

Poor Nate and Finn.

And I continued to talk and I could hear Brian's voice in my head telling me to shut up. But I didn't. I kept going and going.

We gave Will a kid's study bible for Christmas and he's been devouring it ever since (after he got over the fact that he hadn't asked for it). Mostly reading all the questions and answers meant for kids. Last night he started asking us questions at supper about evil and Satan and all that stuff. We were happily showing off our bible college knowledge when it suddenly dawned on Brian that he wasn't asking because he wanted to know, but rather because he was quizzing us. "Are you just asking us the questions in your bible?" My astute husband asked. "Yes." "How did we do?" "Well," replied Will, "Mostly good, but mommy got one question wrong..."

So, back to this morning...

Given his recent interest, I asked Will what God would think of his selfish behavior and his response? "God wouldn't like YOUR behaviour!"

And I sent him to his room so I could cool off. Now, keep in mind that we had to be at school in about 40 minutes, so time was of the essence. No one was dressed yet and it's super cold out so I need to budget about 10 minutes just for bundling. And I wasn't feeding him until he dropped the 'tude.

I was so frustrated. I don't want to raise a selfish or arrogant child. Nor do I want to be one of those moms that no one in the family respects because no one has seen her accomplish anything outside of the home. Do you know a family like that? You know, where everyone rolls their eyes when mom opens her mouth because what does mom know? And everyone expects her to do everything around the house. And her kids enter the adult world with no respect for moms in general and not knowing how to take care of themselves? Well I do, and it's one of my biggest fears and probably the biggest reason why I might return to school or the work force one day.

So, after the appropriate time had past for Will to sit in his room and think about what he'd done and for me to cool off and get his lunch packed, I called him down. I decided to be honest. I wanted him to understand why I was so upset because talking at him wasn't working. I explained to him that I felt disrespected when he talked to me that way and when he didn't help around the house. And he started to cry and he hugged me tight. Once we'd made up he said to me, "Mom, I guess neither of us acted the way God wants us to act."

Well said Will, well said.


  1. I admire you a lot Amanda. That took a lot of humility. What a sweet boy you have! me all teary eyed at work! :)

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  3. Wow what a powerful lesson to learn. I have seen those situations arising in my new 5-year old and it's hard to not go off on those 10-minute tangents too. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Oh I will be calling you with questions a few years from now...
    That was a funny little Bible trivia session there. :o) Willem is a sweetie. And you're a good mom.
    I've been thinking alot about what you said about the moms not having as much respect cuz they didn't have "real" jobs - and wondering how much I've put that onto my mom and mother-in-law... and it made me want to get a job too! :o)
    Hope today goes better!