…your jaw drops as your spouse tells your ever-demanding toddler “No, you do not need the soap from the bathroom (which you are likely on your way to the bathroom to retrieve in a hasty manner) because the soap right beside you is fine.” Your jaw drops because you realize, Oh, you can do that?? You can just say no??
I would like to say the above scenario was a figment of my imagination…but no, my house…a few weeks ago…and I was NOT the one saying no. Sigh.
It doesn’t take me long to fall into a pattern of running myself ragged to please the insatiable…INSATIABLE “appetites” of my beloved daughter. Sometimes I actually want to see how far we can take this. How many aqua blue cupcakes iced with purple frosting and sprinkles can she eat before she will stop asking for more? Seriously. How many?? I fear she will. never. stop. not. ever. And just as ridiculous as her insatiable appetite for more lemonade or oatmeal or swinging or being held or one. more. viewing. of. Frozen, is my insane attempts to please this child. Seriously. What am I doing? What am I thinking? I will be heading out the door to prepare her wagon for a stroll all while juggling a sippy cup of her latest demand, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with her three favorite jellies (grape, strawberry, and apricot) combined to perfection, all three pairs of sunglasses, her favorite blanket AND her shoe of preference before it dawns on me…HEY! Then comes the indignation…who does she think she is? She has no idea how good she has it! I stay home to meet every need. Why is this child never ever pleased? Why is it never enough for her? With the anger towards my darling girl comes the startling truth that I am the one in the wrong. If I had said no…at…say the request for THREE jellies in her sandwich, perhaps my resentment would not have built. And there’s also the startling realization that just because I can give my daughter what she requests, does not mean that I should.
She is doing exactly what she is supposed to be doing…she is a toddler. She is insatiable. And anyone who does not believe in human depravity has never gone head to head with a toddler. That is original sin played out in all its gory splendor. It’s almost breath-taking to encounter such unadulterated lust.
But I digress. So, in my happy home, there are two issues at work…a bit of a perfect storm really. First, there’s my daughter’s insatiable appetite, asking me to do more, more, more. And then there’s my unrelenting need to please her.
There is part of me that wants to throw up my hands and yell, “How in the world am I supposed to parent this girl if I keep making the ame mistakes? If it takes me way to long to realize I’m off track? I’m unhealthy? I’m seeking her approval again?” And there is part of me, the part that actually listens to the holy spirit, that is grateful for this opportunity…to travel with her…to let her watch me stumble, fall, repent, turn back, and replace my need for her approval with Jesus. Again. And. Again.
Ah. So grateful. So humbled. So. Blessed.