We are more than 2 weeks into Lent and I’m here to give you an update on my “No Yelling” policy. Despite my worries that I would not be able to fulfill my promise to the Lord, and thus, end up in the burning depths of hell, I am happy to report that I may not be charred to a crisp after all! The Holy Spirit must be working overtime these days on my behalf because I am a changed mom. I am happier, my children are happier, and better yet, there has been no correlating increase in my wine consumption during the last 14+ days either! Sarah is loving the new mom. When I told her what I was giving up for Lent, she actually danced a jig- a full on jig with elbows bent and toes clicking in the air. I could all but hear the Irish folk music in the background.
This is not to say that it hasn’t been without it’s challenges. My children love to devise new and clever ways to see if they can crack Mom. See below for a sampling of the moments where I’ve had to bite my tongue or suffer the Lord’s disappointment:
1. I did not yell when Katie began lobbing spice jars from our Target grocery cart like they were live grenades.
2. I did not yell when, again on the same trip, Katie grabbed jars of tomato sauce with the same intent.
3. I did not yell when Sarah and Katie took the sash of my bathrobe and proceeded to play tug of war…while standing in the middle of our staircase.
4. I did not yell when Sarah took the same bathrobe sash and began whipping Katie with it like a lion tamer at a circus, complete with, “Stay back you! (Wa-Pow!)”
5. I did not yell when Sarah took all of the play furniture from our toy room up to her bedroom to create an elaborate barricade much like the one featured in the battle sequences in Les Miserables to keep her sister out
6. I did not yell when Katie took her half drunken glass of lemonade and poured it back into the pitcher that was to be shared with all the other little children at the bowling alley.
7. I did not yell when Sarah took it upon herself to open, assemble, and water her miniature cactus set, spreading soil, water, and muck all over her beige bedroom carpet.
8. I did not yell when Katie took a ball point pen and scribbled her “signature” all over our white leather stools. But really, how could I yell? What kind of parent buys white leather anything with children in the house? That one’s on us. And by the way, to Chris who is reading about this for the first time: I got it out…your heart can start beating again.
9. I did not yell when Katie picked up a cherry tart from an open basket at our local bakery and gave it a big ole lick before placing it back into the basket.
10. I did not yell when Katie landed hands first in mud and then, wiped it all over the front of my jeans.
11. I did not yell when Katie taste tested my guacamole by putting her whole fist into the bowl, smearing it all over her face, and then had the cojones to tell me that it was “yucky.”
And these are just from the past 4 days! Imagine what the past 18 days have been like for me! Please pray for me during the next 28 days so that I may remain strong. The last two weeks of Lent will be a special challenge to my commitment and discipline since we will be traveling with the girls to California and I will also be spending a week at home with both girls for Sarah’s spring break. Both are prime opportunities for Sarah and Katie to inflict much pain and mental anguish in new and demonic ways. Good thing I didn’t give up drinking or swearing!