It is 7:05 a.m. on a Monday morning...my last few moments of silence before the day (and the week) kicks off. In two minutes the boys alarm will go off. What will that bring?
I will most likely see a sleepy Kevin, hair all tussled, creeping quietly into my room. He often stands behind me watching me work for a minute until I realize he's there, then he either snuggles on my lap or climbs into my bed until he's fully awake.
Christopher, on the other hand, is an unknown morning surprise. On good days he jumps out of bed, gets dressed in about two minutes flat, runs downstairs to eat his breakfast and then plays happily until it's time to go to school. On 'neutral' days he will turn the alarm off, pull the blankets over his head, and stay in bed until the last possible minute (my preferred morning routine personally!). Then there are the 'wild card' days. He may yell at Kevin for turning off the alarm clock. Or he may yell at him because he DIDN'T turn off the alarm clock! He will decide that he absolutely wants the one thing we don't happen to have for breakfast...then get angry because it isn't available. He hates his uniform, and each piece will not fit well for some reason -- or it will be itchy, smell funny, or just look all wrong when he puts it on.
How will I respond? Some days I'm patient and I talk softly, helping him to see his options and trying to tease him into changing his mood. Most often I do start with that approach, but he knows just how to push my buttons. Comments like "Why do you always buy me clothes I don't like" or "Why don't you ever get any food I like" just tend to hit me the wrong way and I get a bit defensive. Things usually go downhill from there.
I'm the grown up here...and he's a child learning his way in the world. The Bible says I should teach him the way he should go...which means I should set a good example for the way they should act when faced with poor attitudes...
Uh oh...it's 7:15 and the alarm hasn't gone off yet. I went in to wake them up. Kevin started crying because he woke up too late and he's stomping down the stairs. Chris covered his head. Let's see how the morning goes!