In my mind, the definition of a perfect child would be one that is respectful, obedient, compliant, easy going, compassionate, appreciative and well…..the list goes on and on! You get my gist here right?
My husband and I actually took such a child with us on a Labor day vacay to a giant mall in Northern Illinois. We proudly claim her as our own – our daughter! She was sweet as sugar! Compliant with the agenda of the weekend, patient when we shopped for ourselves, delighted when we shopped for her, thanking us with each purchase. She was conscientious with her purchases trying not to overspend our money. She sought Dad’s approval in the clothes she tried on seeing if they met his “classy not trashy” clothing guideline. If dad disapproved she moved on to the next item without complaint – no eye rolling or disdain whatsoever. Her manners in the restaurant were top notch and she walked hand in hand with daddy to the Theatre thanking us several times for the great weekend! It was dreamy!
I’d venture to say that those observing us on our shopping adventure were marveling at what an incredibly wonderful child she was or maybe they were marveling at what great parents we must be to have brought up such a fine and well-mannered young lady! (to be read with a wink and a sniff!) Okay, this is dreaming!
Once home the “perfect” child started doing laundry without being asked. When she found out that we had invited the extended family over for an impromptu gathering she took it upon herself to tidy up the house and bake something! (I’m totally speaking the truth here – not making this up). And then the “Perfect” child wowed our socks off when the tree trimmers arrived and she announced that she “Wished she could help too”. The “perfect” child found a pair of gloves and went to it; gathering up heavy branches and prickly twigs and carting them over to the chopping pile. ALL WITHOUT BEING ASKED…ON HER OWN FREE WILL! She was glistening with sweat, hard work and determination to see a job through! We sang the “perfect” child’s praises and maybe even patted ourselves on the back a little bit! (again wink and sniff here)
Just when she was getting ready to receive “Poster child perfection” recognition she wowed us even more with compassionate acts towards grandma and others that love her dearly. Can this child be any more perfect…….?????
I tucked the “perfect” child into bed a wee bit late last evening. I even agreed to let her go to sleep to a movie in her dvd player – to help her wind down a bit! At 6:15 a.m. I woke the “perfect” child with a spring in my step and a song in my heart! Things went sour pretty quickly.
It was then I learned that, like a gallon of milk, a cup of yogurt or a pound of ground round, perfection also has an expiration date! And when it is opened it can stink up the whole house.
Not wanting to taint the “perfect” picture I’ve painted of her I won’t go into detail of exactly what expired perfection looks like (it’s really not for the faint of heart). I will say, however, that the morning consisted of a missed bus (on purpose), a removed door knob (hint: this is how you overrule a child who locks them self in their room – you just remove the door knob), one swat on the rear and being grounded from everything except breathing. Oh yes, did I mention that I am now the proud new owner of several cute outfits from Justice? Well, I am! They now hang prominently in my closet. Too bad I can’t wear them….because I would…that would be the ultimate wammy!
I’m glad the “Perfect” child went to school today. It gave me time to pray, blog and eat four miniature candy bars (they’re miniature so they don’t count right???). I phoned the hubs to make sure that the weekend wasn’t just a dream I was having. He confirmed that it was real – that our child was, in fact, temporarily perfect!
They say some people dream of perfect children. I say to those people: Been there….done that…it’s highly overrated!
The bad news is that this child I speak of is only 10 years old. I’ve heard from weathered, gray haired mothers of teenage girls that I’m to expect this to only get worse. At this point I’m thinking the only thing worse would to actually witness her head spinning around. I’m thinking it did spin this morning – I just didn’t see it!
In my desperation this morning I sought out the “Good Book” to see what the master Parent has to offer about discipline. This is what I found:Top of Form
Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.
These scriptures were so helpful and good reminders to be diligent in my discipline of little Miss Wishy Wash! The selfish ME particularly likes that last one about ME getting the rest and ME getting my heart delighted!! Hey, it’s been a rough morning okay? I know she’ll never truly be perfect and I don’t expect her to be! But I am reminded from these scriptures that discipline now brings bright hope for her future. I will press on because I desperately desire for her to yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness one day. Until then I’ll hit the good book again – where are those scriptures on patience???
Until next time.....weathered gray haired lady!