Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The plague and the possessed child

Last week, I was taken down by a stomach virus that made me yearn for my mama and the cool washcloths she always put on the back of my neck when I was puking. Friday included an emergency visit to the pediatrician because Jade's temp was holding steady at 96.3 and "that's not good" (quote from the nurse practitioner). She turned out to be fine, just inflicted with the same virus her mama had, but with the benefit of having a stomach of steel. While she was fine, that 30 minutes outside the house wore me out so much that the highlight of our afternoon was me laying on the floor in my bedroom groaning while my two children played with bottles of fingernail polish.

Chuck did an amazing job of keeping things running around here, but after I felt better it still took about 2 days to get this house looking like I hadn't had a stomach virus and now I'm truly just exhausted.

Jade is going through a... phase. And while I love her more than I can possibly describe, right now I have to say that I don't like her. Her attitude has quickly become one of a 15-year-old: she doesn't like that, doesn't want to do that, doesn't have to obey me, can't do this, etc. This has been distressing on so many levels, mainly because I want to know where my happy kid is! I feel like I'm in totally over my head and worry that she's still going to be acting like this when she is 15 and begin to feel like a failure.

This week also brought a wonderful sermon at church that was given along with a 7-day challenge to "always pray, always be joyful, and always be grateful". Can I just say that I am failing that challenge? Prayers are uttered continuously, but I have not always been grateful and certainly haven't been joyful.

I am, of course, grateful for my children. It's just maintaining an attitude of gratitude in my daily life that is so difficult. Being grateful when Jade's throwing a tantrum on the side of the road because I won't let her walk Belle home instead of riding her bike. Being grateful when she takes a short nap and then (purposefully) wakes her sister up as well. Being grateful when she smears peanut butter all over the table when I leave the room to change Piper's diaper. Yeah, not so grateful then.

Unfortunately, it's also pretty hard to exhibit an attitude of joy in those times as well. I want my kids to grow up thinking of our home as a happy place, a comfortable place. I'm praying Jade will remember us cuddling on the couch reading her Bible story this morning and not the 5 times she's been in time out today.

So I am failing. But I am trying. And I'm just going to keep trying. Because being prayerful, joyful and grateful are things that are worth trying for. God has given me the tools to be those things even in the worst of times, and I certainly can now. But I could use some prayers, friends. Because this isn't easy, and I am one tired, overwhelmed mama.

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