I have been struggling with my emerging preschooler during school time lately. She is no longer content to sit by with busy work while I work with her older siblings. She does a lot more lately to try and grab my attention if it isn’t given quickly. She wants her own dedicated time and she deserves it. I’ve been trying to rearrange our schedule so I can sit with her first, but this morning I was not moving fast enough for her and it led to a great deal of frustration for both of us.
Part of my frustration is my mommy guilt because I feel like I don’t do enough with her most days. I struggle not to compare what I do with her with what I was able to do with the other two when they were her age. We played this. We read this many books. We spent this amount of time outside. They had this class or that activity. And then the clincher, they knew how to do…
But she is such a different beast. She is much more temperamental and easily distracted. So this morning when she wanted to do her “schoolwork” I wanted to give her my full attention. I needed two minutes, tops, to get the other two started on their independent work and she interrupted the entire time. When I turned my attention to her and the work she chose, her first response was, “I don’t want to do that now.” Steam from my ears and deep breaths. I tried to focus her attention on her letter sounds and could feel the upset rising within me and her at all that I had not taught her yet.
I wish I could say I didn’t allow it to bother me or that I didn’t beat myself up, but that would be a lie. While I didn’t go overboard, I did have a sense that I was failing to teach her the things she should know. The worst part was I was wondering how would I ever figure out how to help her.
Later this afternoon I called my mother in New Orleans after seeing the weather reports of Tornado watches and severe storms. My littlest listened to her siblings ask me about the reports and about their grandmother, and when they left the room she asked a few more questions of her own. She then did something that took me completely by surprise. As she walked by my side, she grabbed my hand and said let’s pray for Grammy and the tornados. She recited the sweetest prayer to God asking him to protect her grandmother from the tornados and to keep her safe and all the people there.
At that moment I couldn’t help but think, “Thank you God for the reminder of what is really important.” Of all the things I can want my children to know and learn, God is at the top of the list. That sweet smart girl knew to go to God to ask for protection and comfort in the time of a storm. If that’s not a reminder I don’t know what is!
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33