Patience has never been my strong point. In all of my years it has been something to aspire to, something to grow into, something to pray for.
And then God gave me kids.
Not only that but he blessed me with a very sensitive child.
Sunday morning. I take Eden upstairs 20 minutes early in order to help her get dressed. She was all excited about wearing her Christmas dress. We pick out tights. I want the white ones. She doesn’t. I try laying the brown ones against the wine-coloured dress and decide that the white ones are significantly better so I insist on those and put the brown ones back in her drawer.
Undies on. Good. Discussion about shirt ensues. We need a shirt under the dress in order to be warm. I pick one out but it is rejected. She chooses another one. I suggest a third one – a nice, soft shirt that I think will feel good under the dress. (Because in Eden’s world, it’s all about how things feel… ) We slip on the shirt and then work on the tights. There is a little bit of a screamy fit about how the tights feel. I assure her that they will feel better, that her legs just have to get used to how they feel on. She says that the tights feel cold. And tight. (Yes, hence the word ‘tights’ girly girl!)
Finally the tights are ok. Good. Now for the dress. She decides that the sleeves on the dress are not long enough. I tell her that it’s important to actually put it on in order to make such decisions. “Let’s try it, ok?” Immediately, something does not feel right. Some screaming and jumping occurs. I reassure her, telling her that I will help her with the sleeves. The shirt underneath is not working on her arms. More screeching and leaping around the room. I reach up to help her pull down the sleeves and make them straight.
Nope. Not gonna work. Off with the dress. Not only that, but off with the shirt as well. She now wants to wear her red shirt. Ok. Fine. I can live with that.
But once the shirt is off she has decided that the tights still do not feel right and must come off too. And now the undies.
Back to square one!!
I decide that the red shirt would be fine with the black skirt and the black tights. She insists that she wants her favourite pink pants. The problem is that they are filthy. I would rather not show up to church with kids in dirty clothing.
I get to work on the next outfit. Shirt on. Good. Undies with pink hearts… good. Now for the tights. I have her sit on my lap so that I can help her get them on straight. Line on the tights has to be just right on her toe. Seems good….oh… ok,maybe not…. I insist her into her skirt. I try to make the tights right. There is some crying about the tights, about the skirt….
My patience is done. I retreat to my room to escape the crying fit and the subsequent ripping off of clothing. I decide what I am going to wear. The crying girl follows me into my room. I insist that it be a cry-free zone. She wants a hug.
I go back to my dressing when I hear squabbling and screaming in the next room again. The boys have arrived to get dressed. Eden wants the room to herself. (Um…. she has had the room to herself for the past 15 minutes… if only she had decided things had felt right with one of the outfits, we would have been golden)
I am done with the screaming. And the crying. My blood pressure is soaring. I get dressed as quickly as I can and run downstairs to escape the chaos in the next room. Leave my hubby there to deal with it. Perhaps he has more patience than I do at this point. I can hope.
As we leave for church, my little girl is dressed in her dirty pink pants with her red shirt.
I shake my head. And then I pray for more patience next time. Because there is always a next time! I guess God knows that I still need more work in that area.