This is the first week of my official vacation from teaching for a little bit. And for the past week or so, all the boys have had colds, so ONCE AGAIN we have been couped up in the house. Thankfully, I have managed to avoid an illness, at least for the time being. David may or may not be getting sick now too and so here we go again. UGH. I guess something good that has come of it this time is that I am forced to be at home all day and have had some times of reflection. It occurred to me too that reflection isn't a typcial occurrence for a lot of us busy American mothers. It seems that I see many of the people around me so busy with activities that they really don't stop and evaluate their lives and how things are really going overall.
Today, I had quite a few battles with Josiah over obedience. We have been working on teaching him to obey the first time. So currently the parental mantras are as follows: "When do you obey Josiah?" and his response is supposed to be "The first time." The other is "Who is in charge?" and his answer is either "Momma" or "Dadda" depending. As a funny side note, we quizzed him in the car a while back and Daddy asked, "Josiah what does Mommy say?" and he answered "First time, " and "What does Daddy say?" and he said, "Obey." Apparently we are getting through to him I guess, wouldn't you say?
As the day wore on and he went to his room no less than 10 times today, my frustration level with him rose to a boiling point. His new tactic is to take his toys and bang on the childproof lock in his room and it comes flying off the door knob. Then he saunters out and blurts out an "I'm sorry" to me thinking that he can escape that easily. I promptly scoot him back into his room and inform him that he is to wait for me in the room until I come for him or he will have to stay there longer. Oh and of course this is in the midst of trying to feed the twins and whatever else I might "try" to accomplish during the day.
When David came home, he was clearly beat from his day also and right at the time I am making dinner all three boys are awake and needed my attention. (I would like to add here also that although my sweet husband was very worn out too, he did come out and help with the boys even though he had wanted to lay down for a bit. Thank you honey!) Josiah tries to "play" with the twins now, many times to their dismay, although at times he does play nicely with them. However, his nice play quickly turns into rough play and then he is back in his room again for making his brother's cry. UGH!!
This is about the time I am thinking, it sure would be nice to be teaching lessons right now rather than disciplining my son all day. And that is what brings me to this "when the activities are few" statement from the post title. I find if our days aren't filled with activities or at least some outing or event that Josiah acts up a lot more. David pointed out though that when the activities are removed and the "carrots" taken away that we see the real underlying problems and behaviors that still need to be dealt with. I believe this is true, that sometimes the busyness of our lives masks the "real issues" that we need to address. And this is not only in our children's lives, but in ours as well.
It is easy to drown our lives in busyness and miss the times of reflection. When we miss these times of reflection, we also get stuck in the rut of monotony and immaturity (both emotionally and spiritually) as well. God has been really working on me these past few weeks and I am still sorting out the things that I need to work on, but certainly I am thankful for this month of time where I can slow down and really SEE what is going on in my life and how I might do better to change my current behaviors and patterns that aren't pleasing to Him. Please pray for me and my relationship with Josiah. I want to remain calm in these storms and consistent with him in discipline when he tests me. I know it will pay off later, but the battle is wearisome sometimes.