You already know that my little Spike, Spike has a temper and attitude. He is like many of my children in that respect. But he is also highly, emotionally volatile. He is doing a fabulous job at communicating with words but he often changes his mind in the middle of something and then gets upset if you continue doing what you thought he wanted.
|Look at this cute face! Does he really look||like he can cause THAT much drama?|
Sundays have been a particular challenge because he has decided that he doesn’t like church clothes. Some Sundays it is the texture of the clothes, others it is the color of the clothes and other days, I don’t really know what the issue is. I could tell this last Sunday was going to be particularly difficult because half an hour before the meetings started, he was still running around the house in a diaper and refusing to put clothes on.
After working with him for about 10 minutes, I left him in the care of his sister to see if she could make more headway than I had been able to. Ten minutes before the meetings started, she still hadn’t been successful. I decided that we needed to put his clothes on, now and I chose clothes for him and stuffed him into them. Of course, he kicked and screamed the entire time. I put his shoes and socks on, he ripped them off. I sent Sun to church while I decided what to do with this very upset little man.
I thought maybe if we got out of the house, he would do better. I put his shoes back on and walked out of the front door and sat down on the step, placing him on the ground in front of me. More kicking, whaling, flailing, and screaming, pulling on his shirt yelling, “Not this!!! Not this!!” I just watched him roll around in the front yard while many ward members were driving by on their way to church.
The debate, of course, was should I take him to church like this or just stay home with his attitude. I finally decided that we needed to go to church, shoes or no shoes. He calmed down enough to sit in my lap and I took the shoes off of him. He asked me to take off his shirt, and I told him only if he would choose different ones. I knew it wasn’t about the clothes because I chose something comfortable, all cotton and the thing he usually chooses for himself. I hugged him for just a moment, then said, “We need to go to church.”
“No Mom!!! No church!!”
I stood up, grabbed his socks and shoes and while he yelled and wriggled and pushed on me, we began the walk to church. He started pulling my hair and yelling, “Help! Help!” Really, I thought? I am your mother. You need help because I am carrying you to church without shoes or socks? Is this really worth the drama?? Good grief!
As we walked into the building, the opening hymn was playing and the Spirit distilled upon my little one. I felt ‘the fight’ leave his little body. I still traveled straight into the Relief Society room because I wasn’t going to manage his attitude in the chapel. We sat there until they began playing the sacrament hymn, at which point, I asked him if he would like to sit in the foyer so we could take the bread and water. “Yes,” was his response. I picked up his shoes and we went into the foyer.
There we sat until they had finished administering the sacrament. “Milk?”
“Yes, you can have your milk. But it is in the chapel. You will need to put your shoes on before we can go into the chapel and get your milk.”
“Will you put your shoes on now?”
“OK.” I put his socks and shoes on. They opened the chapel doors and we went in. As we approached our bench, he started to hesitate entering it. He wanted to sit on a different bench. I scooped him up, explained that his milk was in this bench and we needed to sit down. He relented.
We only made it through one speaker before something else set him off and we spent the rest of the meeting in the foyer, him sitting quietly on my lap with my arms around his knees. Needless to say, by the time nursery class rolled around, I think we were both ready for the break.
This was just another evidence to me of my growth in motherhood. I would not have tolerated his behavior as a ‘younger’ mother. Can you even imagine such craziness from a two-year-old. I can see a teenager having that kind of a battle of the wills, but a two-year-old? They are so easily distracted and dissuaded. (Not Spike, Spike, obviously.)
Do I have that same kind of attitude with things I want or think I need and the Lord is telling me otherwise? I know I am strong-willed and stubborn. (Probably comes from my German ancestry!) But geesh!
Also, it just reinforced to me the importance of taking our people to church. It may be a fight to get them there. It may not look pretty and we may not feel like going or seeing other people or being in a public place because of our attitude or the attitude of those we come with. But it is still the right place to be and still where we should be…….all of us. The way his little body melted with the Spirit of the music and the meeting, we all need that, especially when our attitude is screaming that it isn’t what we want!!
Best of luck in the battles that you have raging at your house 🙂 May the Spirit prevail and obedience win out!