"Luke sweetie, what are you doing?" I called to Luke this morning as we were getting ready to go to the library.
"Don't call me sweetie," Luke replied, "I'm not a sweetie, I'm a boy. My name is Lukey."
"Of course you're a boy, and your name is Luke, but your also my little sweetheart."
"No," Luke responded coolly, "I'm not a sweetheart anymore."
As fate would have it, at lunch began the biggest battle we've yet to fight, all starting with The Apple Heard Round the World,i.e. a lunchtime protest with the contents of Luke's plate thrown across the room. What ensued was a battle of the wills with one strategy on my part: win.
My Sweetheart turned Boy is now napping. Completely unable to get himself under control, he ended up falling asleep by screaming in his bedroom...without any lunch. My only hope now is that he doesn't wake up early from hunger and we start the over-tired tirade all over again.
Of course, my life would have been easier, at least for a time, if I allowed him to throw apple slices across the room, eat Cheetos for lunch and scream at his parents, but we just cannot allow that. Sometimes I'm tempted to take the easier road to avoid the immediate consequences, but then I have to remember that these battles are what prove our love to our children. Their defiance is a question to us, "Do you love me enough to care about the person I become? Are you tough enough to make me respect authority?" An hour of toddler screaming and a frazzled mother may be the immediate consequences of discipline, but I love him too much to find out the consequences of no discipline.
Hold on tight, it's going to be a bumpy ride.