Last night, Ruby would not go to bed. She doesn’t like being upstairs alone. It’s unfair that she is the first to go to bed. Why can’t Zac go to bed first? Her logic fails to take into account that Zac is almost 6 years older than she is. There is no way he would hit the sack before his wee sister.
She wanted this and she wanted that. Eventually, it escalated into a full-scale fit. She hadn’t been like this in years. Fortunately, Jonathon and I were there for each other to make sure nobody died. Only partly kidding.
We could hear her yelling upstairs. Her high-pitched voice carries. Girlfriend can project, too. She’s got a great future in opera. Somebody get her some diva panels.
“You don’t love me! I just want to tell you something! I need some medicine for my nose! It’s all stuffy! And you don’t care…” It was a major tantrum. We spent some time praying for her, lifting her up to the Father and trying to get some perspective and strength. Is this why parents start drinking?!
In the past, we might have tried spanking. I might have intervened by holding her and rocking her. She was near hysteria. But for our kids, intervention seems to make it worse. Ruby is a great little manipulator, cute as a bug’s ear and so tiny. She wanted us to come and see her, to comfort her with our presence. She needs to know that we are the final frontier. You can’t get past us or around us. We are the boss, applesauce. Not you. We will win.
And so, we waited. We turned the TV up loud. Coincidentally, we were watching the battle rounds on The Voice. When Ruby opened the pocket door, located on the stairs (great sound barrier, by the way) and crept into the kitchen, Jonathon held up the above sign. We got tired of telling her to go to bed. Too much energy wasted.
“Do you still love me?” her little voice quavered through the partially open pocket door. Yes. Yes, we do. Always.
Sometime after 8 p.m., it got real quiet upstairs. Zac had already gone to bed, expressing his great sympathy for our cause. We reminded him that a few years ago, he was the one having the fit. He chuckled and moseyed up the stairs. He is starting to grow some empathy, our boy.
Both Jonathon and I talked about getting out of the house for a bit. Sometimes it’s good for parents to put themselves in a “time out” by fleeing the scene. I think it’s even better, if possible, to stick it out. Our kids need to know we will be there, even when they’re unreasonable. In that way, we model our Heavenly Father’s love for us. He is there for us all the time, even when we can’t sense Him. We can’t run from Him. He loves us all the time, even when we kick and scream, not wanting to do what we should.