Monday, April 12, 2010

The Green Scissors

So Ethan got a pair of green safety scissors a few weeks ago. He's been begging me to use them anytime scissors are called for - snipping tags off of new clothes, cutting open packages, doing crafts, etc. On top of the fact that scissor skills have been his big accomplishment at preschool, these scissors are not only "just his size," but they are also GREEN! BTW, This child is obsessive about the color green, (and I'll confess to aiding the obsession by buying green clothes, shoes, toys, paint for his room, cups, underwear, everything's cute and it makes him happy, right?)

But back to the scissors.

We were planning to open a couple of race car packages, and so Ethan says, "I know what we should use..." and out come the green scissors, which he loves! I see him carrying the scissors with proper safety measures: cutting end tucked safely in palm, walking not running, meticulously CAREFUL. (They're safety scissors, on top of that!) In the meantime, I am distracted by little sister who is ready for breakfast. I put her in the highchair and give her some grub. Then, I look back at Ethan - standing with green scissors in hand, over my new gingham kitchen towel (straight from a cute boutique just a couple of weeks ago) which has been hanging nicely on the oven handle. Needless to say, I scream.

"ETHAN! NOOO! What are you doing???" Yank scissors from hand. Slap scissors on counter. Breathe.

I turn around to the saddest little eyes, welling up with tears. "I don't want my scissors any-mo," he proclaims, accompanied by sorrowful cries. Man, did I feel like a bad mom. All that over a little towel?

After apologizing for yelling and making the excuse that the towel was my favorite, I explained that we don't cut things around the house, only paper. I told him I knew he loved his green scissors, and that he would be able to use them again, but only to cut paper. "I don't want to cut any-sing," he said. My heart sank. I had overreacted and crushed his little spirit. Kneeling down, I pulled him into my arms and told him it was okay, it was no big deal, we would forget about the silly towel. "Do we have to swowe it away?" he asked. I had to smile - even in his grief, he was thinking about me. He was concerned about my feelings at the "loss" of the towel, and I was touched. I wiped the tears still streaming down his cheeks and told him that we would keep the towel and it would be alright. I think he asked if we could tape it...

Sweet, yes. Tape, oh no, not another office supply...Who knows what kind of sticky situation he could get into with tape! :)

Based on the green scissors incident, I have come away with two challenges for myself: 1)Do not overreact! (I tend to do this especially when I am in a hurry or feeling stressed, and I MUST get this under control) and 2)Gently give guidance as I cultivate my children's skills and talents as they are easily crushed.

It has been on my heart for some time to foster a gentle & quiet spirit, described in 1 Peter 3:4. And seeing how my ugliness hurt my child reminds me of the importance of shaping my attitude to be more like that of Christ, who demonstrated humility and readiness to forgive even in the most trying situations. Also 1 Corinthians 13:5 says that love is not easily angered. Am I living in a way that speaks love (as God describes it) to my family? And as if that wasn't clear enouggh, Colossians 3:21 and Ephesians 6:4 spell out that a parent's role is to encourage and not to crush. On top of it all, I have a God who has been so patient and forgiving with me; how could I not show the same love and patience to my children for simple mistakes? So the challenge is on...Thank goodness He's still working on me!

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