Tantrums and Lullabyes


Right now our house feels as though it stands divided… with Kel and Noelle on one side and Caedmon and I on the other.

The dividing line for us?  Those who act like mature, (at least four year old) people… and those who act like moody, selfish, two-year olds.

Care to take a stab as to which side I fall on?

That’s right, I side with the two year old these days.

Between the two of us we throw at least a tantrum an  and when we butt heads?  Watch out.  Worlds are colliding.  Plate tectonic level shizz is about to go down.

Caedmon gets upset because he doesn’t get his way whenever he wants it and I’m upset because… ugh… same reason.

This routine of having Kel gone every weekend is proving to be crazy hard on our family and I’ve been using it as an excuse to be a brat… and other B words.

Why isn’t there any passage in the bible that just allows us to be crabby and petulant for a while when things don’t go our way?

What if sometimes I don’t want to grow and rise above?  What if sometimes I just want to be crabby and pissed off …for the rest of the year? Give or take…

I tried playing it that way for the past month, telling Kel with regularity that I was just going to be pissy until 2014 when things stabilized for us.

He put up with like a champ for a while until in one brief, phone call the dam broke and I realized that my taking free reign to be moody was shrapnel into his heart.  

Also, my moodiness with the kids was creating an unstable home life.  I didn’t like what I was teaching them, it’s not the way I want to set them loose upon the world.

So I cried a lot today, realizing that once again I have to suck it up and say I”‘m sorry.”  Once again I have to turn around and march through the mess I’ve made, to admit that I was ugly and take all the righteous hurt and anger I deserve.

It sucks, but in the end that’s the sort of person I want to be and the sort of person I want my children to experience and learn from.  “I’m sorry” should be a big part of every mom’s vocabulary.

When it came Noelle’s turn for a tearful apology she crawled into my lap as I confessed my issues and asked if I was a good mommy.

“Of course momma.  You’re nice-good ( her signature adjective) and you do good things, even when you don’t.  I just love you and always love you.” 

Noelle is the best at apologies.

Then, I set out to do battle with Caedmon over getting him to stay in his crib. I decided to apologize to him with love and a tender hearted reading of Goodnight Moon.  Halfway through he smacked me in the face, because he’s two and a big jerk.

Then I burst into tears, which sent him crying as well.  Because it’s not easy being two and you know what?  It’s not easy being 31 either.

It’s not easy, it takes countless “chin ups” and “rise aboves.”

There will be times upon times when you stop in your tracks and realize that you’ve made a monumental mess of things.  It will be tempting to ignore it and move on, but the good life is found in baking humble pie and offering it up to those you love you best.

Love is found when you do the work of gluing into place all that you broke during your “bull in a china shop” spree.

And at the end of the day, you can crawl in bed with a two year old and feel him wriggle and strive against the idea of surrendering to sleep.  If you’re lucky he’ll ask you to sing amazing grace.  You will and then you’ll follow it up by “At Last” by Etta James, because it’s the song you walked down the aisle to.

You’ll fall asleep exhausted and weary but ultimately happy that you did the good work of rising above and making amends.

And as you drift off you’ll feel God’s eyes upon you and you’ll realize that you’re his two year old and he’s singing you to sleep, even though you clearly haven’t earned it.

  • Kat Sanford

    I’m right there with you, Leanne! Since Ciana was born 4 months ago, I’ve often decided i was right to resent Kyle’sjob anytime he had another night meeting or a big youth event and I was left to wrestle two kids to bed by myself, or when I consider the scary day when Cohen is too old for nursery and Kyle’s preaching and how in the world do I do it and when do I get to be fed by God’s word?? I had a big wakeup call the other day while talking to a woman in our church who basically raises four young kids by herself and only has her husbands help on the weekends, or another friend of mine whose husband has a job AND is a farmer, and she and the kids don’t really see him during the months of May and October. I’m learning that it’s ok that what’s difficult for me is small compared to what other’s face, but that I have a lot to learn about turning to and trusting God in those times instead of throwing bitter, pathetic pity parties and making Kyle feel like a bad husband for doing his job, the job I knew he was heading towards doing before I even started dating him! I knew what I was getting into…

    Also, Cohen’s a bit of a jerk right now too. I’m reminding myself at least once a day right now that I’m the adult and I’m the one who can control my emotions, but I also find myself hiding in the bathroom from him almost once a day so I won’t do something I’ll regret. We should get together and let our boys duke it out. I’m guessing Caedmon will win but I think it’d be good for Cohen to get a little smackdown.

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      I’m game for that, or just for coffee even IF no one gets a smack down. :)

  • Michelle Woodman

    Love your honesty, humour, and love for your family. If I’m ever a mom myself, may I remember to ask you for advice or a listening ear during the tough days.

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      Thanks Michelle! I’ll do my best when the time comes!

  • Mark Allman

    I’m been thinking Leanne we need to apologize to people in order to give back what we stole from them… be it peace, or feeling loved and needed, or value. We also need to take from them pain, hurt, and disappointment.

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      I agree!

  • http://www.tammygrrrl.com/ Tammy Perlmutter

    Thanks, Leanne. There’s so much truth in there, but grace as well. Thanks for being honest.