Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Giving up Control

Our surgeon had reassured me that although I wouldn't be feeding my one-year-old anything but liquid for ten days, "he'll do just fine with it." Maybe the fact that most of the toddlers he's around are under general anesthesia explains why an otherwise intelligent man could hold to such a delusion.

As for Joshua, he fiercely maintains that he would rather starve than be fed pureed food by someone else. The biggest issue for him seems to be one of giving up control and allowing someone else to feed him or even hold his cup while he's drinking. I am again struck by the difference in my sons. If Caleb had to lay in front of the TV and have someone pour food into his mouth, he would probably think he was in heaven, but Joshua has resisted this with everything he's got.

I have offered him many of his favorite things, including a popsicle, which he was pretty excited about until he found out that it would be me, not him, holding it. He let me know in no uncertain terms that even such a treat as that would not persuade him to give up control. We have managed to wrestle a few liquids in him, and I do mean wrestle. Physically, he is weakening, but his resolve has yet to budge.

I have to wonder if this is just a natural tendency toward stubbornness and independence magnified by toddler-hood, or the result of some early experience in the orphanage.

His will of iron is actually kind of impressive. I'm sure it will serve him well someday when he is a CEO, or an Olympic athlete, or perhaps even the dictator of a small country, but if he (and we) are going to make it through the next ten days, he's going to have to bend a little and decide to trust us.

I once heard it said that children, for all their immaturity and quirkiness, have a way of sometimes acting as mirrors for us. As I watch my son beating all of his limbs on the floor in frustration, choosing hunger and misery over surrender, I feel like God gently whispers to me, This is what you look like sometimes.

2 comments:

Julie B said...

I am amazed at the similarities between Joshua and Asher's personalities when you write about him! Sounds like he's teaching you heaps, as Asher does with me every day! I'm glad to read that you try to look at his extreme personality in a postitive light. These little guys will thrive when "channeled" and possess very desirable qualities for adults. Persistence and determination is a must for our future world-changers! Have you read Raising Your Spirited Child?

donna said...

hi angie,
you don't know me...my husband, tim, works with phil. i've been reading your blog since you went off to china to meet joshua.

you are really a gifted writer and inspirational parent. maybe these thoughts of yours would make a great book?! thanks for sharing them with us...and we're so glad that josh is okay after his surgery!