I Withheld His Birthday

I withheld his 4th birthday.
Oh yes I did.

(All the grandmas reading this just gasped and nearly choked on their hot tea.  It's okay. Trust me.)

In my 17+ years of parenting, I calculate I've potentially changed 22,000 diapers.  I've loaded a small landfill all by myself -- just raising tiny humans.  My darling Kid Four was not as thrilled to master the art of using the bathroom as I had hoped.

I put up with his shenanigan for 3 years and 11 months because everyone (who wasn't dealing with this, mind you) told me to just wait it out...he'd eventually get it...it's no big deal...no kid goes to kindergarten wearing a diaper.  I began to wonder.

Routinely he would disappear into the closet or behind the sofa to do his "business" and then emerge with a mischievous smile that dared me to ask the obvious question... "Did you?" and his little face told me everything -- his face, and his apparently uncomfortable walk. He totally knew what he was doing.  And the proof was that he ONLY did "that" when he was alone with me.  He would perform like a big boy for other people.

I decided to take drastic measures.  Eye level with my tiny munchkin, I explained he would NOT be having a birthday until he pooped in the big potty.   That got his attention.

"No party?!  No balloons? No presents?!"
No. Parties are for big potty poopers.  And balloons are for underpants-wearing children.

Most people thought I was cruel and a little cuckoo.  But most people I knew weren't washing out Thomas the Train underwear every day.  Personally, I think it was a brilliant move.

Because it worked.

Only ten days after his 'real' birthday, he got the message and decided to own up to the responsibilities of AGE 4.  We had a party with balloons...and cake...and gifts...and games. No one pooped their pants on party day. Glory.

I wonder how many times God has to postpone or withhold a special blessing while he waits for me to come to my senses? A stubborn heart toward obedience is never rewarded.

Father, teach me to release my grip on my childish ways so I can mature in your love for me.