Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stickers and Flashlights

As a young mother, you hear it all the time. "Enjoy every stage in their lives because they're gone before you know it." I know, I know.

Sometimes it's hard, especially when you have a squirly two-year-old who wants to put stickers all over the house, shine flashlights in peoples' eyes, throw things over the wall into the neighbor's yard or in the street (on purpose!), hit, yell, tease his sister mercilessly, and defy every rule you have set forth.

But thankfully, most of the time it is easy. Especially when you get hugs, kisses, I Love You's, snuggles, thank you's, waves goodbye, wrestling, and song-singing time.

The other day, I had just about had it. James was a tyrant. He was throwing a hard brush across the room. After 2 warnings of me putting it away, he threw it a third time. I confiscated the brush, and he ran over to Sariah and hit her in retaliation. So what do I do? Scoop him up (not gently, mind you) and sit him in the naughty corner. Yes, we have a corner of the house dedicated to time-outs and punishment. While James sat in the corner, sobbing "I'm sorry, mommy! I'm sorry, mommy!", my heart melted. After the 2-minute timer went off (1 minute for every year they are old), I sat down next to him. I explained that he was in the naughty corner because he hit Sariah. He lost the brush because he didn't listen, but he was being punished for hitting his sister. He needed to tell Sariah sorry for hitting her. Which he did, and gave her a hug.

What a wonderful gift we have - agency. We get to choose how we parent, and how we react to situations. James even got to choose if he wanted to throw the brush, just one more time, even after 2 warnings. And I got really upset. How many times do I make my Heavenly Father upset? After repeated council to read my scriptures, say my prayers, bear my testimony, and countless other commandments? Does he put me in the "naughty" corner? I'm sure he would like to once in a while! But just like James got another chance at playing, we all get another chance if we say we are sorry and make it right. I will always forgive James, no matter what, just like my Heavenly Father forgives matter what.