It’s been long day. We closed on our house Friday, I’m in the process of coordinating 5 different contractors to get things fixed up before we move in, the roof on our current rental is being replaced so it’s been incredibly loud, our AC went out so it’s been 85 in here today (around 92 in my office upstairs), and our landlord laughed at me when I called to ask for some sort of compensation for the headache.
Most nights after Shawna does Veda’s bedtime routine, I take over and bounce her to sleep on an exercise ball. Most nights it’s pretty straight forward. She might squirm for a bit, but then calms down and I can quickly bounce her to sleep.
But tonight, she wasn’t having it. She was contorting her body and kept reaching up and taking out her pacifier. She always sleeps with that thing so I’d put it back in then try to pin her arm against mine so she couldn’t pluck it out again. But she just kept at it. Over and over. And my back is getting sore, my hands are starting to hurt. She just keeps fighting me. I keep trying to force her to do it my way…..
Then a thought pops in. Maybe she just doesn’t want to sleep with the pacifier anymore? And now I’m faced with a decision. That by damn I’m going to force this kid to do it my way, I’m in a bad mood and I just want to go to sleep!!! Or I could loosen my grip on what I think is right and instead listen to her. Let her guide me.
Veda has a very strong personality and I can see that the more I try to force her to do things my way, the more she is going to rebel. This battle over the pacifier might seem like a small thing, but this decision to control or submit could either set the stage for a life of struggle between us, or one of grace and flow.
What is it about being a parent that makes us want to control so much? Or is it not even about being a parent, and that we want to control all aspects of our lives? Control is something I keep coming back to is so many different ways. And the lesson is always to release and let go. Let life wash over me and enjoy it. Whatever that may bring.
And wouldn’t you know it, that as soon as I just let her take the pacifier out she passed right out…