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Blue Tents and Other Disasters

September 18, 2007

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope'” (Jeremiah 29:11).

I have just spent the last three days protecting my two-year-old from being afraid. I have sacrificed sleep, money, time, mental sanity, and my husband’s time with his best friend who is visiting from out of town…all of it has been sacrificed for my toddler.

I really thought it was worth it. It wasn’t until I flung the latest attempt at a new bed for her on the lawn (ON THE LAWN, YES I DID, ABOUT TWENTY MINUTES AGO) that I realized what I was doing. Why none of this was working.

I’ve been protecting the wrong person.

I really don’t want my baby to be afraid. I personally don’t feel like she’s old enough for a toddler bed so when she started leaping from her crib three days ago, I wanted to figure out a way that she could still be contained while she sleeps. I don’t want her sneaking outside to the street while I’m in the shower (this happened last week). My husband thought we should put a lock on the door to her room. He reasoned that she has slept in there for years, feels safe there, and this would be an easy way to solve this problem.

Oh, no. I panicked. Completely panicked. “I really don’t want her to be locked in a room. She’ll be really, really scared,” I told him. I couldn’t explain it, but it made me feel so nervous. Instead, I came up with a list of ideas – all of which we have tried over the last three days – and all of which have failed: baby gates on her door, a cute tent from Target that she could see through that was decorated with a fun transportation design, bribing her to stay in bed, consequences when she got out for the fifteenth time at 11:30pm…

“She needs a lock.” Hugh said. “It’s not scary, and it makes sense. She’s two years old, and it’s not safe for her to have free rein in the house when we’re asleep. This is the best thing for her right now.”

I pleaded for more time, more ideas, one more trip to Target…meanwhile, my two-year-old was getting more and more exhausted as I ran around trying to come up with a solution.

The last idea, the blue tent, is now in a heap in the garage (I moved it off the lawn) after she ripped the sides open. I lay on the floor of her room, looking at my sleepy daughter, and I was done. I gave up. I had no more ideas. Hugh and his friend finally left to spend some time catching up (two hours late so that Hugh could help me with Lucy). I put the lock on the door and told her good night. Then I lay on the carpet outside the room and waited.

“Hhhhmmm….mama? Mama?…..?” Then nothing. Nothing. She fell asleep.

What have I been doing? Why have I wasted so much time and thought with this? I lay there looking up at the ceiling, noticing that the fan needed dusting, and slowly, I realized the truth of these last three days.

My little girl isn’t me. She doesn’t live in fear of being abandoned. She is not being abused. She is in a healthy family with parents who love her and love Jesus. I’ve been so crazy these last few days because I’ve been filtering my mothering through my own story, my own childhood.

But my daughter is not being raised in chaos. (Thank you, Precious Father).

I can rise up out of my own childhood and start mothering with confidence. I do not need to be afraid that I will hurt or damage my children. I can trust that the same God who lifted me out of my pit, who delivered me from the bondage and pain of my past, the God who gives me a hope and a future…well, THAT GOD can certainly teach me how to mother my daughters in a way that brings glory to His name. When I am unsure of what to do, I’ll ask Him. And I’ll trust Him to tell me.

He is able. And I am able through Him.

Hallelujah. I adore, adore, adore, you, God. Thank you for using these moments to teach me more about who you are. Thank you for setting me free. I live to bless your name, Jesus…

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 18, 2007 9:00 pm

    oh, i so understand what you went through. jesiah hopped out of his crib at 18 months old. he has been in a big boy bed ever since. we had to lock him in his room as well. you did the right thing and it worked. you are a great mommy!! next time listen to your hubby!!! hehe

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