Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Kendra, my little Holy Spirit

The scenario: It's after dinner and the kids and I are playing a round of Disney Candy Land. Everyone is happy, we're all taking turns, and even David is enjoying the action. Then Kendra picks the card that sends her back to Cinderella's Glass Slipper, which is at the beginning of the board. She throws a fit saying she's going to lose and she's quitting, and then she crawls off and hides behind the rocking chair.

My reponse: I thoroughly raise my voice and chastise her. I tell her that you don't quit just because you're losing, and the whole point is just to have fun spending time with your family. (The irony meter was inching higher at that statement.) I tell her that she's not quitting, she will come back and finish the game, and I threaten her with a loss of priveleges if she doesn't obey. Kendra returns and sullenly plays with us.

A few minutes later, Kendra asks this: "Mama, how come you're nicer to everyone else than you are to your own family?"


Thankfully, I didn't react in anger, which would have only emphasized her point. But it's true, I am nicer to my friends, to strangers, and sometimes to random solicitors on the phone than I am to my own kids and Kevin. I tried to explain to Kendra that I get frustrated because I expect my kids to obey, to treat each other kindly, etc. When you don't act the way I expect, I said, I sometimes (often) get upset and angry and shrill. I pointed out that she's often nicer to her friends than to her sister and brother, too.

The sad thing is, we were having a much better day today than the last few weeks! We laughed more, baked a batch of Easy Bake Oven cookies, played outside in the sunshine, and I didn't lose it and scream like a banshee once. There was a lot of correcting, but apparently Kendra wants me to be a whole lot nicer about it. Honestly, I'm not sure I can be a full-time nice mom and train my kids well. Something to think on/pray about.


soupablog said...

if i treated the rest of humanity the way i treat my own household, i'd have been throttled long ago.

Amy Soupiset said...

I am proud of you for blogging and I love the name. You are a natural blogger. Tell Kendra that it takes a very special mom to do Easy Bake Oven anything. I gave ours away after one use. It took so long to warm up and then you barely have anything to eat when you are done. Kudos to you!

Stephanie said...

You too, huh? Glad to see I'm not the only repeatedly humbled mommy out there. You'd think it'd be easy to spend your days joyfully playing with, laughing with, and loving on the most precious people in the world to you, so why does it seem so hard sometimes? Oh yeah...we're stinkin' sinners. Thank God for our little Holy Spirits, and for His Holy Spirit, constantly shaping and sanctifying us.

Brooke said...

LOL. Have we turned into our mother? As a child, I always thought mom was nicer to everyone else! But, now hindsight is 20/20 and I realize it's not true. Someday, Kendra will come to the same understanding.