Last night was a hard night. Just to back up though… the night before that had been a hard night too. Trevor had come home and fallen asleep for an hour with Judah in our bed. He woke up in time to say, “you know I have men’s group tonight, right?” (that’s a men’s bible study at our church fyi). I hadn’t remembered. I felt like my time had been taken… this wasn’t true, but I was already tired from the day and by the time he got home that night I felt like I had done nothing but hold a 18 lb baby (that’s all his daddy’s genes right there) all day.
Judah didn’t fall asleep easily and it was midnight by the time I had a moment to myself. I was tired, but I wasn’t really feeling sleepy. More than anything I just wanted to be alone for a little bit. I decided I would make some hot cider and take a bath and read for a bit. I climbed in the bathtub, and started reading a book that I thought was going to be really charming and kind of a I-don’t-have-to-process-this kind of book. One child molestation scene later and I felt completely defeated when the bathroom door opened and Trevor said, “don’t you smell that?”. I stood up and our house was completely filled with smoke… from the cider I had been letting boil down to its charred remains for 45 minutes. awesome.
after much scraping… these are the remains.
Fast forward to yesterday and I was moving through a fog a bit as I prepared for our small group to come over. It was a bit of a sad day because we are saying goodbye to some friends in the church who are moving on to help out another local church in need. They are going to be a blessing wherever God puts them, and though I’m so excited for them, I’m sad for our loss. I was really looking forward to getting to bed early. I knew that Judah didn’t seem to be very tired last night and I attempted to do every “night time routine” that I could possibly think of to induce sleepiness. We bathed him, played, nursed, rocked etc. to no avail. This kid just wanted to be up. The arm on the clock kept ticking later and later into the night as I pleaded with my baby to fall asleep. He did not want to be in his bassinet. He wanted to be in our bed. He didn’t want to lay down in our bed. He wanted to stand up. He wanted his passy. He didn’t want his passy. etc etc. I brought in his swing and his eyes slowly dropped lower and lower. I exhaled slowly, and carefully climbed into bed pulling the covers up. I think this was about 1:00 am. At 1:10 our cat started meowing– and Judah started screaming. I took him out of the room so that Trevor could at least get some sleep. Trevor does have to get up in the morning regardless of the amount of sleep he got the night before.
Ok, so here’s my guilty confession: I held Judah in my arms and I felt truly angry at him. I felt like I had done everything possible to help him out and he was just being completely unreasonable. “Judah!” I groaned… “Come on! what on earth do you want from me?!?”
But here’s the rub. Judah wasn’t doing anything to me at all. But its so easy to take offense when someone (even at 3 month old) inconveniences you. But our choice here is to see it for what it truly is. Judah is not old enough to know what he is doing could be hurting others… he’s just reacting on instinct. At this age, he does what Judah wants to do. When he approaches an age of understanding, we will deal with it differently, but even then, I hope to remember that he is not acting against me, he is simply doing what he wants to do. That does not mean he won’t get disciplined, but it hopefully means I will be correcting him out of a desire to see him walk in correct paths for his sake, not for my convenience.
Most of the time when Trevor has hurt my feelings or I’ve hurt his, its not because I’ve intentionally gone out of my way to hurt him. I’ve just done what I’ve wanted to do without considering his feelings like I should. And this understanding changes everything about how I react when I feel offended. Instead of coming to him in anger and saying, “you know I hate it when you _____!” if i come to him and say, “Hey hon, I know you didn’t mean to hurt me, but when you ___ it made me feel like this. Can we talk about that?” It just takes all the defensiveness out of it. By the way, I do NOT always get this right and still often react through the first type of example — but its getting better all the time.
More and more I’m just continually discovering so many things are about perspective. Blotches or Monet‘s.
And instead of getting upset over my lack of sleep in the morning, I can be so happy cause I wake up to this face.
hey there, mr. crazy eyes.