A few weeks ago, Jake and I heard a loud thud in the middle of the night. Then came screeching and lots of tears. We rushed to Baylen’s room, and sure enough, the little monkey climbed out of his crib and crash landed on the floor. Poor thing was so scared. We immediately moved his mattress to the ground to make sure he didn’t hurt himself again, which basically turned into me laying with him the rest of the night so he we could all get some rest.
The next morning we loaded up the troops and made the 20 minute drive to Ikea. We let Baylen try out all the toddler beds, and after learning he didn’t have much of a preference or interest, we picked a bed that we thought would suit him.
After stopping to get Disney Planes bedding for our airplanes obsessed boy, we headed home and started the process of talking about and introducing his big boy bed to him. I think we all felt a little out of sorts. We have obviously never done this before, and hadn’t planned on transitioning him quite yet. I was happy to keep him in his crib for as long as possible, and hoped we still had a few months. Feeling awfully unprepared, I was frantically Googling tips for transitioning to big boy bed, trying to come up with a game plan that would work for our little man.
The stage he’s in right now has left me feeling incredibly humbled as a parent. The battles seem endless. As he gains more independence, he also needs more boundaries to know how he can use it. We’re figuring out what disciplining strategies work for him, and learning how painful it is when consequences are the only way to help him develop obedience.
Our sweet Baylen is strong-willed. He knows what he wants, and not much will stop him from going after it. As difficult as it can be to hone in his stubbornness, I know the time we put in now is going to result in great things for him in the future. He’s motivated, he’s driven, and I’m confident without a shadow of a doubt that he was born to do great things. Our task is to get him ready to do them.
So, we trudge through unknown waters and awkwardly try to figure out this whole parenting deal. We try a strategy, and it doesn’t work. So we try something else, hoping we don’t totally mess up our kids in the process.
Moments come, like when we had to return Baylen back to his bed 11 times in one night, and we throw up our hands because we simply don’t know what else to do.
We talk, we cry, and we turn it over to the Lord. Time and time again He reminds us that each of His children are uniquely made, and that we were entrusted with these specific little ones because we are the parents they need. What works for another family might not work for us. He encourages us to persevere, and that sometimes tough love is necessary.
And then, a breakthrough comes. After what feels like an eternity of having to be more stubborn than our child, something clicks, and progress is made. They settle into a new habit and we’re so glad we didn’t give up.
I imagine God might look at us the same way. He sees us with clenched fists and hardened hearts. He gently shows us the right way, but we likely don’t listen the first time. He meets us where we’re at, and uses people, situations and circumstances to draw us toward Him so we can get on the right track. He doesn’t give up on us.
Thank goodness we have the Lord as our ultimate parent, paving the way and working miracles in the hearts of His kids. May we lean on Him as we work through each battle with our children, as trivial as they might seem, remembering that they’ll all add up and turn into a lifestyle where they’ll know how to love and respect others and do GREAT things for the kingdom.
Let’s hang in there. It WILL be worth it!