I have a particularly challenging four year old, to say the least. She is extremely bright, and often succeeds in outsmarting her parents to the point that we are completely speechless - hard to do if you know us! She can be completely exasperating, and push us to the point where we literally need to walk out of the house to keep from going completely ballistic. On the other hand, she has a sweet, caring, nurturing, and really funny silly part of her, that thankfully far outweighs those trying times. Well, our poor little lady is sick. Just a nasty cold, accompanied by a pretty decent fever, but it was enough to keep her in her bed ALL day today. It's days like this that truly make me appreciate the over active preschool behaviors! All day we worried. We worried to the point that we were annoying her! So, when she finally came stumbling out of bed around 6 pm tonight, we were ecstatic to see her! (Of course, we did look at each other with that "uh-oh, now she'll be up all night expression, but it only lasted for a brief moment!) This tired, stuffy nosed little girl's only concern was her baby sister. As hoarse as she is, she pulled her little chair up next to the baby's exersaucer, put on the headphone to her little mp3 player, and sat singing (nothing other than Hanna Montana, naturally) to her baby sister for a good half hour. Now, the littlest lady was in absolute glory! She whined and carried on most of the day because she LOVES her big sister, and would prefer to have her undivided attention every moment she is awake! When our little lady just couldn't sing anymore, she sweetly told the baby "I have to take a break now, but don't worry, I'll come back".
These are the moments when I wish I could bottle that patience and use it when we are having one of those "preschool moments". One of my "8 in 2008" was to have more patience. I adore my girls. I adore my husband. I also have a very short fuse. I admit this freely, and often. I also spend an awful lot of time apologizing for losing my temper. So, if I know this, and I regret the decisions I make after the fact, what keeps me from being able to stop before I get to the breaking point? (This is actually a question, I really don't know the answer, so any advice will gladly be taken!)
I'm currently working through a devotional by Lysa TerKeurst titled "The Bathtub is Overflowing, but I Feel Drained". (Forgive me if I am not grammatically correct in how I quote things, I'm still learning, and have lost my Practical Stylist book!!!) I've just started it, but I am truly hoping that this will help me to uncover some things about myself. This fuse is not just short at home. I tend to have a short fuse at work, or in a store, or wherever I may be that things don't go the way I want them to. I'm just not so vocal about it unless I'm home!
There is one particular quote from this book that jumped right out at me: "if I can change the way I think about something, I can change the way I react to it. If I change the way I react, I can change the way I define myself as a mother." (p. 11) This is a quote I am taking to heart. I plan to post it where I will see it often.
That said, perhaps I should add a 9th goal to my "8 in 2008". To change the way I react in a "preschool moment".