I have now experienced a right of passage with my youngest daughter, little Miss TJ. She treated me to a full blown screammin' Mimi public temper tantrum a couple of weeks ago. The day had started off well. She had woken up in a great mood. We had gotten out the door at a reasonable hour and headed to a Christian bookstore to pick up a book for a friend. Everything was going well until we got into the store. My darling little Miss wanted to look at all the books on the book shelves and could not understand why I would not let her touch every single one. She also wanted down to walk by herself, she was a big girl and she told me she could do it. "I do it." she kept saying. I had said "no" because frankly there were allot of breakables in this particular store.
The only thing more embarrassing than a public temper tantrum is having to pay for and pick up pieces of broken figurines as your child is still screaming for all she is worth. Putting on my "calm" mom voice I tried hard to reason with my sweet little girl. "T.J. Mommy will give you your book when we get back in the car. These books are for grown-ups not for little girls. They don't have any pictures. You won't like them." "NO MOMMY. NO... LIKE...YOU!." she said loud enough so that even the people in the next store would have heard her. I took a deep breath... "That is too bad. Mommy loves you very much. I will just be one more minute." I said in my best Mom voice.
Now, as every parent knows what I should have done at this point was just leave the store. Why is it that we think we can squeeze another minute out of an already distressed toddler. I have no other time to get this book I reasoned and it needs to be just the right one. Well, little stressed out girls do not understand Mommy's reasoning and you can guess what happened next. As I picked my book and attempted to pay for it I had a screaming, crying, flailing, pterodactyl in my arms instead of my precious cute pigtailed daughter. Trinity did not understand why her Mommy was not listening to her and there were no words that would make her listen. She had hit her breaking point.
Although, I didn't like TJ's behaviour in the store I think I can relate. In fact, I think I can safely say that even as a grown up I have a few temper tantrums myself. Now, maybe I don't have them in public anymore and I think I am a little quieter than my ear piercing daughter but if I am really honest with myself the stompping feet are still the same. Have you ever felt like this? What is it that pushes you over your breaking point? When you have calmed down do you ever look at what led you to that place? For me I find that missed quiet times with the Lord can often be found when I get pushed past my limit. It is not that life is any easier or less stressful but when I start off the morning by myself in God's word and in prayer I start the day with my focus in the right place. Even Jesus needed time by himself to be with His father. "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. " Mark 1:35.
So if you find yourself getting pushed past your limit take a deep breath and than at the first chance you get spend some time with the One who loves you no matter what state your heart is in. Tell Jesus everything and He will focus your attention to what is important.
As for Trinity Joy, when we left the store I hugged my little girl, dried her tears and said "It is alright. Mommy loves you even when you are a screammin' Mimi."