I was talking to my Mom on the phone in the basement. Reagan has a certain fascination with the basement - seeing as how she really only gets to play down there for about 30 minutes a day, give or take. Everything is different and interesting and not toddler proof. She loves it. So she’s down there, running around doing her thing - banging on the piano, sitting at her tiny table and chairs, playing with her Daddy’s 30 year old bristle blocks, taking books off my shelves. She sees a dark spot on the carpet, and I watch her as she bends down to examine it. I know its probably a bug and I also know it isn’t moving so I figure its dead and harmless. She picks it up (so unlike her mother, this one). I ask her to bring it to me and throw it away. She does so without hesitation, looking at it for a bit and then throwing it in the garbage can. I’m in mid-conversation when I look into the waste basket to see what it was. My blood runs ice cold when I realize it was a spider. “I JUST MADE HER PICK UP A SPIDER!” I yell into the receiver. Mom jokingly scolds me for forcing my daughter to pick up bugs that I would never touch. I laugh. That’s when I see it move. Yes, it was still alive. I screamed. Mom may need hearing aids for Christmas.
I do not claim to be an expert on discipline, but here’s what’s happening in our house. Before Reagan was born, Hubby and I discussed a few times that we would spank our kids. It was how we were raised and we agreed it could be done in an appropriate way. It was our personal decision - one that was right for us. And we have tried spanking Reagan on occasion. But you see, it just doesn’t work. People, my daughter’s pain tolerance is through the roof. You cannot even imagine the times she has done something that MUST have hurt, and not made a sound. Spanking has little to no effect on her, so we’ve been using the timeout system instead. When she does something naughty she has to sit in a doorway for 90 seconds. She got put there yesterday when she was standing in the chair by our picture window (a no-no!) and would not sit down when asked. She sat for her 90 seconds and then went back to play. Pretty soon she was climbing on the coffee table (another no-no!). I told her to get down and she did and immediately went and sat on the floor in the doorway. Now, every time she hears “no-no” she goes straight to the doorway and sits down. I’ve been known to leave the room to laugh.
We have this landscaping project happening in our yard. Yesterday we got a load of rock delivered. The old guy who delivered it was decidedly over-friendly and a bit too hands-on for my taste. Really, he didn’t need to be touching me at all. So he delivered the rock and left and that was good. I was warned once about my obsessive compulsive disorder getting passed on to Reagan. Once again, she exhibited signs of just how much she has picked up on this when she bent over and immediately began picking up every rock she could find. “Uh oh!” she said over and over and over as she picked up rocks and clutched them tightly between her arms and her stomach. She’s a bit of a neat freak, you see. When she eats her fruit snacks, she throws the wrapper away all by herself. She likes to throw her dirty clothes in the laundry basket herself. If there is a tiny sock-fuzzy on the floor, she’ll pick it up and throw it away. When she puts her toys away at night, she puts them all exactly where they go every night (specific shelves or bins, etc.). And I know you sit there wondering if I forced her to be this way, but the truth is NO!!! I didn’t!!! I’d be just fine with it if she didn’t do any of that stuff. But she does it without being asked. With her, I may have to teach her that it is okay to be a little messy some of the time.
I found some time to have some devotions yesterday. I really feel like I learned a lot. Sometimes when I do devotions I feel like God isn’t really speaking to me or meeting with me. But what I read yesterday (in Matthew) told me that when I feel like God isn’t meeting with me, that is more a reflection of my humanity than it is a truth of his character. When we seek God, He always meets us there.