No church for us this morning. Last night the 6 year old managed to sneak the tub of chocolate ice cream down and eat half a quart in one sitting. He also got down the half a candy bar I was saving for a special treat and ate that all gone. I’m still scratching my head over when he found an opportunity to manage all that.
It was a terrible night for the whole family; the only person who got any sleep was the 2 year old, but even he ran wildly around until midnight (what on earth!?!?). This comes on the heels of almost a month of sleeplessness due to Halloween and then most of us getting colds. Lack of sleep has me frazzled and feeling ill. I’ve never coped well with lack of sleep, but fibromyalgia has made it an even bigger problem.
What bothers me most is that he chose to sneak and eat not one but two things he knows he shouldn’t. He’s tried to do this with jars of honey and even jelly in the past, but this chocolate stuff puts it to a whole new level. Locking away every sweet thing doesn’t get to the root of the problem… but what is the root? How do I navigate this as a parent?
Between illness and official Thanksgiving break, my son will have been out of school for 11 days straight. During this time I’ve watched his behavior spiral back into extreme anxiety and aggression – shouting, screaming, scowling, flailing, acting like a control freak… it’s all back. His complete dependence on the rigid structure school provides is obvious – we made the right decision to put him there – but this dependence on structure scares me. Christmas break is going to be a horrible nightmare unless I find a way to plan every second of every day. Summer break is going to be hell.
This last month has left me questioning my beliefs in so many ways. I’ve lost my belief that people are inherently good. Now I’m pondering something I was sure I’d never consider again – a sin nature. The level of evil, selfishness, and depravity I’ve seen in the world has shocked me to my core; even more shocking is seeing glints of that same depravity mirrored in the eyes of my children. I see it in myself as I struggle to parent gently in the face of sleeplessness, chronic illness, and high needs/special needs demands from my children.
As this season of Advent begins, I find myself looking for hope and love in new ways. Hopefully we can gather enough sanity around here to light the first candle and share a moment of peace.