About two years ago, a very important teacher stepped into our lives - for the sake of her privacy, we'll name her Mrs. Sweet. She's courageous in every way and has set a powerful precedence for toddler behavior in our little church childcare room. The first Sunday I left David in her care, I was amazed and inspired by the way she crouched down to communicate with the little man. She praised the way he set down toys and immediately guided him with gentle words when he revved up to throw one. When it looks like David is going to runaway with his emotions, Mrs. Sweet suggests a new fun thing to do or play.
This past weekend, we got a chance to go to our favorite frozen custard place with Mrs. Sweet and her husband. By now, David's grown very fond of her and will run when she suggests or take her hand to cross the street. I absolutely love saying to David, 'Mrs.Sweet is coming!' because he gets shyly excited. Very endearing to see my sons grow attached to people I also love.
At the custard place, I sat back a bit and observed Mrs. Sweet interacting with David. She was so kind and David became such an important person in their conversations. His getting up from the table didn't ruin our conversation and turn in into discipline. Instead, Mrs. Sweet got up and took him to have a closer look at candy and we picked up when they returned.
I'm reminded as I write how my Albanian missionary friend said that my children are a key part of my life and how I show God's love to others. That's exactly how Mrs. Sweet treats David, like he's a key part of our outing.
This past year, I've set to really 'train' David in obedience to me and Tripp. This has required a lot of communication, consistency, teaching, outlasting, and bootie spanks. After a while, Tripp and I feel that all we do is reprimand David. Our tones (everyone's) start to intensify until someone is yelling and sadly, that's Tripp and myself by most bed-times. It's become increasingly harder to train without loosing self-control and heaping past frustration on to accidental spilled milk. And we're only on training child #1!
Watching Mrs. Sweet, who has raised children and teaches many daily, literally changes me from the inside out. David and I have had one of our best weeks, and I just wonder if it's because of the custard date. Which brings an interesting conclusion - I am a variable! My changed attitude and heart somehow effected my interaction with David enough that he also acted differently. I also need training. Or maybe just simply, a teacher's touch.