Monday, January 18, 2010

Take My Paci

As a Mom, one of the things you strive to do is protect your child. Protect them physically, mentally, emotionally. You turn into a “Momma Bear” when your cub is threatened.

Don’t make my baby cry. I’m just sayin’.

But what happens when you are the one to make them cry?

I was watching The Middle the other night. (My new almost-favorite show, remember?) The mom accidentally shrunk her daughter’s expensive, most favorite, awesomest pair of jeans ever. After she pulled them out of the dryer and realized what happened, she hugged them to her chest, lifted her eyes to Heaven and said, “God, please take my jeans instead!”

I know exactly how she feels.

No, I didn’t shrink Caedmon’s jeans. I did something worse. I broke his bah.

After contemplating, planning, and generally dreading the prospect, I finally decided it was time for the paci to go. And since we are over the Sickness of Christmas ‘09, he’s been sleeping well, and things are calm (for now), I determined that now was the time.


So a week ago this past Thursday, I cut the tip off of Caedmon’s bah. I won’t go into how I decided to use that method instead of going cold turkey. Let’s just suffice it to say I wrestled with the decision for a long time. I might be able to detail the whole thing for you once the trauma of it all wears off.

The first night, Caedmon was exhausted and very upset at his broken bah. I was doing fine though, even with the distraught cries of, “My bah, boken.” Until he held up his paci, looked at me with his sad eyes and said, “Momma, I bake my bah?”

I almost got the emergency paci out and gave it to him right then.

I wanted to cry, “God, take my paci instead!” Except that I don’t have a paci and wouldn’t it be awkward if I did?

But I stayed strong. And he did fine, though it has made for a long 10 days or so. For all of us.

The thing is, I knew I was doing the right thing. I knew it was going to be a good thing. Eventually. But the process was painful. I had to be the one to cause my child’s heartache. On purpose. For his own good. I had to be the one to cause and allow his emotional pain in order for him to grow and move to a new stage in his life. A bah-free stage. But it was heartache for me, too.

It made me think about the times we go through something, thinking all the while, “God, why am I having to deal with this?” And in the end, it is a good thing and we come out on the other side better for it. It’s just hard to see the good when you’re in the midst of the suffering.

And it made me realize on a new level that it hurts God’s heart when we suffer, too. We know God can be the ultimate “Momma Bear.”  (Pharaoh. Jericho. Gideon.) But He doesn’t receive joy when we’re in the midst of a tough time, even though he’s caused it or allowed it, and He knows it will be for our good and His glory. We are all happy when we finally make it to the other side, move past the heartache and are in a new stage in life, whatever it may be.

I always hated the, “This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you” before a spanking. I didn’t believe it. And I’m not sure that in some instances it was true, because I think there were a few times Mom might have enjoyed it just a teensy bit. Maybe.

But I get it.

Sometimes doing the right thing by your kid stinks. And it’s just as hard on you as it is on them.

Being a parent is hard. And that was just a pacifier.

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  1. awe, glad you were able to accomplish this task. It is hard to be a parent especially when you have to teach them things they don't like. from my computer you are a great Mom and Dad!

  2. this is heartbreaking...

  3. Keep the end in mind. I never realized how often I claimed that. And, yes, sometimes I did enjoy whatever punishment I was inflicting on my children...come opportunities for fun were limited...I had to make fun where I could.

  4. Anonymous12:15 PM

    amen amen amnen,,,,,,, GOOD JOB !!