Sunday, December 19, 2010

The one in which I chose joy!

Have you ever had one of those moments as a parent in which you were proud? But rather than being proud of your child, you were proud of yourself?

Today I had one of those moments.

This morning Chris and I took the girls to church like normal, and then on the way home from church two of the girls fell asleep. Rather then wake them up to go home we spontaneously decided to drive about an hour away to go shopping. We had some returns to do and I wanted to get a few things at a some different stores before Christmas.

Considering I don't do spontaneous, it went awesome. I honestly could not have asked for a better day. We went out to eat, we did the returns, and lots of shopping. Most of all, it was time spent together, having fun. I loved it.

But then Chris dropped Zoelle, Meridian, and I off at Target and my day could have changed.

You see Zoelle was extremely tired (she was the girl who didn't nap)  and while walking in I reminded her to stay holding on to my hand until we could find a cart.

Zoelle had other plans and took off running. People were everywhere and there were actually no carts. I promptly got down on Z's eye level and told her she was going to have to hold my hand as there were no carts. Zoelle in a fit of wanting her own way started screaming.

At the top of her lungs. Did I mention there were people everywhere? Yeah.

Six months ago, I would have been completely embarrassed by her and hid behind my shame by ignoring her. A year ago I would have threatened her and raised my voice with her.

Today I made a choice not to let her steal my joy and I'm glad. I'm proud.

It could have been different.

I could have let her control me. I could have let her dictate my joy. But instead, I swallowed my pride, smiled at those giving us "the look" and spoke calmly with Zoelle. It took about 15 minutes, but we were able to move on, and both of us learned from it.

Praise God for the little steps!


  1. Way to go Vanessa! It can seem so simple...but when I've been in the same situation, it's HARD work, but so satisfying. WAY TO CHOOSE JOY!!!

  2. So, so hard sometimes not to react differently!! But I left Target feeling very proud and happy with the way I handled it and the way Zoelle reacted! :) Thanks Sarah!

  3. That's awesome! Even though India isn't to point of response like that yet, she does get that way for basic stuff - tired, hungry, hot, etc. And even when she starts crying out of basic needs, I sometimes find myself embarrassed. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. I find so many times as a parent that I have to let my pride and embarrassment go and instead focus of training my children rather than worry about myself.

  5. Abram is my child that has taught me a whole about parenting and that no two kids are the same. He requires eye to eye, low talking. No yelling, spanking or getting crazy with that kid. It took me a few fits to learn what made him tick. Once we were at Target and he didn't want to go down the Barbie isle in which we had to get a Barbie for a gift. He started in and kicked the bottom row of Baries off the shelf...I could have beat the snot out of him, and I felt like it...instead I got down on his level, explained to him he could no longer get the item he had in his hand, pick him up and carried him right out the door(after HE picked up all the Barbies). Some lady just stood giving me "the look." I looked back at her and said, "Don't judge me until you've been in MY shoes with THIS particular child." She quickly turned away.
    I am proud of you for the way you handled this.
    It's all about learning and growing and we as parents need to learn and grow daily!!!
    Merry Christmas Vanessa!

  6. Salena-I think you just described Zoelle. By far my hardest child to parent she is very sensitive and needs us to speak calmly with her when she is in the midst of a tantrum. "Conventional" means of discipline do not work with her! Thanks for sharing and I hope you had a very Merry Christmas!


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