Just when you think, at this every moment parenting is a challenge and then.....one of your little sillies ups the performance.
I have the blessing of having two strong willed children, of my five. My first one, I am certain, paved the way for the second strong willed child. I have often asked which is more difficult. A normal hearing and speaking strong willed child or a deaf one, it's still a toss up.
Ethan challenged me in the most interesting way this weekend. It has been a rough week of everyone being home sick. I realized by Saturday that I needed to check my entire family into a hotel and have a cleaning service come and sanitize our home. That was not going to happen, so I opted to take advantage of the clear blue skies and walk two of the boys over to the park. Apparently there had been many housebound families as the park was busy with lots of kids and parents. Being a chatty sort I quickly chatted away with a handful of parents, while playing with the kids and enjoyed my first contact with the outside world.
Ethan decided he wanted to ride the bike of another child. The child and parent were okay with this except Emerson asked first and got to ride first. Ethan was not happy with this and decided to kick his leg up at me which sent his rubber boot flying. I told him he would have to go and get it, which meant he would have one barefoot walking in the wet squishy grass. He screamed in protest at the top of his lungs, got the boot, came back to me and whacked me on the leg with the boot and through it at my feet. To which I calmly took his hand and said it was time to go home. Our little family has center stage. I look around at all the parents watching me and I feel this wave of peace come over me. Truly God anointing my challenged mommy spirit. I scooped Emerson off the bike, carried him in one arm, while muscling Ethan across the little park. He is grabbing, scratching, and throwing by far one of his grandest fits as parents watched. I just calmly walked out of the park. Then Ethan decided that fit was not enough, his final act of outward defiance was throwing his new airplane on the ground. I picked it up and refused to return to him, which only sent him into a more difficult behavior, if it could get worse it did. Every parent has experienced the we noodle child while holding a toddler. Yes, that moment.
I truly think he believed that since we had an audience mommy would buckle. Ethan could be heard five blocks away screaming and still walking in one bare foot. I did not buckle. I had super human strength carrying a 30 pound Emerson, and physically trying to NOT drag Ethan. I spoke calmly and said that when we get home he was to go and sit on his bed.
We arrived home, Emerson was passed off to Emily. Ethan waited for mommy. I talked with Ethan, and listed the reasons his reasons for being so upset. He was then to sit on his bed for fifteen minutes, which he did every so quietly. I went back to his room, hugged him and told him that I loved him very much. We prayed together and then through his tears he asked if he could have his new airplane back. I said no, he had to have a timeout from it until the next day. he hugged me so tight and told me that he loved me.
It is never an easy task to know in the moment if you are doing the right thing for your child. Seeing the change of heart and the depth of remorse in Ethan for his actions I have the confidence that I am doing the right thing for him. It's easy to use his handicap as an excuse for some of his behaviors, but really it's not. Ethan is an amazing young boy who has had to overcome some very huge obstacles with being deaf. He has successfully learned to hear through the technology of Cochlear Implants. I know with this will he is going to be an amazing young man. Emily is a testament to that hope as she too once behaved in like ways, but God has plans for these kids with this kind of will and I am blessed that, even in some very difficult moments God has chosen me to mold and shape those spirits into His Kingdom. I am challenged and blessed.