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When the Honeymoon is Over…

May 2, 2017

There is this strangely familiar phrase everyone knows, but rarely do we know what we are expecting in the end; The Honeymoon Phase. We refer to it when we talk about relationships, jobs, religion, oh and foster care. In training I heard several women talk about how tough your kids will test you once they get past the honeymoon. Well I thought we were all there. I thought the rough, ugly dragon resting in each of my children had reared (Her) ugly head. *I refer to the dragon a lot, and when I use her as a reference she is a girl because the dragon in everyone reminds me of myself.*  She has encouraged some challenges along this road of parenting, however nothing could have prepared me for last night….

While we had set up a new bunk bed, two of my precious small humans were arguing as to which one had the rights to the top bunk, both arguments were decent, so I left it in their hands to determine the best course of action. Rock, Paper, Scissors. While the game progressed to the first person reaching 10 winning rounds earns the top bunk, I knew and was preparing for the let down of the ‘loser’.  When the game was over and the winner took their place upon the castle, my dear strong, independent, cuddle monster lost control. The dragon then appeared, and she was fierce. Spewing harder words then I could have imagined, at me and at the Throne holder. Finally momma bear had hear enough and I barked them both off too bed.

Only to realize 10 minutes later that the child laying on the bottom was kicking the mattress and giving air to the child on top. I quickly removed the angry child with their feisty dragon intact, the battle was just beginning. I gave up my bed and sent this child there, while the dragon screamed and screeched, “I WON’T GO TO SLEEP THEN, YOU CANNOT MAKE ME!” I calmly agreed, and that seemed to make the dragon angrier, she started to spit sparks, hoping to catch fire to someone or something, all the while I kept reminding myself, stay calm momma, stay calm, they need to see your grace, find your grace!

It went on for ten minutes, which felt like forever, it all hurt and then the dragon screamed, “I hate you, I hate living here, everyone else hates living here, I hate my life”. I collapsed at the foot of my own bed where the dragon had clearly taken over my child, I rested my hands in the lap of the beast, and I said, “That hurts my heart, I love you SO much, I will give you my phone to call our workers tomorrow, I cannot force you to live here, but I need you to know I LOVE you, and I LOVE having you here.” We sat in silence for 27 minutes, when the dragon finally loosened her grip and we went to bed on a sharp note, she snapped “YOU HAVE NOT WON.” While quickly rolling over and tossing the blanket over their head I retreated. I found myself sobbing in my pillow, asking myself over and over do they hate it here? Have I screwed up somewhere? What did I do to hurt this child so badly. Considering it was already three in the morning I crashed hard. I awoke this morning with overwhelming amounts of peace, I went and woke my sweet warrior from the night before, I calmly rubbed the back of what could be the beast, and explained my love for them, and that we will gladly start the day as normal if they were up for it. This child practically leaped out of bed, threw their arms around my neck, “Mom I am so sorry, I didn’t mean it, I don’t want to leave, I love you I really do”.

Mom… they called me mom.. they said sorry… the fight is over? The peace was all around us, not just me. This child needed to know they could push, harder then I ever could have imagined, but I was still here, and I was still level headed, I never exploded, I let their emotions develop and I kept mine in check. This was a household win. I really think I understand the honeymoon phase now, but call me crazy, I like it better this side of the phase!

 

 

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