November 2, 2010

What about mercy?

My youngest had a bad night Monday night with sniffles that woke him up. I knew that trying to get him up would be a challenge on Tuesday morning, but we were meeting with another family early that morning to do P.E. and I needed everyone to get ready quickly. My husband woke the kids up before he left and the youngest laid there while everyone else dragged themselves out of bed. I took a shower. Ten minutes later, he is still lying in bed with no intention of getting up. I go over and gently shake him and kiss him while I tell him that it is time to get up and get dressed. After I am dressed, I go in and remove his pajamas and lovies from his bed, placing an outfit on his bed. This causes him to stir a bit. Fifteen minutes later, I find out that he is still not dressed and has done nothing more than pull himself into a vertical position. My voice is sharper now as I tell him that he had BETTER be dressed soon or he will not get breakfast. Ten minutes later, he loses breakfast and I put a timer on him giving him two minutes to get dressed or he will receive corporal punishment. If you have been keeping any track of time and the number of times I have spoken to him, you know that it has been about an hour since he was first told to get dressed and that he has had at least four requests, more than my usual number. He fails to beat the timer. As I walk upstairs, telling him to come to my room, he starts wailing because he knows what is about to come next. Seeing me pull out the instrument of discipline, he cries out, "What about mercy?"

I do feel the need to end this story with some bragging on his behalf. At the Monday night Boy Scout meeting, which he attended with his Wolf Scout brother, John received a hiking badge, even though he wasn't old enough to be in Boy Scouts. The Scoutmaster gave it to him because, on the long hike up South Mountain during last week's family camp outing, he never complained once. He still gets a proud smile when he talks about it. He will also be graduating to orange belt in Tae Kwon Do next week. And he has read his first book with very little help from me.

I love my kids even though they are giving me gray hairs.

No comments: