A Fencing Lesson

“Dear Lord,

So far today I’ve done pretty well. I haven’t gossiped, lost my temper, given into temptation, or been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent.  I’m very thankful for that.  But in a few minutes, I’m going to get out of bed and from then on, I’m going to need a lot more help…”

Today was one of those days I wish I could go back and start over.  Today was a sensory issue day for Berlyn. That means that either her socks and shoes are an issue, brushing her hair is an issue, or just putting on an outfit is an issue.  Today it was her outfit.  She didn’t want to wear jeans but her leggings were too long and her favorite leggings were still in the wash.

It didn’t help that we were already running late when she had a breakdown.  Sometimes I can plan for her issues and other times I can’t. This was one of the days I thought it would be easy to get out the door because she usually has no problem with her black leggings I picked out.  Instead, she melted down and started screaming about her pants being too long.  That led to mommy getting frustrated and then we are both in a yelling match over an outfit and time.  That led to me physically forcing my child to put on clothes to go to school.  That led to both of us in tears by the time we got to the car.

My 2 year old went to grandma’s in her PJ’s because I didn’t even have time to get her dressed since I had spent so much time on Berlyn.  My mom understands because one of my sisters has sensory issues as well.  We didn’t even get to the hair battle so Berlyn went to school with un-brushed hair.  At least she had clothes on.

The psychology part of me wants to just take extra time at night to pick out two outfits and give her a choice.  That way she feels she has some control even when other things are out of her control.  The Christian in me says this is a bad idea because then she will be under the impression that she is in control (not mom and dad) and her raging fits dictate the outcome of our family life.

Usually I try to give her time for a five minute calming activity she enjoys if she gets ready, but most mornings are already stressed for time.  In fact, I got yelled at (today of all days) by my boss because I come in everyday at exactly my scheduled time to be there when I apparently should be there earlier to get ready for my kids’ arrival (even though the other teacher is already there). Argh!

Most who read this may think I can’t possibly be talking about Berlyn – my normally compassionate, caring, loving little 6 year old.  She is so fun to be around and I thank God everyday for this little girl’s BIG heart.  So on the car ride to work I just prayed that I remember that God gave me this girl exactly as she is because He knows she is precious to me even in her most unnerving, upsetting moments.  He knows I can relax and let Him work in me and through me to make me the mom that Berlyn (and all my children) need.

“It takes wisdom to have a good family and understanding to make it strong.” Proverbs 24:3


8 thoughts on “A Fencing Lesson

  1. Giving your child choices in what she wears does not mean you are no longer the person in authority. God gives us choices all the time. Plus, kids can’t learn to make choices if parents don’t give the opportunity to make choices in a safe way. Choosing clothes is a safe way. Have you ever felt like you didn’t have a choice in a given situation? It can be very frustrating.

    • Rachelle, thanks for the comments. I actually did give her a choice between jeans and leggings and she had a problem with both (I went with leggings because it was the lesser problem). It’s at that point that I stop giving her the choice and show her that by obeying mommy she is obeying God.

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