To Spoil or not to Spoil

Parenting is hard.  Can I get an, “Amen”?

A couple of weeks ago after a trip to the mall, we were totally exasperated with all the begging, whining and pleading.  My wife told our son that when he was born, we promised that we wouldn’t spoil him. Once we explained what exactly “spoiling” meant, he couldn’t understand why it was a bad thing.  It sounded okay in his book.  In the mind of a 6 year old, spoiling is exactly what you want.

It makes perfect sense.

Last week he was grumpy in the bath-tub and I asked why.

“I don’t get everything I want,” he replied.  Well, join the club!
(The latest “want” is a “Bow-Rod,” some kind of fishing device.  We only have two kids’ channels (no cable) and PBS doesn’t have hardly any commercials, yet my son already has the next 5 Christmases and Birthdays planned out.)

Tonight we entered a ridiculous, full-fledged, DefCon4 meltdown.

If there was a political party that was “anti-bath,” my son would join it.  Except, he hates it till he gets in. Then he often resists getting out.  Tonight was different, though.

First, he requested the “bath monster,” which is how I often trick the kids into taking a bath.  It’s more fun if I grab them, tickle them and carry them to the bathroom while making noises.  But I was tired and not in the mood.

After waiting a little, I began taking away toys, and declared the evening, “NO CARTOONS!”

Still didn’t work.  I finally picked him up and carried him normally into the bathroom.

That’s when WW3 broke out:

“I DON’T WANT A BATH!”

“GIVE ME A BATH TOMORROW!”

“WHY DO I ALWAYS HAVE TO GO FIRST.  I WANT EVA TO GO FIRST.”
(mom and I figured out early on that when Dad gives the bath, the son goes first, when Mom gives the bath, the little girl goes first.  we are consistent but no one notices;  each kid believes he/she goes first every time and shows up with lawyers to try and get out of going first)

“I WANT MOM TO GIVE ME A BATH!”
(thursday is always dad’s night, and besides that, mom had a long day, including volunteering at Eva’s school)

While he was yelling, I simply blocked the door so he couldn’t run out and planned to wait it out.  I then slid down with my back to the door and began taking his clothes off.  The tub had been ready for a while at this point.

Then I held him in my lap, he flailed at first, and then sat calmly, but continued to yell, cry and (my personal favorite) hyperventilate.  As he sat in my lap in his undies, I rubbed his back and tried to calm him.

After a few minutes of the above refrains and tears, I finally tried to take off his underwear and told him he was going in the tub with or without them.  He resisted, I picked him up and gently put him in the water, undies and all.

More crying and screaming.  I told him I would help with his hair (even though he can do it himself) once he calmed down and then I left and would occasionally check on him.  Mom was in the garden and she checked on him once.

He told me that his brain wouldn’t let him calm down.  But finally, the hyperventilating stopped.

We had a quick bath.  And, guess what? He was smiling, silly, and back to normal again.

I still haven’t recovered.  It would have been easy to put off his bath till the morning (although inconvenient), to see if mom would do it, or give in on some way………but, I have dealt with too many adults (self included) who threw adult tantrums when they didn’t get their way.

Some leave church.  Some just get mad.  Some give you the silent treatment.

I stayed calm and never yelled.  It wasn’t easy but neither is parenting.  And neither is Love.

The good news today is that he plans to marry a classmate, Frankie (Francesca).

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Grace in Deuteronomy

One of my great desires is for Christians to see the fullness of God by seeing the Greatness of God in the OT.  I believe that seeing the grace, love, and mercy of God from the very beginning is crucial to that.

Notice how much grace is in Deuteronomy:

  • God’s Choosing of Israel. God didn’t chose Israel because of their size, or anything they brought to the table.  He “set his affection” on them because of His love and His faithfulness to Abraham. (Deut 7:7-9)
  • God’s Abundant Provision.  All of the abundance of material blessings that awaited them in the Promised Land were not really because of their hard work, but because of God’s grace.  He warns them about forgetting God’s graciousness and provision when they are enjoying all the blessings. (Deut 8, vs 17-18)
    • Also, see 6:10-12, when God warned them against forgetting Him when they received their “flourishing cities they did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant…” GRACE!
  • God’s Gift of the Promised Land. Their military victories and receiving the land were not because of their righteousness nor their great might.  It was because of God.  They weren’t getting the land because they were so good.  It was a gift! (Deut 9:1-6)

That’s a lot of Grace and God knows that we are likely forget about His Grace, Mercy, Provision and trust in ourselves.  We must, “Remember!”

If we don’t remember what God has done, His Grace, we will rely on our selves and others and God won’t receive the glory/credit He deserves.

Don’t Forget the Grace of God!!

The Heart of Deuteronomy

I have been preaching through Deuteronomy on Sunday nights lately and, even though it was already one of my favorite books of the Bible, I am continually amazed by it.

Hopefully, I can get some audio up this week but here are some thoughts from Deuteronomy:

God has always been concerned about the Heart and internals. It’s a lie and heresy to say that the Law was only about externals and ritual.  That’s what the people made of it, but it was not God’s intention:

  • Greatest Command. Deut 6:4 is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart…”.  It continues in vs 6–“These commands are to be upon your heart.”
  • Circumcise your hearts.  Paul wasn’t being original and he wasn’t changing things in Romans 2:25-29, God had already talked about it in Deut 10:16.
  • God always loved a cheerful giver.  Deut 15:10-“Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart…”  2 Cor 9:7 was not a new (covenant) concept.

That’s a taste. I plan to blog more about grace and love in Deuteronomy this week as time permits.  Read it!

Headlines, Headlines

Here’s the news for those too lazy to read past the headlines:

Andrew Bailey of Oakland A’s shut down with tennis elbow (espn.com)

And why was he playing tennis in the first place?!

U.S. believes Al Qaeda deadly, ‘on run’ (cnn.com)

They are deadly and dangerous, but we are winning.  Of course.

Fargo a fortress of sandbags (cnn.com)

I recently saw “Fargo” and enjoyed it.  I guess “fortress of sandbags” is the new rating system.  A movie like Ishtar gets one sandbag, and a classic like “Fargo” is a fortress. I like it.  Very Creative.

Secret Iran talks for American’s release (cnn.com)

It has been a long-time since America had their one-hit-wonder  “A horse with no name” back in the 70s.  I am glad they are back.  Hopefully they can have their second one-hit-wonder.  I really don’t know what Iran has to do with it, though, except they have a lot of desert, too.

“It felt good to get out of the rain.”

Unemployment claims fall (cnn.com)

Did it really happen or did they just claim it.  How many people claim a fall, then sue, and then get rich.  I am sick of it.

“Don’t ask/Don’t tell” Hearing (cnn.com)

Sounds like a pretty boring hearing if no one can ask or tell anything.  I guess they will all just sit around for awhile.

Plane hits and kills jogger (cnn.com)

Why was this person jogging at 30,000 feet to begin with?  Don’t they have a local park?

Bishop on abuse: the devil is doing his job (cnn.com)

So, the Devil is doing the Bishop’s job?  Someone needs to check into to this.  Why pay two guys for doing the same job?