Archives for posts with tag: tantrum

My kids were being pretty annoying in the car last week. Cortland has figured out Harper’s annoyance triggers, not that Harper hides them super well, but, in no time at all, Cort has become an expert in exploiting her sister’s weaknesses. Here is how it went: We were driving home from gymnastics and Cortland started saying, “I’m five! I’m five!”. Harper, who actually is five, became quickly agitated and started yelling, “You’re not five! You’re TWO! YOU’RE TWO!!” As any other parent can attest, Harper’s tantrum reaction only served to encourage Cortland’s insistence of being five. “MOM! Are you listening to her? She’s saying she’s five! She’s NOT five! She’s NOT! She’s two! She’s saying she’s FIVE!” Tears. Balled up fists. Screaming. Kicking my seat in frustration.

That's right. These angels.   Photo by Brighten Photography

That’s right. These angels.
Photo by Brighten Photography

I could not believe how ridiculous the scene had become. I talked Harper down eventually and somehow was able to reason with her. We talked about how I am the final authority on how old Cortland is. I was there when she started being a person. She wouldn’t be here without me. Just because Cortland says she’s five doesn’t make her five. She is completely, totally, and helplessly obligated to the same system of time and counting and aging that we are all tied to. She doesn’t get to skip ahead or fall behind. Maybe she wants to be five, but she is two. Maybe she says she is five, but she is two. Maybe she even really believes she is five. Know what? She’s still two. I am the final authority on this topic. I know the real truth, despite what anybody says. So, Harper, trust that what is truth will continue to be.

The whole conversation stuck in my thoughts later for quite some time. I noted that her behavior is not far from lots of adults I know, at times even me. We throw (super annoying) adult sized tantrums (typically on social media) when our feathers get ruffled over something another mere man says or decides. We who are in Christ should know by now that God is our final authority. He knows the truth. He was there when this all started and we wouldn’t be here without him. A man saying he’s a woman does not make him a woman. Legislation going into effect governs the law of the land; it does not govern the law written on our hearts. We look ridiculous with balled up fists, screaming, red-faced, kicking the back of God’s seat, “Did you hear that?! Do you hear what they’re saying?? It’s not true! It’s NOT TRUE!”

Maybe you’re not a tantrum thrower (and thank you), but you feel anxiety mounting when you hear unsettling news, whether it’s national news or a disagreeable set of views from someone close to you. Don’t stop after the first verse of John 14, but that’s what I’ll include right here. From Jesus: “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in me.” I have to include verses 16 and 17 because they’re so interesting: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.” My takeaway here? If I’m getting all up in arms or letting worry nag at me and trouble my heart, I’m showing a lack of faith in God’s sovereignty and a fundamental distrust that Jesus is who he says he is.

Once more: We who are in Christ should know by now that God is our final authority. Not the President. Not the Courts. Not strangers, not friends, not family, not even our emotions with all their twists and turns. If you don’t know what’s real and what’s not, ask the One who is Truth to reveal it to you. You will waste a lot of time finding out the Truth if you’re sifting through talk shows and blogs and articles and newsfeeds. Just go straight to the source. God knows the real truth, despite what anybody else says. So, friends, trust that what has always been truth, is yet truth, and will continue to be.


This girl was getting after her blackberries last night, as you can see from her purple-stained face. But don’t let that sweet little smile fool you!

She likes blackberries. And eating in general.

She likes blackberries. Well, and eating in general.

Cortland is so spicy lately. If you’ve spent any time around Cortland, you know her face is rather expressive. When she was really small, she mostly showed us happy, smiley faces. Now that she’s older, she has added several more faces to her arsenal, and a big chunk of them are meant to display displeasure.

Offended face Cortland

Offended face Cortland

And the things she tries to get away with! Examples:

She looks me in the eye and bites me as I’m feeding her (if you know what I mean), watching my face and waiting for the inevitable “OUCH!”. Then she’ll furrow her brow and duck-face her lips, whining at me like she’s offended that I reacted to her heartless chomp. I have to stroke her cheek and comfort her to get her to go back to eating. Yesterday, while we were at a store, she kept angry screaming. Not crying-screaming. Super high-pitched shrieks to broadcast to fellow shoppers that her mean mom wasn’t letting her chew on the cardboard box of an item we weren’t buying. You should hear how many times a day, “No, mam!” is said in her direction (and often followed up by Harper piping in, “See, Mom? I told ya Tortland was a naughty baby!”).

Maybe I’m passing spicy on through the milk because I’m definitely more reactive and irritable after my second child than I was after Harper (who was the most chill baby E.V.E.R.). Cortland has been sleeping through the night since her second month, but the last two weeks she’s been waking up between 3am and 4am. I’m thinking (hoping) she’s cutting teeth or growth-spurting…something that will come and go quickly. Anyway, I am cranky (terribly cranky) when I haven’t had enough sleep. I went to bed last night at 10:30 and C woke up at 11:30. So I fed her. And then Harper woke me up at 2:30am to help her in the bathroom. And then, right on schedule, C woke up again at 4:00. I pitched such a fit when I heard her at 4am. First, I let her cry for about 20 minutes before getting afraid that she’d wake H. When I decided to finally go get her, I scooped up the blankets off my lap and threw them back down on the bed with an exasperated, “humph!”. I stomped so angrily out of the room that Matt actually got up in a hurry to slow me down and monitor me. I brought the baby back to our bed, where she proceeded to bite me THREE times without remorse. Sheeeeeeeshhhh.

Upside-down Cortland

Upside-down Cortland

And then she’s as much sweet as she is sour and I forgive all her antics. She’s a wild one, though. An envelope pusher, if you will. It is obvious she knows when she’s about to do something she knows she shouldn’t; she does it anyway. While looking me in the eye. Lord, have mercy. The flip side of her expressiveness is that she’s so spirited and happy most of the time. She’s the most friendly, “conversational” baby I’ve ever seen. And she gives hugs on purpose…out of love. As in, she’ll give me a big, thankful hug when I rescue her from her bed. Or she’ll give Matt a big squeeze with a gappy-toothed grin when he gets home from work. She howls laughing at all of Harper’s jokes and funny faces in the backseat. Awh, and look at those sweet, soft curls. Sugar and spice, that one.

Curly Cue Cortland

Curly Cue Cortland