Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Oh Sweet Josiah

This picture about sums it up for Josiah these days! In other words, he sticks his tongue out a most anything that isn't "his" idea. I am thinking that this is his way of controlling his world and being so routine-minded, he feels more in control when he chooses what to do and how to do it. However, as we all well know, life doesn't let us all have our own way at every turn. Soooo, that being said, I have been TRYING and I emphasize trying to create situations that force him to do things differently from time to time. This usually brings on a power struggle and or some crying tantrum, but I am hoping that it will pay off. He really struggles with change, so much so that at church whenever there is a new thing (such as the little ones going up to sing for church like last Sunday) to do, he really loses it. This last Sunday, I spent pretty much all my time working with him because he just couldn't handle the changes himself apparently. Incidentally, the main problem on Sunday we found out was that he was really tired. I know this because 5 minutes after we got in the car, he was asleep AND we were able to transfer him to his bed (which never really works much anymore) and he slept for 2 1/2 hours!! He woke up at 4:45am that morning, so I should have guessed he would have issues at church.

So I am not complaining about him mind you, but this is the struggle we are facing with him right now and I would love to have some prayers sent our way about how to manage this the right way. We have been given lots of "advice" of well-meaning folk that really just don't understand his bent and think we can just train it away in a week or something. However, the methods suggested don't seem to last. He really is very unique and I am still learning how to best manage him without breaking his spirit.

Here is a little story to illuminate a bit about what he is like. So we went to my friend Melissa's house today. She has three kids (Hailey, Isaac, & baby Katie). Josiah and Isaac are buds and play together really well now even though Isaac is 6 and Josiah is 3. Melissa just moved to a new house and in the bathroom upstairs, there is an old laundry chute that goes all the way down to the basement, where another man is living (the basement has a separate entrance). So naturally, the laundry chute is not something they can use being that another person occupies the basement. Isaac had been told not to throw things down there and apparently that has already been an issue for Melissa, but that is beside the point. Isaac again threw something down "the hole" as it is called and Hailey (7 years old) came down to tell us. Josiah came down promptly afterward and kept repeating, "Isaac threw something down the hole," and kept asking questions about "the hole." Isaac tried to explain to Josiah that a man lived down there and we think that Josiah was scared thinking that a man would come up or be stuck in "the hole." He was SO obsessed with this "hole" that it was all he could talk about this evening and here is one of the many conversations I had with himabout this lovely "hole":

Me: What was your favorite part about today?
Josiah: The hole.
Me: (laughing hysterically for a while) The hole? That was your favorite part?
Josiah: Yeah, there was a hole in Missa's bathroom. We don't have a hole in our bathroom.

Then later we were talking about people who work.

Josiah: Where is work?
Me: There are lots of places where people work. People work at McDonalds, the mall, Safeway, Walmart, the toy store...
Josiah: And the gym?
Me: Yes, and people work at the gym too.
Josiah: Do they have a hole in their bathroom?
Me: (laughing hysterically once again) No, they don't.

Again later when it was time to pray before bed.

Me: OK Josiah it is time to pray.
Josiah: Dear Jesus, thank you for day and for the hole...A---men.

And so...as you can see, my son is rather obsessed when he latches on to some concept. I forgot to add that in order for him to stop bothering me about "the man" who lives in "the hole," I had to draw a picture of Melissa's house to show him that "the man" had a place to live and wasn't stuck in "the hole" and drew a picture of the clothes going down the chute. He seemed to relax and be less concerned after I did that.

Awwww...sweet oldest pumpkinhead! My prayer is that God will help me understand you and help you become a strong leader and use that determined mindset for the things of the Lord!!


Melissa said...

This is SO funny!!!!!!!! Little J is such a cutie! Thank Heaven for little boys!

Anonymous said...

Well, my dear, as the mother of 3, two "boys," 24 & 25, let me just clue you in. You can't control Josiah; you must teach him to control himself. Remember that little thing called free will? Our God thought it was s0 important that He did not strip it from us, even though He knew it could stand in the way of our obeying, or being close, to Him. Teach Josiah that you value his free will, teach him what's in it for him when he chooses to do the right thing. Even a Carpenter must work with the wood she's given! God be with you.

Heather said...

To "Anonymous":

I don't believe that anywhere in the post did I say I was trying to "control" Josiah. Rather, I made the point that I was trying to manage his attempt to try to control everything himself. I am sure you will agree that a 3 year old can't do everything he sets his mind to and that as a parent I need to judge what is appropriate and not appropriate for him to do when he "exerts his free will."

The Bible compares children to arrows in a father's quiver. To carry that analogy further, when people made arrows, they had to work with the wood to straighten it and they did lots of work to make it straight, so that when they shot the arrow it would go in the right direction when they are aimed it. This was a matter of life or death in some cases for people using the bow and arrow.

In the same way, children are like that bent piece of wood, we mold and shape them and straighten their way the best we can, and then noticing their "bent" or natural gift in the world, aim them towards that natural gift (which they chose with their own free will) and someday when it is time release them out into the world.

The Bible also tells us we are in spiritual warfare here on earth. In doing the above, we are sending our arrows out into the world to fight this same spiritual battle. I and my husband alone are held responsible to how we raise our children and we will be before the Lord someday to account for that.

And as for your last statement "even a Carpenter must work with the wood she's given" I might ask, "where in the post did I ever say I wasn't wanting to work with my own child?" I DO work with the "wood" I have been given and that was actually the point, that I have been trying to find the best way to work with him. I think you will agree again that every child is different and you need to work with each of them in a different way. So perhaps how you worked with your children would not work for mine.

I hope this helps you understand where I am coming from a little better. I am guessing that perhaps you don't know me all that well, but since you didn't sign your name I can't be sure of that. If we are to continue this conversation, I would like to know who you are.


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