Broccoli with syrup???
Before you have kids people with kids always tell you that you need to pick your battles. They say that not everything is worth fighting for and some things you just have to let go. And I thought sure, no problem, of course. And when you hold that sweet little innocent baby in your arms you think everything will go smoothly and easily and battles will be a thing only OTHER parents have to deal with…not you.
Well, in our family we have made it through the Terrific Two’s with Yummy and are now into the Teachable Three’s. The problem with the teachable three’s is that sometimes you have to go through some battles. And let’s just be clear here that the three-year old isn’t the only one learning the lessons. Mommy and Daddy actually seem to be the biggest students around here.
Last night we picked a lesson that somewhere in the middle of it we probably wished we hadn’t. It was the – you must eat one piece of broccoli before you can be done with dinner – lesson. Right now, Squeaky is the most amazing eater. If you put something in front of him he will try it. He will probably eat it and lots of it. Yummy on the other hand would prefer to eat an apple, or cereal or peanut butter sandwich. Don’t get me wrong when he likes something he will devour it. And broccoli is actually something he used to love. He would eat piece after piece after piece. Last night however, he was not in the mood. And when he is not in the mood to eat something we realize how lacking his other table manners are. So, we have decided that it is well past time to start working on some practical table manners. I mean there have always been manners we’ve worked on, but not necessarily in a child specific way. (Another lesson learned for mom and dad.) I hate fighting around food because it just makes for poor digestion. So, we gave Yums the option…eat your one piece of broccoli or go straight to bed, no playtime, no bath, no story…oh yeah, and you have to eat that piece of broccoli for breakfast. Needless to say he picked the latter option. Why oh why did he have to go that route? So, Yummy went to bed and Squeaky got a bath and time with Mommy and Daddy and it was hard on Yummy. But not so hard as this morning.
First he only wanted Mommy cause he found out that Daddy was not budging on the broccoli for breakfast. Only to find out that Mommy and Daddy are a team and he was going to get the same answer from her. This simply would not do. But Mom had one alternative option. (First I must say that I must have been crazy when I suggested this. I am not one for covering up food with dips, etc., but I was beyond worn out from working on this issue.) So, I suggested we put syrup on the three bites and maybe that would help it go down. It did help the first two pieces, but last bite was proving to be a problem. After much dragging on and several threats (which did end up getting carried out) Yummy finally decided to man-up and eat that last piece. And with the swallowing of that last bite peace descended on our house. Yummy followed up that bite with 2 1/2 bowls of cereal, some steak from steak and eggs and some bit of egg.
The whole time this was going on I kept thinking about how God must feel when we act in this childish manner with Him. How many times does he just let us have our way? How many times does He give us a choice and we choose the more difficult route for us? What important lessons are we failing to learn because we are stubborn and hard-headed? How many times do we go through countless struggles only to find ourselves suffering instead of just turning around and taking that one step that takes us into a place of peace? Because we are simply His children learning the lessons that He is teaching in order to lead us into a complete-fulfilled life…true life.
And so today as I reflect on the lessons that I feel are battles in my life perhaps I will see the opportunity to take some syrup on my broccoli and be done with it. May I encourage you to examine these areas of your life too? If there is something that you are struggling with might you today take a step back and turn into the place of peace He has opened for you.