Tuesday, 14 September 2010


Slippery as her nickname, Little Fish squirms around just outside my grasp. I take hold, and we make contact, and she realises that I really do mean it. And she submits, and eats her breakfast without complaining, or gets her clothes on without screaming, or settles for the night without calling me back into her room a dozen times. And it's great, and I think she's finally learning that I might just actually be in charge, at least some of the time, and I start to relax a little.

And then I notice that she's still slipping away. That I ask her to eat her breakfast at the table, and she agrees, and doesn't scream, but flips her legs around so she's sitting sideways on to the table, leaving a lovely Marmite or Cheerio trail across the floor and her clean clothes. She gets her clothes on, but her pyjamas are stuffed down the side of the bench and left in a puddle of stagnant water from the shower. She settles for the night, but only if I leave the door open.

Compromise? Or control? She's still in control, still deciding how much she'll allow me to have things my way. I don't mind compromise; I'm all for negotiation and thinking problems through and mutual decisions. But I'm not sure I'm supposed to be the puppet on her strings.

So I take hold of her, and draw her in close, and she squirms one little bit of her out from my arms, and suddenly the whole of her is somewhere else entirely, and I'm left holding her shed skin. And there's a still small voice at my shoulder saying "Sound familiar? Don't you do this to Me all the time? The appearance of obedience, a semblance of submission, and I go my own way again even as I say "Yes" to whatever it is I ought to be doing. But, like Little Fish, I like to think I'm doing the right thing; I'm doing most of it, aren't I? I can do it and do that other thing at the same time, can't I?

Maybe I can. But can I do it and expect to teach my daughter what it means to be wholehearted at the same time? I'm not so sure about that.



Catherine said...

Ouch! so true!

Doorless said...

Sounds like parenting 101 continued!
You are doing great and so is LF

Alesha said...

Amen! A good word for today. I find myself doing the same thing.

It's sometimes painful when we see our own behavior mirrored in others. I'll never forget the first rainy day my kindergarten class had to have recess inside. Three little girls were in the corner, playing school. It was really cute, until I heard the "teacher" scold the others in the very same tone I used to correct them in class. It was so strident, so harsh...I had no idea I sounded like that. Painfully important lesson to learn that day.

Hang in there, Tia. Your focus is exactly right. You are doing well. Keep holding her heart close while teaching her independence of body and mind. It's a tightrope walk, but not impossible with God.


Anonymous said...

Well said Tia--
So much we have to teach our kids and so much they teach us--and through it all the Lord is using it to teach us all---
Sounds as if LF is making some good progress- keep hanging onto the reins -praying for you all
PS I've found that it seems as if our kids with special needs are a little more stubborn than those without--maybe it is because they have had to be to survive--but as in the case with my own--now that she is 24--she could lose some of that stubborness and it would be greatly appreciated!!!!

sarah bess said...

Healer, help us.

Becky said...

a long time it was told to me I couldn't give away what I didn't have....this touched me THANKS


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