I realized something today as we were sitting at lunch. We had an incident after church. Bryan found it hilarious, but, then, he didn’t have to try to wrestle a cookie stealing toddler while holding a nursing baby. Bryan had a meeting after church. He had just purchased some girl scout cookies. I decided that we could have a little snack while waiting for lunch and sent Micah to fetch said cookies. He brought them to me, and we each had two. Then, in a fit of thin mint induced insanity, he grabbed a tube of cookies and raced out of the nursery. Seeing that he would be caught, he ripped open the bag, spilling cookies on the floor and attempted to shove several in his mouth. I put him in time out and placed the cookies out of reach.
But normally, he doesn’t do that. He was both hungry and tired today, and those trigger crazy behavior in him. He generally is quite adorable and loving, but he’s decided naps are a sometimes thing, and well, sometimes dinner gets delayed. And then, Micah becomes a wild man.
It occurred to me today, though, that his hunger or fatigue were causing him to lose his self control. And if that’s the case, he is exerting a crazy amount of self control all throughout every day. That has to be difficult.
So when your kids get sick or tired or hungry and go crazy (What?! That’s just mine? Sigh.) Think about their normal pattern of behavior and what they normally hold in check and then marvel at how great they are doing. Don’t let them get away with it, but do give them a little grace because holding back that much crazy must take some effort. We should know. Ahem.
Have you ever pondered the self control of a toddler/preschooler?