Thursday, May 23, 2013

{I forgot about the terrible twos}

Eli is redefining everything I thought I knew about parenting.

I forgot about the terrible twos. 

Except he's only one.

Yesterday's text to my mom:  If his attitude were reflected in his appearance, he would be flying down the interstate on a Harley in leather with forty-five tattoos, ponytail and beard blowing in the wind singing bad to the bone. . .

but instead he's 2 feet tall, bald and cute. 

On the upside (you see if you think this is an upside), Daniel tried to encourage me that at least Eli wasn't swearing at me.

Obviously we're grasping at straws for upsides.

(And I'm pretty sure if he knew how to swear, he would be adding that to his shrieking tirades.)

Yesterday I was that mom in the grocery store.

I discipline.  I've read (and applied) Tedd Tripp and Ginger Plowman and Tim Kimmel;  I had millions of parenting strategies that I just couldn't wait to try when I was a teenager watching other parents' children.

But then your own moment of truth comes, pushing the big red racecar cart harrumph harrrumph bbubump bbump that your toddler wanted to drive

except that he doesn't want to drive anymore

so you're carrying him

and pushing the cart one-handed and going all the way back to the produce section to grab some forgotten cilantro

and his head is thrown back with a tornado siren wail

his little scalp is so red from crying that I notice little blond hairs that actually exist; hey- he doesn't swear (yet) and he has some hair!  (These are the only positive thoughts I can muster.)

and everyone in the store is looking at us.

You avoid eye contact except for the sympathetic mom types who had the good sense to come alone.

You race through the checkout.

He grips the paper plate package he's holding as if the clerk is trying to steal his birth certificate and she says oh, I can find the bar code while he holds it; I peel his fingers off and grimly tell her that I'm not catering to him and it's not ok for him to act like this while I hand her the paper plates to the soundtrack of renewed shrieks.

Just one kid today? she asks, because they all know me which is proving to be more of a curse than blessing today. Well, just one in the store. 

The other two are sitting in the van watching Alvin and the Chipmunks to avoid grocery shopping with Eli. 

I cannot wait for the day that I can sit in the van and send them in for the cilantro and I can watch Alvin.  Hopefully I will have enough brain cells left that I won't choose Alvin.

So I know what God's Word says and I have every intention of training up my child in the way he should go but God isn't kidding when He says foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child.

I don't think God elaborates on what to do at the exact moment you're pushing the red race car cart with one hand;  but here's what I'm clinging to as I teach my little son that obedience will bring him and everyone else happiness:

So do not throw away your confidence;  it will be richly rewarded. (Hebrews 10:35)

{Jesus said} You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My Name. (John 15:16)

Be patient, then. . . see how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuble crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.  You too, be patient and stand firm. (from James 5)

* I will write about Africa

* We are almost done with school

* If you see us in Fareway with the red cart and no screaming please understand the magnitude of this accomplishment.


  1. oh hayley.
    i have one.
    first i had 2...and i thought we were great parents. seriously. i may not have said it out loud, but i was pretty sure we had it figured out. ;)
    HA! then ayla arrived. our gift. our reminder that we STINK at parenting.
    and she is still reminding us at age 5. i feel like she should be 18. hasn't she been reminding us for like EIGHTEEN YEARS?!?! i got it! we suck! GEEZ!!
    keep on keepin on. that's all i got. oh...and you may want to throw those books away. just sayin...

  2. I would be one of those ladies giving you a sympathetic look. Anyone with children was probably remembering their own grocery store horror stories. Anyone without children has their day coming. You have a great sense of humor!

    I stink at parenting too!

  3. Hilarious. Made me laugh. We're in the middle of the terrible 3s with David, about to become the terrible 4s ...

  4. I am so with you. Thad started being naughty the day he turned one, and we aren't out of the woods as we approach his 3rd birthday! "They" say that we have future leaders. Yay. Someday it will be yay. Right now I think it is pretty awful. Ha!