Thursday, March 27, 2008

Big Threat, Little Girl

Only minutes after holding a purple faced yowling infant Pumpkindoodle, my friend Anita produced a sympathetic smile and frankly stated, “This girl’s got opinions.”

Four years and forty thousand words later my girl still owns copious opinions along with a deep seeded belief that said opinions require an audience. One night I sat in the front row of P.D. Opinion Fest 2008 and boy did I get an earful.

Sent to bed 15 minutes early for disobedience my three-foot charge was ticked. She wallowed in self-pity and handcuffed me to the trough. “This is not fair. I have a horrible life and I’m not going to take it anymore. I’m not going to live here either. I’m going to live on the street.”

Reeling, my first thought was where on earth does this girl get her material? In my craziest dreams I couldn’t imagine plucky Dora the Explorer™ threatening life on the avenida. And Cinderella™ who toiled the day away in servitude would have welcomed an early respite.

My second thought shaped itself into a plea “Lord, I’m at the end of my rope and on the verge of losing my cool, please help me diffuse this situation.” Taking a deep breath, I softened my voice, mustered a condoling tone, and began a dialog of a sneaky nature.

“Oh my, are you really going to live on the street?”

“Yes. I. AM.”

“Wow. You must have a very terrible life.”

“I do.”

“Hmmm. I guess you have a really mean mommy and daddy?”


“I cannot imagine wanting to live on the cold street if I had a nice warm bed to sleep in. Your parents must be so mean. Do they hit you?”

Eyes open wide, head shaking side to side.

“No? Well then they must throw things at you?”

A whispered “No.”

“They must do some terrible things for you to want to live on the street. Let’s see….do they call you nasty names? Make you eat trash? Pull your hair?”

Her pout melted like warm chocolate. “Mommy?”

“Yes darling?”

“I’m so sorry. I was angry when I said those things. I don’t ever want to leave you and Daddy and Pickle.”

“I know sweetheart, I forgive you.”

We talked some more, cuddled, and exchanged “Eskimo Kisses.”

Sigh. Thank you Lord for providing me the strength to parent when it would be easier to live on the street.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32


Erin said...

What a great post! I know I need to breathe that prayer more often and diffuse the situation differently. It's so easy to respond in kind rather than sit and have patient dialog.

Mocha with Linda said...

That is precious.

And your comment on my blog about my sister brought me to tears. Thank you for your encouragement.

The crayon post below was heart-rending, and I so identify with the "That Wife" post.

I have visited here before, and I'm not sure how I lost track of it. . . Thanks for consistently coming by my blog. I'm putting you in my sidebar!

Blessings to you!

Tori Shelton said...

your "three foot charge" is a lucky little girl to have you for a momma.

may you always have the wit to match her in those emotional moments (which i hear only get more intense as time passes).

you're teaching her that it's ok to feel things, but also re-enforcing the beauty of an apology.

looking forward to more insightful days with you and that very fortunate little girl.

Alana said...

I wish I always had the presence of mind to stop and pray for help in those situations. I'm glad it turned out well.

Also, thanks for you comment. I hope things work out for you to get relief from your headaches as well! Feel free to email if you have further questions!

Sarah said...

Beautiful new layout! I love the post. What wisdom you showed with your little girl.

Tonya said...

What a WISE Mommy you are! I love how you went straight for the attitude. Do you know that I'm 34 and I've only learned THIS YEAR that we should discipline for attitude too?

Proverbs 22:15
Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

(By discipline, I don't mean just spanking - sometimes, as in your case... a talk will do) BTW.. I read some of your other posts.. I COMPLETELY disagree with that dad hitting you. GOD says that those who spare the rod, HATE their son, but he who LOVES his son will discipline him PROMPTLY. HOWEVER, you weren't in need of discipline. That was an innocent childhood mistake.

Oh, I also wanted to thank you for your sweet comment you left on my blog. We're SO HAPPY to finally have this sweet baby girl in our family. =-)


Anonymous said...

You handled that nicely.

Gretchen said...

So, so sweet. Yes, i've had many a time when I've wanted to be a street person. But not really. :) I feel just like her. Isn't it tough when our job is to always be the grown up? I'd be great with about 80% of grown uppage, but 100% is definitely a stretch. Which is why we pray. :)

Great post.

Sarah said...

I have one that requires an audience too...I'm always reminded that God's grace is sufficient (over and over and over!)

Seven_Shades_of_Red said...

How incredibly darling is she?!

Anonymous said...

thanks for visiting my blog :o)

Jessica Morris said...

That is precious. God is good to give grace and wisdom when we ask. What perfect timing, and you used your words well :)
I'm sure my children will want to be run aways at some point too ... both their father and I aspired to that at one point (or several) in our childhood. (Just little threats like your daughter - nothing serious!!)

You did tell me your son looks like mine - is there a picture of him on here? I didn't see one when I went looking the other day.

Becoming Me said...

Thanks all for the comments. There are some pix of my kids on my personal blog www.allthatnaz.blogspot.

livin with me said...

What a great post! I know with my 18 month old, who can have some pretty big tantrums, I often need to take a step back to say a quick prayer before I respond.

mer said...

I love this post and the one below (the crayons). You are a wonderful writer, and I think you're a wise mother. I love that God gave you the wisdom to diffuse the situation, and I love to the sweet, repentant heart of your daughter.

it's me, Val said...

That was beautiful. I wish I could ask for help more often in those kind of situations. Thanks so much for posting that and reminding me that I should ask.

My cup runneth over... said...

You are one wise Momma! It was precious to read, particularly at the point where her little heart just "got it." Thanks for sharing that sweet post.


Betsy said...

Wow! Thank you so much for leaving a comment on my blog! I had never visited your blog before, but I always love meeting new people and your blog is wonderful!! Your stories are so inspirational and real. I truly enjoyed reading them today. I am going to put you on my favorites so I can visit more often! Have a great weekend!

sara said...

I just recently started reading your post and wondered if you would mind emailing me on how you got your blog to use the full screen. Is it a special layout?

Thanks! sara at

Becoming Me said...

Just a note to say thank you again for all the encouraging comments. You know, I don't always have moments like the one I wrote about it this post. Sometimes I loose it. I actually did last night and needed to apologize to Pumpkindoodle who readily forgave me. I am so thankful that God choose me to be a parent to my children and that He also choose them for me. That gives me hope when I feel like a failure. I know that when I stop and ask and allow him to work in and through me the results are so much greater than anything I could accomplish on my own. Thank you all for reading my blog. It is my desire to write honest posts that minister to others.

Cindy-Still His Girl said...

Hey there! Thanks for stopping by. I've loved reading several of your posts. I think you definitely will have a writing ministry that blesses many, many people.

Looking forward to getting to know you (and your 3 foot little hoot) better! :)

Ann said...

Hello! Thank you so much for visitng my blog :)

My little 16-month old girl is already developing her own opinions. She recently learned to scream to get my attention. How did she learn that?? heehee!

And reading about your daughter running away, you handled that so tenderly!

SaraLynn said...

Great Story!
I really enjoyed it!

Gina Conroy said...

Your little girl sounds like mine, except mine wouldn't have apologized so quickly! :)

Megan said...

you have such a lovely gift with words! great story- i've had more than my share...countless...daily moments like that too! i'm always so thankful when the Lord gives me the right thing to say in the moment!!


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