I never really made an association between the days of the week and my children’s behavior until my mother-in-law connected the dots for me.
(Hey look, cut me some slack here. I never claimed to be the sharpest tool in the box. )
Ever since that earth shattering moment, when Nana told me how it was, I have been acutely aware that Mondays are the roughest, toughest day of the week in this house.
And believe me when I tell you that my attitude and expectations are not the cause of this phenomenon.
I can get up…
prepare my heart and mind for the day’s agenda,
jump on the treadmill,
take a shower,
confident that I’m fully prepared for anything that might be thrown my way.
And then…by 10:00AM…I’m completely defeated.
Maybe this is where God wants me. I can’t ignore this possibility. In my weakness He is made strong.
On this particular Monday, I made Monkey Bread for breakfast.
What can possibly go wrong when you have such gooey, sweet deliciousness for the most important meal of the day?
Perhaps it was the large quantities of sugar and fat coating the highly refined dough?
Whatever the cause…we started this Monday just like any other.
Gabby and I sat down at the kitchen table with reading books, math text, and a ginormous mug of coffee within arm’s reach.
(There’s truly not a cup of coffee big enough. )
I always try to tackle her work first while she’s fresh and rested.
We had been working our way through ‘Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons’.
The lessons had grown more difficult for her recently but I was determined to push through.
I wanted her to experience the satisfaction of completing all 100 lessons. Or perhaps…I sought those feelings of accomplishment myself.
It seemed like she didn’t want to buckle down for the difficult.
Don’t let these pictures of cooperative Gabby deceive you…
She has some serious tricks up her sleeve.
When the going gets tough she receives phone calls on her play cellphone.
I pretend to turn the phone off and she makes it ring again, suggesting I must not have turned it off correctly.
Then she’s texting her boyfriend and telling me to hold on a minute.
I take the phone away.
We just ate breakfast, I remind her.
I begin highlighting the story in yellow so she can see the progress she’s making.
When we begin reading it the second time, I share how I’ll highlight with blue and it’s going to be like magic.
“Mommy, magic is stupid.”
She’s getting up out of her chair and wandering around.
I threaten to glue her bottom to the chair.
She thinks this is hysterical.
She’s completely unfocused.
I boot her out onto the screened porch until she’s ready to work hard.
I learn I’m not above bribing my child with brownies.
“Read the story!” I bark.
“Mommy, are you mad at me?”
“No, Gabby. I’m just frustrated that you’re not trying.”
I can’t see straight. I’m so incredibly frustrated.
I leave the table
I need to figure this out.
I’ve hit a very large insurmountable wall. An impasse.
My child is no longer enjoying this process.
We’re on Lesson 80.
I’m having trouble letting go of the goal. My goal.
Two hours of pulling-my-hair-out frustration…I can’t just throw in the towel, can I?
Am I demonstrating weakness or wisdom?
Does this situation call for perseverance or knowing when to call it quits?
I struggle and wrestle with my decision.
I tell Gabby we’re done with the book but I can’t shake the feeling that I’m somehow admitting defeat.
We’ll switch back over to ‘Sing, Spell, Read, and Write’, I inform her.
I did the same thing with Luke, I share, and he is an excellent reader.
“He is?” she wonders.
I enter the schoolroom ready to shelve the book but I drop to my knees instead.
I just need to know I’m making the right choice.
It’s 11:00AM on a Monday and I’m sittiing on the carpeted schoolroom floor holding my head in my hands.
My husband walks in unexpectedly and I’m certain he has somehow learned of my fragile mental state.
He is here to provide emotional support, I reason.
“Do you want to go out with me on Friday night?” he inquires, completely out of nowhere.
Understand this never happens. Not like this.
God himself, prompted my man into action.
There is absolutely no hesitation on my part…
And then everything’s fine again.
Perspective has returned to my life.
This child is going to be just fine.
I want this process to be fun for her.
I don’t want to squash her spirit and her self-esteem.
So big deal we quit the book 20 lessons early…
Gabby WILL read.
It’s just a matter of time.