Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My little Peanut Butter

I've known him for 2 years and 7 months, but I can't seem to get my mind around what makes him tick. If I had to try to peg it down, I'd have to say the most important thing to him is that he gets to make the decision. And yet he's sometimes content to play with Christopher Robin, letting him call all the shots and tell him what to do, and he'll agree with everything Christopher Robin says.

He's been strongly attached to me since he was a month old; refusing to be happy with anyone but me for about his whole first year. He wouldn't cry for 10 minutes and then resign himself to the fact that I was gone; he'd scream until I came back, even if it was a couple of hours. Nowadays he loves to sit in my lap and have me read to him, but only if it's the book he wanted. He gives wonderful hugs, but only when he decides he wants to.

Last night My Hero sent him to get a new pair of undies from his drawer. I had already gone to the bedroom to get his pajamas and undies, and met him halfway with them in my hands. "Would you like these jammies tonight?" I asked him. He stopped, deliberated, then agreed those were the ones he wanted. Then he saw the pair of undies in my hands. Despair and anguish took hold of him. "Daddy said me go get mine undies!" he wailed. I handed him the undies, told him he could put them back and choose the ones he wanted. He came back a few minutes later with those same undies in his hands, telling his daddy he couldn't find undies in his drawer. "What are those in your hand?" My Hero asked, confused. Not the ones Peanut Butter chose, that's what.

He is enraged if I help him with something he was planning on doing himself, but at other times he demands my help with the very same task, and throws himself down in wails if I make him do it himself.

He had two accidents yesterday in which he did not make it to the potty in time. That's the first time since about a week after he was potty trained sometime in December. My Hero was home for the second one, and he asked me before he went to talk to Peanut Butter if he should suggest reverting back to diapers. My eyes got wide. "No. I'm afraid he would like that." Sure enough, when My Hero asked Peanut Butter if he should go back to wearing diapers, PB's eyes lit up and he said, "Nigh!" (PB's word for yes) "No!" My Hero chided, "That would be bad, you're learning to be a big boy!" and he went on to talk about Peanut Butter growing up and learning to do things like Daddy does them.

He doesn't seem much interested in being like Christopher Robin. He definitely wants the same privileges, but he seems to thrive on their differences. Last evening they had brought up some 2X4's and other boards from the basement and constructed a "building" on the living room floor, so later I sent them back down to put the boards back. "Be careful going down the stairs with them; some of those are heavy," I warned. "This one's not heavy!" Christopher Robin said proudly. "Mine not heavy," Peanut Butter echoed. "Because I'm really big and strong!" Christopher Robin assured me. "You both are," I said. "No, me tiny," Peanut Butter said, "Christopher Robin's big."

What fills his head? Occupies his thoughts? These days it really seems to be all about being the one to make the decisions. If Christopher Robin and Peanut Butter want the same toy, the sparks fly. If I mediate and come down on Peanut Butter's side, leaving Christopher Robin in tears, often Peanut Butter will wait a minute, feel the power of having the upper hand, then benevolently hand the coveted toy to Christopher Robin. He just wants to be able to choose to do it.

Trying to change Peanut Butter's mind is like beating against a wall. I'm not really even sure how to pray for him. I see how much determination and passion and strength is built into who he is, and I think if it was bent on building God's Kingdom, he'd be unstoppable. I just haven't figured out how to successfully influence him in a certain direction. My prayer is usually to hand it over to God. "Please harness Peanut Butter's passions and use them for your kingdom."

Maybe I'll never wrap my mind around what makes Peanut Butter tick. I'm pretty sure I will always find it a challenge to deal with him. I'm not naturally a leader, and to be the authority over such an unwilling follower is daunting to me. Thanks be to God that He can redeem him in spite of my weaknesses and failings as his mother.

Peanut Butter is a gift I'm not worthy of. Even as I sit exhausted by the endless battles fought or averted, I watch him rocking to his own beat, listen to him speak his own form of language, see him invent things none of the rest of us would have thought of, and I admire this unique creation of God.


The Brown Family Blog said...

I love reading your entries and am really learning and gaining a lot of wisdom from your experiences I believe. Thanks for being so transparent and willing to share the ups and downs of your day. You are bringing blessing my way!
Hope its a really good week for you...that God shows you little glimpses of his plan through your kiddos. You are an amazing mom and an encouragement to me!

Laura said...

You are doing a great job. Figuring out young minds is quite a challenge; it is daunting to me to even think about what lies ahead. Your persistence and compassion also encourages me.