Operation Patient Parent: Round one goes to....Mr. Irritated
So today I woke up determined to exude patience and calmness at all times, no matter what sort of behaviours my children were determined to display. Here's how things went down:
7:10 a.m. - I cheerfully wipe up a large puddle of milk spilled on the table. After all, every drop just supports our dairy farmer friends, right?
7:32 a.m. - I hold my 6-yr-old daughter as she cries about her brother hitting her with dirty underwear. Seriously?? Where do they come up with these things? His stuffed cow ends up in the cupboard for a time-out (don't even ask). Peace was restored.
9:04 a.m. - Hooray! It's time to wake up my wife, who got to sleep in today. The coffee was on, and it was time for the children to pay a little visit with Nanny Toshiba.
Quiet children watching a video + sweet nectar of caffeine = bliss.
Patience is easy!
11:50 a.m. - I have finished vacuuming the house, and the bathroom cleaned. And the patience continues. Sweet!
2:05 p.m. - My wife leaves for her "Spa" afternoon to get a massage and spend the evening relaxing. This is my treat to her for holding down the fort on her own when I was in Thailand for 2 weeks.
2:07 p.m. - My children get into a shouting match over a toy. I suddenly find myself shouting over their voices telling them to stop shouting and speak calmly to each other. Very effective parenting.
2:55 p.m. - My 3-yr-old son decides his behaviour has been much too calm day. A hissy fit ensues over...I'm not sure what exactly. He is led to his room to enjoy his hissy fit on his own. Irritation is quickly creeping in.
5:05 p.m. - Supper is on the table. The girls are eating nicely. My son will not stop complaining about how he doesn't like the meal. I am full-on irritated and not feeling so patient any more. His stuffed cow and both blankies end up back in the cupboard while I pray mightily "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7). Miraculously, my son finds his appetite and the meal disappears.
Play time after dinner leads to various squabbles over nothing of importance. I soon decide that this day calls for the "Koosh gun" as we shoot nerf balls harmlessly at each other. No doubt my Mennonite grandparents are frantically rolling in their graves. However, there is nothing so therapeutic as bouncing a soft nerf ball off your son's butt. Of course, he got me back too!
7 p.m. - I praise the Lord for bed time. I love my children, but I especially love them while they are sleeping.
As I reflect over my day, I know I had many moments of patience where I felt like being nothing of the sort. But in the end, Mr. Irritation definitely won out many times when I could have kept calm.
However, tomorrow is a brand new day! After all, I'm a work in progress and Jesus isn't done with me yet.
Who knows what tomorrow holds? :)