A Little Ray of Sunshine

Monday, April 18, 2005

A Revelation

Sundays we go over to my folks for dinner, either before or after church, depending on my husband's fluctuating work schedule. This was a before-church dinner, with the intention of attending the evening service.
After dinner, Beau is expected to ask to be excused from the table. This is not, normally, a big deal. He has been doing this ever since he could barely manage "Cuse pees." Now he's to the "Poppa (or Daddy), Scuse me please." stage of speaking. Yesterday he refused. We sat there. He was spanked. He screamed. He wouldn't say it.
My mom started trying to distract him.
"Won't you like to come for a walk with me, Beau?" etc.
And I realized, this is why we had so many, many fights. She wimped out. She doesn't like to hear a child cry. So I ignored her. Beau was spanked. He screamed. He wouldn't say it. Nana kept trying to distract him. My dad actually snapped at her. That was weird.
Finally, after forty-five minutes of this, Nana left for church. Daddy took over the discipline end. I took Henry out of the room. Beau screamed. Poppa waited. Beau finally said "Poppa, scuse me please." It took an hour and a half. We were fifteen minutes away from church, and the service was half over. We didn't go.
We came home, and I've been thinking about what happened. I have a lot of trouble with willfulness. Honestly, I hate to have to obey. This is my biggest struggle as a Christian.
I was raised by my non-Christian father and my Christian mother. I've discovered, as an adult, that they made some serious errors in raising me. Some can be attributed to the belief differences. Unfortunately for me, my dad decided to let my mom deal with my tantrums from an early age, apparently. No wonder Mom and I have fought so much. She was never in control, and I can think of nothing worse than being at the mercy of a strong-willed toddler.
This is not the first time Beau has pulled this sort of behavior. He did it earlier in the week, too. He's discovering that while he is very strong-willed, his parents are even more stubborn. He can last for nearly two hours. I don't know how long I can hold out for, but judging from teenage memories, at least a couple days. Mommy's going to win. I have to. Because by the time he's ten, he'll be bigger and stronger than I am. I can't fight these battles later. I already did, from the other side. I know what happens when the child wins. I'm just lucky my rebelliousness didn't get me into more serious trouble than it did.


  • At 9:27 AM, April 18, 2005, Anonymous Gnerd said…

    I ran into a similar problem lately, and stumbled on a *great* fix. See, the thing is, I don't want to out-wait my kid -- just not interested.

    So, this is how it goes:

    "Kid, you have five minutes. If you don't (take that medicine, ask to be excused, pick up that toy), you'll get a spanking.

    After 5, spank.

    "Kid, the next one's a bare-hiney spankin', and they're coming every 5 until we get this done.

    "Yes dad."

    Worked like a *champ*, 'cause I'm not going to play waiting games, and I'm not that wild about pouring medicine down a panic-y kid's throat either.

    Free advice, take it or leave it...

  • At 9:54 AM, April 18, 2005, Blogger BoysMom said…

    Your kid is either more rational or less stuborn than mine. Beau got . . . upwards of a dozen spankings over that ninety minutes, and the last five or six were 'Daddy spankings'. My eldest is the sort that, like both his parents, will cheerfully sit in time-out for a week rather than submit. He's got plenty of mental strength, hopefully he'll put it to constructive use as he grows up.

  • At 6:39 AM, April 19, 2005, Blogger Shona said…

    God bless you and hang in there....

    By the way, I saw your post on Vox Day's blog, that is, the one about government schools in response to his comments on masculinity.

    We are on the same page.

    Please visit my web site and my blog.

    You will be glad you did, I promise:



    These are geared more for men, but I'm sure you know a man of two who might like it. Or, you can always start saving the daily tips for your son when he gets older!

    By the way, I am posting this under my wife's blog...thanks! Mark Cole


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