~these are the days of forgiving my toddler’s scissors obsession~
The day started out normally. We were sitting at the table doing some schoolwork. Naomi crawled up next to me on the bench and before I knew it, the scissors was out and she was cutting up a piece of paper.
What is it with this kid and scissors?
She wasn’t cutting up something important, but still, I wanted her to ask so I knew that she had scissors. I don’t mind if she cuts up scrap paper as long as I’m watching. She slid off the bench and I moved on to what the older kids were working on and didn’t pay much attention to her. She was standing really close to me, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary.
Suddenly I looked over at her and she was just staring at me. With big innocent eyes. Eyes that gave something away. She had the scissors in front of her and was just looking at me.
I knew something had happened. I don’t know why I decided to look but I grabbed the sleeve of my sweatshirt and turned it around.
Yep. A nice innocent hole.
“Naomi!!” She immediately started crying and saying, “Sorry, Mommy. Sorry. Sorry.”
I was furious. I picked her up and put on the stairs, yelling about only using scissors on paper and what was she thinking? or other sorts of nonsense. I was too mad at her to leave her there so I carried her upstairs and put her on her bed for a timeout so I could think.
The other kids were speechless. I think they were confused because of course, they know better than to go around cutting people’s clothing.
What was it about my sweatshirt? Was it super appealing with its soft texture? Was she just curious what would happen? Did she even know the scissors would work? Or is she just two and I should have been watching her more closely?
I know what you’re thinking. Seriously, chill out mama. It’s just a sweatshirt.
And you’re right. It is. But it’s my favorite one. One that I wear just about daily because it’s soft and lightweight. It bears the business emblems for the company I sell for and it cost me more than I would
normally ever spend on a sweatshirt. That coupled with the fact that I have a considerably minimal wardrobe and it really is the only sweatshirt I own.
All these thoughts are running through my head while she’s upstairs wailing. I was really mad. I’m constantly wondering how we own anything in our house because someone is always ruining something. Dirty couches, fingerprinted walls, broken dishes, lost puzzle pieces. It feels like a never-ending train wreck some days.
I came downstairs to three pairs of eyes watching me. They’ve seen me get mad over things, some things that honestly aren’t worth getting upset about but they might hit me at just the wrong moment. I know they were wondering what I was going to do. I told them that we were going to have to watch Naomi and not let her have the scissors until I say it’s okay.
“Mom, what was she thinking!? Doesn’t she know not to do that? I can’t believe she cut your clothing!”
Ellie ran upstairs to see if she had any black thread. Micah sat shaking his head. I took a few deep breaths. I told the kids I was upset at her but it was just as much my fault for not paying attention to what she was doing.
After a few minutes I brought Naomi down. She was really, really repentant. You know, repeating her apologies and promising never to do it again. I reminded her scissors are only for paper and as her punishment, she would not be allowed to use scissors until I said it was okay. I told the older kids if she tried to use scissors, they were allowed to take them away.
We snuggled for a few minutes and I reminded her that I loved her. I told her I was upset because she ruined something that wasn’t hers, but I told her I forgave her. She hopped down and we didn’t mention it for the rest of the day. Chances are, she doesn’t even remember and is going to be confused the next time she wants to use scissors and can’t.
The truth is, it really isn’t a big deal. It was really a small thing. It was me that wanted to make it into something bigger. I’ll figure out a way to mend the sweatshirt with some sort of sloppy stitch. But I can’t mend my words. If I say something I regret out of anger or frustration, that’s harder to mend.
I want my kids to see that even when I get upset, I take a step back and think about the situation. That I apologize when I’m wrong and offer forgiveness when I’ve been wronged. And trust me, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to ask for forgiveness with them. Times when I lose my cool or say something I shouldn’t or react in a way that the situation doesn’t warrant. Times when we all end up in tears, always over something that is easily forgotten. I’ve learned as a parent that it’s my job to always apologize. To show them I know when I’m wrong and I’m willing to say it. And when they do something that they shouldn’t, I offer my forgiveness.
Stuff like this is small. These apologies and acts of forgiveness to each other. But it’s important for them to see. And home gives them a safe place to forgive as well, so when they are faced with it in bigger ways as they get older, they have experiences to pull from.
I recently read this from Ann Voskamp’s website and it had me undone. Because this is what forgiveness in the flesh really looks like. There are things that have happened in my life that I have offered forgiveness for, and yet still creep up on me. And I wonder if I’ve really forgiven the way I thought I had. Sort of like surrendering when I thought I already had.
Most days I feel like such a baby in this forgiveness arena. Truthfully, how can I expect to forgive the big things that happen in life, if I’m too caught up in myself to forgive things like holes in sweatshirts. I feel like God uses these hole-y sweatshirt moments to remind me of my smallness and that life isn’t about me. And that hiding scissors from my daughter is such a tiny fragment of life barely worth mentioning.
It’s a small hiccup in my day. It’s nothing compared to the real problems in the world.
Honestly, it reminds me that my life is good.
It’s really, really good.
What do “these days” look like for you. Simply comment with one…these are the days of…
**If you want to check out the rest of my #write31days series, you can find the link here.