Thursday, April 10, 2014

Y'all, He Called Me Queen Soldier ...

It's been five weeks since I said I'd had enough and put Kollin and Kolt on restriction. 

Five weeks

No DS.
No Wii.
No TV (other than an occasional Magic School Bus and when I gave in to watch Frozen).
No spending the night with YahYah, Poppie or MawMaw and PawPaw.

Five weeks.

The first week I was just simply fed up. I had those boys scrubbing base boards, cleaning the windows, washing the walls and wiping down all the doors in the house. What does that do you ask? Gets my house spit shine clean and allows the boys to think about their actions and behavior in the midst of their scrubbing. 

The second week was the week they really started lashing out and rebelling against anything and everything I said. I, in turn, went a little crazy too. I may or may not have yelled, "I am NOT your maidservant" and "I am NOT the only person who lives in this house" about 40 times over the course of this amazing week. At one point, Kolt very sarcastically called me "Queen Soldier" and another day Kollin threatened to run away in which I kindly escorted him to the door. I'm pretty sure the boys thought I had lost my mind when I went completely insane above having to clean up used flossers off the bathroom counter again. Let's just say it was a week I would not dub myself Mother of the Year. Or dub either of them Kid of the Year for that matter. 

The third week however, was heart changing. For me that is. Kollin posed a deep question one afternoon when I, for the 723rd time, reminded him that no he couldn't do such in such because he.was.on.restriction. "Am I that bad of a kid?" he asked me with such an honest heart.

 Cue a stab to the heart. 

Was this the message I had been portraying to my babies this whole time? That they're bad kids? I pretty much hate referring to any kid as being bad. I am a firm believer what you tell them they are is what they will become. I certainly did not want to fill their hearts with thoughts of their Mommy, their number one fan, thinking they were bad kids.  As he looked up at me, I tried to explain that both him and Kolt had developed some pretty bad habits.

Confession: Deep down, I blame myself (which I didn't confess in this conversation with him). During my first trimester with Khloe I got lazy in the parenting department - I mean, let's just say it. But when you are accomplishing something major by not barfing up crackers and getting off of the couch to pee, correcting a forgotten please or thank you is not on the list of things to do that day. I got lazy and in turn they got lazy - stomping up the stairs when they were asked to clean their room, slamming doors at nap time, rolling eyes, leaving shoes in the floor (and used flossers on the bathroom counter), smart mouths, ungratefulness - plain and simple, they had developed disrespectful attitudes. 

I explained to Kollin how his brother and himself were in fact, super good kids - super good kids who had obtained some bad habits over the last couple of months. And it wasn't about whether or not they could be really, really good for two days in order to get off of restriction. What I wanted from them was to see good habits happening: pleases and thank yous without being cued, making up their beds in the morning, having better self control, obeying the first time they're asked and for goodness sake, putting their gross, used flossers in the garbage can and not on the bathroom counter. 

So. The past two weeks have been the three of us working on making better habits. The pleases, thank yous and yes maams have been flowing naturally and they are such sweet words to my ears. I very rarely pick up their toys and shoes off the floor these days and haven't seen a used flosser out of the garbage can in days. The challenge has been self control. Why oh why is it so darn hard for them to just go to bed instead of throwing stuffed animals at each other? And why is it so hard for them to not huff at me when they don't get exactly what they want or when I ask them to bring down their laundry? Self control has been the struggle. And the main reason their restriction has lasted this long. Don't get me wrong, it is getting better, it's just not great yet. And that control freak in me was going crazy with the thought of letting them off restriction on a note of "good behavior". 

Disclaimer: I do not expect my kiddos to be perfect. And I know they are human. And I know they will make mistakes. In saying that, the Hubs and I do have a certain expectation in raising our boys. We want them to be Godly, respectful boys and by George, I don't think me asking them to bring me their laundry so I can clean it for them requires a huffing response. 

I really began to pray over Kollin and Kolt and their personal struggles with self control. I prayed for guidance in handling this season of Mommyhood. I found myself in their room during my devotion time so I could pray over the place they spend so much time. And in His time, the Lord answered my prayers. 

"God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control."
2 Timothy 1:7

I realized today that not once had I told the boys how much God wants them to have self control and how much more they could be used to further His kingdom by having this trait. And not once had I directed them to God's Word on the matter. I decided to write down the verse on two index cards. At bedtime tonight as I tucked in Kollin and Kolt I asked each of them to read me the verse aloud. We talked about what it meant to each of them and also what I felt in my heart God wanted them to learn from this verse. We taped one card to Kollin's headboard and one to Kolt's. 

Needless to say, the boys are officially off of restriction. In the last five weeks, we've gone through tears, fights and breakdowns. We've also had lightbulbs go off and some major ah-ha moments. Most importantly though, we've had restitution and have gained a better understanding of one another. 

So. Here's to Mario, The Clone Wars on Netflix and sending them off to MawMaw's to spend the night very, very soon ... 


  1. Hey Kelsey, can I just say what an encouragement this was to me to read this morning. We have such a hard time with our youngest son. He pretty much describes everything you just wrote about. As a matter of fact I had a complete breakdown last night about it. This really encouraged me to really just start praying hard for him and for how I need to handle the situations. I don't expect perfection like you said, but I do want my boys to have hearts after God and to be respectful when asked to do something. So thank you for pouring your heart our into this b/c if no one else really gets it I totally do.

    1. And in turn you encouraged me to keep sharing our struggles and triumphs on here :) Praying for you and this season of your Mommyhood!

  2. This post touched my heart Kelsey. Thank you for being brave and honest in your writing. Copying this verse for my spirited child who told me recently he did not know how to choose the "right" thing. We are going to go to bed and wake up praying about it! Thank you for the reminder.