Yesterday, I found myself lugging my shopping cart through the grocery store. All three kids clamored for a spot on the edge of the cart, Jamba Juice cups in hand. (Mama knows to have children well snacked before such a trip!)
Not long into our journey, in the dairy product aisle to be exact, the whining started. I quickly remembered the words of our family therapist as she recently challenged us to try something new. So, being the good student, I repeated the mantra.... "You have two choices..... You may stand quietly at the cart, or sit on the floor until you calm down."
At least four times this trip (I lost count,) I found myself standing in the middle of the grocery aisle, smiling, while my sweet girl screamed on the floor. My other two cuties were quickly losing their patience, turning the shopping cart into a jungle gym. Fellow shoppers passed by: Some smiling, some avoiding eye contact, and some pushing their sweet, well-mannered children as if to say, "My child would never act that way!" I had to laugh as some passed us more than once, sitting in different aisles each time. And yet, with each aisle, I persisted... "You have two choices!"
I found myself wishing for a latte, or a bubble bath, or at our house... 2 minutes alone in the bathroom! I knew this was my moment. I had two choices!!!! I could lose my patience and join in the grumpy attitude game, or I could calmly stand firm.
I believe I made the right choice. (Although, as time got later, I knew it would not be long before all four of us were grumpy from hunger!) I remained calm. I praised my children when I could. I remembered almost all the ingredients I needed for dinner. Later, I reheated leftovers instead... with a willing heart!!
At times like this, I remember that this is what I prayed for! This is my dream come true! I asked God to provide these beautiful children. Will I not persist in parenting them with a willing heart?