But, it’s so SHINY…

Inspiration came yesterday in the shape of my son’s obsession with silverware.  My little boy loves to get out the butter knives and pretend they are swords, beating them against each other and howling like a savage.  Sometimes this is cute- but my husband and I decided that we’d rather he indulge his fantasies with something less pointy.  A spatula, perhaps, or the handle of a wooden spoon.

My son is not willing to compromise.  He must have silverware, bright and shiny and forbidden.

So several times a day I hear the drawer open, and then it begins.  It starts with:

“Fighter*, you can’t have the silverware.”  Sometimes at this point he goes ahead and closes the drawer.  Sometimes, not.  So it continues:

“Fighter, if you take it out I’m only going to tell you to put it back.”  There have been a handful of times this has been effective, but usually not.

“Fighter, Mommy would really like you to put those down and close the drawer.”  This is generally the time I get the most obedience from him.  I’d say eighty percent of the time, which is pretty good for a two-year-old.  Although, twenty percent of the time the dance continues.

“You aren’t allowed to play with those.”

He stars howling and dancing.

I go into the kitchen, and make him stop and look at me.  “Will you put those back and I’ll get you something else?”

This is where it gets interesting.


“You need to put them away, or I will have to take them.”


“If I have to take them, you will be punished.”

He will actually think about this, and there are still a smattering of times that he will go back to the drawer and spare himself the time out.  But, if it gets to this point, most of the time it will end badly.

And yesterday, I realized- he gets it from me.  Because there are times in my life where I know God has told me to surrender, and I’ve ignored him.  And God and I have had this conversation.  He’s said, “I really want you to let go.”  I’ve said no.  He’s said, “if you don’t let go I’ll have to take it away from you.”  And I’ve said, “NO.”  So God has gotten down on his knees and made me look in his eyes and said, “I really want you to listen, because if you don’t listen and I have to take it away, I will have to discipline you.”

And sometimes I’ll stick out my lower lip and walk over to the drawer as if it is a death sentence, and put the beautiful shiny forbidden things away.  But more often?  I howl like a banshee and run the other way and hide in my closet and wait for the hammer to fall, just like my son.

And I have to wonder why we as humans act this way- because once it gets to that point, to the point where a bad ending is expected and inevitable, how do we get ANY enjoyment from having gotten our way?

*Clearly not his real name, but he probably wishes it was.

10 thoughts on “But, it’s so SHINY…

  1. Wow – excepting the silverware/sword thing, this sounds so familiar…

    This touches on something I’ve been thinking a bit about lately: how does God’s relationship to me when it comes to training and discipline affect my relationship with my son. Does it at all? Am I slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness? [snorts] Do I show grace? How much do I accept the fact that he has a 2 year old brain and how much is just flat-out disobedience? Does God yell at me, cram a toque on my head and then pick me up and strap me to the carseat kicking and screaming (uh, so to speak)?

  2. Gosh, aren’t we all like that? God is the most patient parent. We are all so stubborn of children… and my oh my isn’t that object we need oh so shiny! So right on sista!

  3. For some I think, it is the excitement in the risk, of doing something for which there can be no good ending. Sometimes, it is simply because we want to be independent and free thinkers, even at two, so as an adult, being a free thinker with a spirit that wants to run and scream will be an asset, not a behavior worthy of time out. As a parent, I really consciously tried to remember that all of those qualities, even the ones from us, that our daughter had that were challenging, would be tremendous qualities as an adult.

    God knows, I think, that we are free beings, even when he is nudging us…… thankfully he loves us in spite of ourselves!!!!

  4. Perhaps it is because we learn from the youngest of ages that good comes from pain.

    I have a boo-boo mommy. (kiss-kiss) I fell down. (kiss kiss)

    Maybe when we get a bit older and want to be in control of everything in our lives we subconciously resist what we know to be right until we are “in trouble”.

    That is when God (in His loving faithfulness) says, “There, there now; here I am. Are you ready to listen to Daddy now? I love you, so let’s try this again.” (kiss kiss)

  5. Great post! I love the image of you as a child and God as, well , the Father. I talk to Him like that too.
    On another note, my son also indulges in sword fighting. Luckily he hasn’t figured out the silverware, but he does to sleep with his plastic sword.

  6. There is so much wisdom in your words, as always. This topic has been true for me, both on the parenting and spiritual side. My four year old loves to test boundaries! And so do I, at times. Especially in the past few months, it has been hard for me to listen when God says I cannot or should not have or do certain things. My latest protest is, “I’ve struggled so much! Please, just this one time?” I persist, and hope that God will overlook my actions, but he doesn’t.

    I wonder if this human characteristic is societal, or biological?

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