Tears rolling down her cheeks before the plate even makes it to her highchair, “It’s yucky! I don’t like the green ones!” she cries. Before the spoon even touches her lips she has hijacked dinner for the third time in as many days.
The “yucky” green refers to the fresh tri-colored linguini served with a garlic Alfredo sauce and diced pancetta. She is having difficulty managing the pasta amongst the tears and cannot separate the “white” and orange pasta from the “yucky” green. I offer to assist, giving her a bite of both white and orange noodles which results in a new round of tears and a gag reflex so extreme that her 7 year-old sister has to cover her eyes.
Only the dogs are enjoying the scene at the table – licking their lips in anticipation.
Some of the traits I love the most in my 2 year old are the very ones that bring forehead to hand and the creeping signs of a tension headache. She is strong and confident, she knows her mind, and she will not be moved (but might be persuaded). I looked to my right and my 7 year old was covering her ears and rolling her eyes in response to her sister’s cries; looking to my left, my eyes locked with Sweet Sofia’s and she bellowed “Daddy, help!”
After a long day at work or full weekend, I am challenged (at times) to not allow myself to give into emotion. The last thing I need to do is power-up and engage in a battle of wills with her. I am learning with her to make the tag and let my husband into the ring. When the weatherman enters it’s all “Singing in the Rain” and “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” even when he tells her she doesn’t get dessert if she doesn’t finish her dinner.
Sometimes as mom I am tempted to think that I have to do it all on my own, that I need to be the first to engage and to take control of the situation. My sweet Sofia brings me such love, joy and delight. She also humbles me – reminding me in her not so subtle way that I cannot control everything. Life with her also reminds me that I have a willing and more than capable partner in this parenting journey.
God is using both of them to remind me that I cannot and should not try to do it all on my own; He is also helping me to understand that the Weatherman’s success with Sofia does not mean that I have failed with her. Mommas, this is progress for the woman who is most comfortable when everything is either right or wrong; black or white. Progress ladies, I’m telling you it’s progress.
This really is one of the best displays of His perfect grace.
My Sweet Sofia never ate much for dinner that night but made up for it at breakfast the following morning.