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Top : Parents Corner : Moments For Mom : Vol. 2001 Issue 07 ~ July

Vol. 2001 Issue 07 ~ July

~ Elisabeth Corcoran

I just did one of the stupidest things in my life. As if someone else, I watched myself angrily put black suede sparkled boots on my daughter’s feet because she actually refused to brush her teeth without donning some type of footwear. We were in the midst of a battle – I could think of no proper choices to give her – I couldn’t seem to stay the one in control – and she won. She won this battle. I walked out of the room after watching her happily brush her teeth, boot-clad, just shaking my head, wondering where she got this will of iron.

Funny, my husband would insist she got it from me. He says it with a smile and a twinkle in his eye, but I swear that he almost believes that one day I took Sara aside, sat her down and said, ‘this is how you can get your way for the rest of your life’, and proceeded to give her my tricks of the trade. But as far as I can recall, that never actually happened.

So was it osmosis? She sees me walk around on a daily basis wielding my power as woman-hear-me-roar, and decided that she wanted the same kind of clout herself? Let’s think this through just a bit – if that were truly the case, wouldn’t I probably have my hands full just abit more with my gentle-spirited son as well? But I don’t. It’s just with Sara.

So is it a mother-daughter thing that started at 10 months? Do I have a lifetime of battle-choosing and battle-losing ahead of me? Do I have to lay down my mothering muscle at the foot of my 4-1/2 year old daughter because somehow she is able to outsmart me a good portion of the time?

You’d think I was gearing up to answer myself here – but I’m not. I am clueless.

You know, the other day, I reminded Sara to make her bed before coming downstairs (an act that she normally must do because it drives her nuts to have her room undone in any fashion). But this particular day, she said, ‘I don’t want to make my bed today.’ Taken aback, I said, ‘Sara, you have two choices…you can either make your bed now or…’ And I was stumped. My mind could not come up with an alternative…I wasn’t going to make her stay home from church that day, nor was I going to withhold breakfast if she didn’t comply. So I took a deep breath, stalling, and repeated, ‘Sara, your choices are that you can either make your bed or…ummm…you can make your bed or…’ And she looked at me, sighed, and said, ‘Mommy, why don’t I just make my bed?’ My lack of quick thinking had apparently bored my daughter into obedience. Sadly, it wasn’t so much that she desired to please me – she was simply uninterested in watching me strain my brain so much. I may have won the battle that time, but I’m not so sure if by default really counts.

Outwitted again…ahhh, but it mustn’t be like this for the long haul. Yes, she may prevail in a battle here and there – but our God has given me authority as her parent…and occasionally, when I actually think to ask for it, He gives me creativity and wisdom. She may win in the moment from time to time – but she doesn’t see what I see – that I am attempting to train her for a life that is built on something much bigger than getting her own way. And for that, God is on my side.

© Elisabeth K. Corcoran, 2001

Elisabeth K. Corcoran is the author of Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom's Weary Soul . This column is original and not excerpted from her book.

Submitted on : 01-Jul-2001

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Top : Parents Corner : Moments For Mom : Vol. 2001 Issue 07 ~ July

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