The sermon at church this morning was about how children are gifts from God and we need to appreciate them while they are under our care. The pastor estimated that we have about sixteen years of influence since teenagers stop listening at age sixteen. That means I only have thirteen and half years left!
Dave and I tried to remember this as we drove home and E. was yelling "Open it!" at the top of his lungs. He made a magnet in the nursery and thought it opened somehow. It didn't, but no amount of reasoning could change his mind.
The message would have been even more difficult to apply had we heard it Friday. We took E. to a children's museum. They were having a special one dollar admission deal so it was packed. Nevertheless, while we were there, I was feeling good as a parent and commented to Dave that it was nice to do something fun for just E. since we are always dragging him to the grocery store, bank, butcher, etc. We even thought that maybe we would make it a once a month tradition. That was until we got in the car to make the one hour trip home.
E. cried almost the entire way from where we dragged him away from the digging area in the museum to our front door. I offered him Cheerios, which mercifully made him quiet for about five minutes. Then he started screaming when the Cheerios ran out. This happened again with the raisins. He was so tired, he didn't even know what he was crying about anymore. I got hit with one of his shoes (we took the other one away) and then two socks. I can say the kid has good aim: three for three in the back of Mommy's head.
I do agree that children are gifts, but sometimes I'd like to take that gift and wrap it up for a little while and open it again when the crying, whining, throwing stop.