Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Battle or the War?

I want to win both, thanks for asking. Especially when it comes to my kids.

In the end, the war seems to matter most, but each individual battle has it's own potential victories and defeats and then consequences of either.

The particular battle I had yesterday with Joshua had to do with school, but it could have been anything else. It could have been his hair. It could have been his recollection of my exact words. It could have been green or purple. Really, with this strong-willed boy, it could have been anything else. But it was school.

Since I homeschool, this is a battle that makes me shiver when I see the inevitability of it all. Joshua is very bright and especially has an aptitude for math, so one would think he could have reasoned the conclusion when he waged the battle. One would be wrong.

After breakfast and our Advent devotional, Rachael got started on her workbook material while I was going over some math word problems with Joshua. He disagreed with my explanation of the first word problem. He is bright, but he is seven! His temper got the best of him, so he was sent to his room with instructions to come back downstairs when his attitude improved.

After about 20 minutes, I decided to check on him. He was just lying in bed, as there are no electronics in his room, only books and a few toys. Lying in bed was not accomplishing much, so I had him come back downstairs. His mood had improved, but he did not want to get back to his school work because he was "hungry." Never mind that he had eggs, grits and toast less than one hour before. (Yes, he has a wonderful mother.)

I then told him, "You will not eat anything else until you feed your brain and do your schoolwork." There it was. My cannon shot back. The battle is on.

With a little grin on his face, thinking he was getting away with something, he said, "I'm not really hungry anyway."

"You will be later."

"But you'll forget."

"Oh, no I won't."

Then Rachael felt the need to give Joshua some strategic sisterly advice, "Oh, Joshua, I know who will win."

"Who?" he asks, as if he really needs to ask!

"Mom will.

"Oh no."

"Oh yes."

The battle continued, though pretty much amicably, until around 4 pm when he conceded, did his work pages and was allowed to have a piece of toast left over from breakfast and a Cutie clementine.

I won that time, but the battle has given me much food for thought for the long war ahead. It's my job to help my son learn how to put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature. Col. 3.5

I'm glad Joshua and I are ultimately on the same side! He is a formidable foe.