Hey, Mama Who Doesn’t Know What In The World She’s Doing. Want to start a club? We could also accept dads who don’t know what they’re doing, single professionals who don’t know what they’re doing, empty nesters who don’t know what they’re doing, etc. It could be called the Clueless Club. I could be president.
How long is too long to have a standoff with an almost two year old about eating one bite of chicken? And how many times do I have to do it? Don’t answer that.
On Monday Jack had his first dentist’s appointment and I was relieved when it was over because I was scared to get into trouble that he was still sucking his thumb. (I hate taking my kids to the doctor because I feel like there are parenting things I should know about and no one told me and the doctor is going to be mad at me. Is this weird?) I didn’t get in trouble and the dentist reassured me there was only so much I could do (not much) but still, it would’ve been nice to get that pat on the back for having helped a child overcome an addiction. That would be funny since I can’t even help myself overcome my own addictions. (Like maybe a need for someone to pat me on the back?)
Praise God he not only can but wants to help us.
Anyway, after the appointment, I thought I’d be a nice mother and take them to Chick-fil-A to pass some time since it was 100 degrees outside. Plus I was starving.
The boys went to play while I ordered the food. It was packed. As soon as our food came to the table, the boys came running to eat. I took this as a good sign because Case seems to never really eat. It’s a big day for me when the kid chews up and swallows some protein.
So he devoured his side item. Ok, waffle fries. I didn’t get the fruit cup, okay? And I told him he had to eat some chicken then he could go play. He refused. And he knows what it means. And he likes chicken. So this was not cruel. With Case you get one of two things: a chirpy “Otay, mama!” Or a tight-lipped brick wall. That day he picked brick wall. And I started to sweat. Because once I’ve told my kids something, I do my best to stick to it. I’m not sure if this is an Approved Parenting Tactic according to the Internet Judging Club but it seems like consistency and I read somewhere that consistency is THE KEY. So if I say you have to eat chicken before you play and you don’t eat chicken, we might as well all have a seat.
Jack ate his chicken and went to play because he’s already been through the terrific twos standoffs and he has realized he has more important things to do with his time.
Case waited me out. I asked sweetly. I reminded calmly. I stated firmly. He tried flopping. He tried screeching. He tried sneaking off.
And eventually we packed up and left Chick-fil-A and Case did not get to go back to the “play drownd.” And I only wondered a few times how many women around me were thinking I was mean or who thought I did the right thing. I didn’t wonder about the men. I don’t know why. Probably because I assume they could care less about whether I get my kids to eat chicken or not. But the moms care. Because that’s how they figure out whether they’re doing it right or better or worse.
So we drove home and I was analyzing my mothering as I often, I mean always, do. And I heard a mean voice hiss “You’re doing it wrong.” And, y’all, the great thing about this moment was that it was a mean voice in my ear but it wasn’t my voice. My voice responded “no, I’m not.” I’m praying and listening to God and I love my kids and I’m trying. That’s the only “doing it right” that there is.
And it’s fine. He goes before me and comes behind me. When I make a mistake, God can and will redeem it when I hand it over to Him. So it’s fine. I’m fine. My kids are fine and it’s all fine.
So, Mama Who Doesn’t Know What You’re Doing? Chill out, sister.
I love you, your kids love you and Jesus loves you. Power to the people.