Tuesday, January 6, 2009

White Lightning--and a Day of Failure

Yesterday was wrought with the primordial struggle between mom and preschooler--getting him to stay with me.

You see, it was our first day back to our homeschool co-op. The rules are very clear. You must keep your kids with you. They must never roam free--especially little guys like Christian.

Well, we arrived to co-op on time (yea!), and I situated the kids in the meeting room for announcements. I then had to run back upstairs to grab our storage bin--a two-minute task--so I left my four darlings with strict instructions: "Stay here. I'll be right back. I even coiled Christian's chubby fingers around the back of our chair.

I jogged up the stairs, grabbed our purple bin, lugged it back down, and guess what? No Christian in sight. It was now one minute till the meeting began, and I didn't know where my third-born son was.

I don't know why I didn't think he'd be in the bathroom playing with bubbles in the sink, but that's where I found him.

"I sorry, Mama. I forgot. I promise I won't do it again."

But he broke that promise--over and over! After announcements he completely disappeared, only to reappear (after I experienced a brief panic attack) right where he belonged in class. Before lunch I found him playing alone in the gym with his illegal black-soled shoes on. During lunch I had to round him up at least twice ... and after lunch, he even committed the greatest crime at co-op. He went outside to recess without me!

Of course I didn't even notice he'd gone. One minute he was sitting next to me eating his ham sandwich, the next, a young girl was delivering the criminal. "He's uh, not supposed to be out there."

The worst part was when after a full day of struggling with him, the recess monitor also informed me, as kindly as she could, "Just so you know, he's not supposed to be at recess without you."

I wanted to crawl into the trunk of my green Honda Odyssey and hide. Instead I harnessed my little white lightning and had him appologize, which he did with a sincere smile. "I sorry. I won't do it again." I think he fooled her, but he didn't fool me.

What a crazy day I had following my disappearing act around. It was exhausting, frustrating, embarrassing, and even a little discouraging. The discouraging part came from worrying about what other moms were thinking about me. "What a bad mom. Why can't she keep her kid under control?"

I don't know if anyone was thinking that. Since they're all moms too, who love the Lord, probably not. But I still felt yucky.

The truth is I should've been more on top of watching him. I tried, but sometimes even when I try my best, I fail.

So how did the day end? I tickled Christian's round tummy, and we giggled together. Then he snored on the way home.

We'll do better next week, but for now, I'm going to be content with my weaknesses, knowing that my son's happy snores are more important than a day of seeming failures.

"The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs... You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." Isaiah 58:11 NIV


Rebecca M said...

We're in the getting-back-to-routine mode in our family too! My kids are all adjusting to having less free time and a more structured day and if you asked them, they'd probably say they don't like it very much!

Keep on keepin' on, Mommy-O. By God's grace, the seeds of discipline we impart daily to our kiddos will grow and produce godly fruit!

Our Four Kids said...

Ha! No, no one was watching or judging you - especially not me! I'm too busy keeping my wee ones with me too and wondering who is watching (are you?!)! Thanks for sharing. For the record, your 3rd born was great in afternoon preschool...and he never got lost. :)