Life with a child with special needs is a little weird. It's especially wierd when your child's needs aren't very pronounced. Tori, for instance, is a tiny person, but she can do pretty much everything that other kids can do. So I guess what's wierd about it is that I feel wierd even saying she has special needs because there are so many parents with kids who have "special-er" needs. Whatever.
Anyway, the tough thing about it for me is that it's hard to know when to push her and when to cut her some slack. After all, she is missing some genetic material so who knows how that affects her? But she does things so well that I never know if she's just being a stubborn three year old or if her body and mind just don't work the same as mine. I'm not complaining here, just stating the facts. In the world of parenting, where game time discipline, potty training, sleeping and eating decisions are made every second on a regular basis, it's tough to rattle through all the normal uncertainty of parenting with the extra "what if she just doesn't do this the same way" factor. Plus, then if I get frustrated with her I feel extra guilty because she's so little and so darn cute. I'm a sucker.
Why am I venting all this? Well, because last week I got SO frustrated with her potty training. She does great while she's at school, but then she comes home and really fights me every time I try to get her to go to the potty. So then I end up manhandling her and carrying her to the bathroom, threatening trouble if she doesn't listen and sit down to pee. Fun. She always sits down, and she always pees. But then literally five minutes later she will just pee in her pants. And don't try to tell me it's out of defiance because it might be and I just don't want to hear it. Also, she will poop in her panties and then tell me she needs to go potty. I'll run in the bathroom after her only to find that she's pulled down her pants and the poop has rolled all over the bathroom floor. Fun. Totally frustrating for me. I was literally about to put her back in diapers because I was so ticked. I didn't know what to do - do I start all over with the potty training? Is she ever going to get this? Will she be in pull ups forever? Some kids with chromosome disorders never get out of diapers...not the ones who have her particular disorder, but you know how your mind goes from one extreme to the other. It was not a fun time for me. Or for her, I imagine.
Aaaaaanyway, I picked up my little "Jesus Calling" devotional on Monday when I was losing it and here's what it said:
I AM WITH YOU AND FOR YOU. When you decide on a course of action that is in line with My will, nothing in heaven or on earth can stop you. You may encounter many obstacles as you move toward your goal, but don't be discouraged - never give up! With My help, you can overcome any obstacle. Do not expect an easy path as you journey hand in hand with Me, but do remember that I, your very-present Helper, am omnipotent.
Much, much stress results from your wanting to make things happen before their times have come. One of the main ways I assert My sovereignty is in the timing of events. If you want to stay close to Me and do things My way, ask Me to show you the path forward moment by moment. Instead of dashing headlong toward your goal, let Me set the pace. Slow down, and enjoy the journey in My Presence.
Ok, so I'm not sure about enjoying the potty training, poop rolling on the floor part of the journey. What I am reminded of, though, is that God really cares about these little things that seem like big things in my little girl's life. Seriously, that was the devotion for that particular day in my little life? Yes. Seriously, He knows my innermost thoughts and concerns about the possibility of pull ups taking over my house and life forever? Yes. And Wow.
Thank you Lord, for the frustration that bothered me enough to seek you in your Word, and for being sweet enough to meet this Mama right where she is....which at this stage in life just happens to be on my bathroom floor, beside a little person on a little potty.