Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Battle of the Wills

We are having a bedtime battle this evening. Charlie threw a horrific tantrum right before dinner that clearly showed us he had not taken his nap today. As punishment for his meltdown he was told to finish dinner, take a bath, and go straight to bed. It was 6:30.

Chad has left for Wednesday night church so I'm here to deal with the crying and scheming and trying to weasel out of his punishment. His latest attempt was this:

Charlie (peaking out his bedroom door): Mom....

Me (giving him the look): What.

Charlie (chin quivering): I just told Jesus on you.

Me (biting hard on my lip): For what?

Charlie: I told him you had to be nice to me and let me get out of bed and let me listen to my radio and to not be punished....and to not be mad. (tears)

In my defense, I had not raised my voice at all yet because I knew his bad behavior was from lack of sleep. Any attempt on my part to reason with him or argue with him would be fruitless because he is highly irrational and emotional with no nap.

I took him back into his room and tucked him (nicely) back into his bed.

Charlie: I prayed to Jesus that you would let me play toys. It didn't work.

Me: Jesus knows you can't play toys when it's time for bed...

Charlie: Oh.

As frustrating as tonight's circumstances are I enjoy watching him work out his faith. He knows he can pray but he's trying to distinguish what he can pray for- and that prayer isn't a magic guarantee to get what he wants. At this point in his life I'm thankful for the open conversations we can have about Jesus. He's a regular conversation topic around here and that makes me happy. For now I will take comfort in knowing even in the bad days (or evenings) the whole idea of "who is Jesus?" is being worked out in our home. Not just who He is to me or to Chad but who He is to Charlie. He's making his faith his own.

Or he's just trying to get out of bed...


Coach J said...

Girl, in my book, you don't have to defend yourself. If you yelled at him, you yelled at him. Plain and simple. :) And if Jesus is using the bed to get through to him, Praise God! :) That's one you can deal with, huh?!
That Charlie sounds like one fun guy!!

Ann Kroeker said...

I love this story. He's starting early working out what a lot of adults are still trying to figure out--how prayer works (and doesn't work). Rather, how Jesus works and what it means to ask Him for something or anything.

Many people (all ages) still pray for that magic guarantee.

Good stuff for all of us!