Thursday, February 12, 2015
Do I Still Get Dessert?
After all this food, Liam asked if he was getting dessert. How could I say no? He did such a great job with dinner. But there was a back story on this dessert - for their afternoon snack, the boys had pudding. I told them they could have that instead of fruit or pretzels (the normal snack) but that meant nothing crazy-sweet after dinner. We settled on pudding at 3:30 and planned for mango after dinner.
After dinner & bath my boys got bit by the energy bug and would NOT STOP MOVING! That's normal but man, they were amped up on something this night. I kept trying to get Liam's attention to get on with the post-bath process- "Liam, go grab a pull up." "Put your foot in your jammies." "Come here." "Stop running" "Settle down" "Don't clothes-line your brother". I said each of these phrases a number of times and each time - no exaggeration - he asked me, "DO I STILL GET DESSERT?"
Annoyed, I grabbed his face (I'm getting better but I'm still working on patience) and told him, "I don't lie. I told you you're getting dessert but you need to stop asking me that." And because there was something about the way he was looking at me each time he asked "Do I still get dessert" that led me to believe he was testing me, I then said to him, "Why does it feel like you are trying to do as much misbehaving as you can up to the point where you get dessert taken away?" Maybe I didn't say it in those exact words, but that was the gist. And I know it went over his head, but I had to say it anyway.
The "event" ended there. The boys sat and watched Curious George and ate their diced up mango in silence. Side note - I might name my next child George as an homage to that monkey because I am so grateful to him and the Man in the Yellow Hat.
The next morning I was thinking about the evening's happenings and realized I do the same thing with God that Liam was doing with me. In my heart, when I choose to sin, I am saying, "If I do this, do I still get dessert?" Can I still get to heaven? Is this sin really that bad? Can I get away with this and still be okay? For those parents of teens and young adults they might be saying: How far can I go physically in this relationship and still be "in good standing". It's this silly gamble that we take. I know it's not necessarily theologically sound, but you get my drift.
What I wanted my three-year-old to understand is that I had a wonderful treat ready for him, not because he earned it by eating 87 fish sticks and half the produce aisle, but because I wanted it for him. I wanted him to obey and be "a good boy" not so he could maintain his dessert status, but because he loves me and wants to honor me as his mother.
I guess tonight I should treat him to dessert for teaching me another lesson...