Expectations and forgivness

motherhood / Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

My baby really dislikes driving in the car. I was on my way home from a longer trip to a good friend’s house and he just was not going to calm down or fall asleep. I needed to be home in time for my daughter’s arrival from school so I had to keep going. He had been fed, his diaper was fine, and nothing was on top of him or bothering him. He was fine so I knew it would be ok. I still wished I had earplugs or could go-go-gadget my boob to him to lull him to sleep.

The funny thing is that once we finally got out of the car, I opened up his door and upon seeing my face, his tear-streaked one immediately broke into a huge smile. In that moment, he forgave me and forgot all about the torture he had just been put through.

I wondered to myself if it were possible for me to be that forgiving of my children and their annoying antics that drive me up the wall. My three year old frequently disobeys a simple order or conveniently forgets to follow through with a request throughout our days. He is a boy and tends to daydream. By the end of the day it’s hard for me put those incidences behind me and let it go. They pull that one last straw and an image of all the day’s offenses flashes across my mind and I lose it.

Later I feel bad of course and remind myself that my 3 year old and 6 year old do not ignore me because they do not love me or sit around drawing out plans for their next mode of attack against mom to see just how crazy mom can get. (or at least not yet!) My baby, most likely does not decide to wake up from a 15 minute nap and fuss the rest of the day because he wants to intentionally drive me crazy. (they are smart but not that smart, right?)

I’m also learning, and re-learning, reevaluate my expectations for my children. Should I really expect my six year old to always mind her manners and answer me politely? Is it really fair to expect my 3 year old to listen and respond to every little thing I ask? And my baby, my precious squishy little baby, one day he’ll be all grown-up and won’t even want me to look at him in public. He lives in a crazy house with loud, normal siblings, and a crazy over-ambitious momma. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised when he’d rather be part of the action than sleep through it all.

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