You know how before you have children, you have all of these preconceived notions of how children should act and look. It's like this...you see a child with stuff all over his face and clothes while thinking to yourself..."Can't that mom clean up that baby? How embarrassing for her!"...then it happens...you have boys!!! They come out of the SHOWER dirty, you know what I mean? They are messy.
Then, you see a child throwing a tantrum and you think to yourself, "That mom has no control of her child!"...then you have children of your own. It is then that you watch SuperNanny in pain...because you know how you've had "days" like those moms (probably more days than you care to admit).
I learned very early (when Will was 15 months and going through his terrible 2's), that children are NOT puppets. Oh, I tried!!! I wanted him to act perfect and look perfect. It was a battle that brought me, humbly, to my knees.
I craved parenting advice and tried EVERYTHING. Will didn't mind spanking. He had a "bring it on" kind of attitude toward it. We had to find what his PAIN was...taking away Thomas the Tank Engine toys...much worse torture than a spanking that turned his booty blue.
We "got a hold" of his strong will (we would not have named him Will had we known he'd have such a strong one!) and everything has been better. However, there are times that we are still reminded that he is not (and never will be) a puppet. It is called "free will (not like Will is free...you know what I mean) and we ALL have it. We have a choice on how we act and look. Will has free will to wear his shirt backwards and his clothes not match (well, I could probably get him to change clothes but I figure I better "pick my battles", as my mom would say). Will has free will to say hurtful words (and the consequence of soap in his mouth that will follow). Will has free will to choose if he wants to play soccer well or walk the field (believe me...we've tried EVERYTHING to get him to do what we want on that field...bribery didn't even work!).
Will played amazing tonight at soccer. He has his past two games (but not the prior 10). Will is a great soccer player but he hasn't had the desire to do well. It was his "free will" (and oh, so frustrating!). What changed his attitude the past two games? If I knew, I would try to replicate it...but he isn't a puppet. Again, I remain on my knees as a mother...and as a child of God. So often lately when I get frustrated with my children, I think of how frustrated God must be with me...but he gave ME "free will"...I am not a puppet.