I was going to write a deep, introspective article this week. I really was. Then, my 2-year-old decided she and I were going to have a test of wills over 1/3 of a cup of milk this morning.
Did your kid ever go through that phase?
Ansley flat refuses to drink milk, and I don’t get it. Before she was two, she’d down 10 ounces at every meal. She’d suck it through a bottle, but she’d drink it.
When she turned two, Dom and I decided she should stop drinking out of a bottle so we took it away and ever since then, she’s survived on water and the occasional juice box. It’s like her psyche refuses to accept that milk can come from any source other than an Avent bottle.
Recently, I’ve decided to try to get her to drink more milk. While she has a healthy diet that includes plenty of yogurt and string cheese, the mom in me has decided she also needs at least 8 ounces of the Moo Juice.
So this morning, I poured her 1/3 of a cup of milk and told her she couldn’t leave the table until it was gone. 1/3 of a cup, y’all. That’s two gulps in grown-up world, maybe six gulps for a 2-year-old.
Would you like to know how long it took my precious angel to choke down all six whopping gulps? An hour. That’s not me exaggerating or using creative license, it was an hour.
From 8:15 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. she screamed and cried about not being able to move from her chair and my telling her to drink milk. Finally, I told her if she wanted her friends to come over she had to drink all of her milk.
Two minutes later, the milk was gone and she told me she was going to go to bed and “rest” (Ansley code for decompress. I guess screaming for an hour straight really takes it out of a girl).
As parents (as people) we have to pick our battles. Would the world have stopped spinning if Ans hadn’t finished her milk? No.
But I feel pretty strongly that: 1) She should do as she’s told and 2) She needs to start drinking milk out of a cup, so I felt okay picking this certain battle.
I knew going into it that it would be a battle. I went in prepared to sit her out, to ignore her tantrum and calmly get her to do as I asked.
After my small victory this morning, I realized I should probably take this approach more often. Not necessarily the approach of ignoring my kids screaming fits (although, boy, that really boosts the sanity factor), but rather I should try to acknowledge beforehand that other people’s reactions are going to be out of my hands.
I’m part of a Bible study that’s reading “Unglued” by Lysa Terkeurst. It’s a great book, even if you’re not a Christian because she gives some really honest, simple advice on how to stay sane when things feel out of control.
I’m honest enough to admit that I often become unglued by the smallest things other people (especially my own little people) do.
The words and actions of others can really bother me when they don’t align with what I think is right or should be done (like drinking milk for breakfast if you’re two and a half).
But reading this book has helped me realize that I can’t control other people; I can only control how I respond to them.
So, in the case of my battle of wills with my 2-year-old this morning, I acknowledged that. Instead of spanking her for being bratty or yelling because she still wasn’t doing what I wanted her to after an hour, I remained calm and eventually she drank the milk.
As a mom of two with two on the way, I’m not naïve enough to think I will always win these little battles of will (as a matter of fact, I’ll definitely lose more often than not).
But as a woman, I can chose how I respond.
I’m gonna try from now on to not sweat the small stuff and choose not to become unglued.
I can chose how I respond.