Tuesday, September 6, 2011

House Rules & God’s Rules

No jumping on the bed.

Return your toys and books to the shelf after using them.

Sit properly while eating.

These are some of our house rules at home which we repeatedly remind our son.

Last night however, he did not consistently obey our house rule to sit properly while eating his dinner. He suddenly bended towards the other dining chair beside the one where he was seated. This caused him to bump his mouth accidentally on the chair. He must have cut his lips with his front teeth as well because there was a big cut on his lower lip.

There was so much blood. He cried very loud. His lips were quivering.

I hurriedly pressed his bib into his wound to stop the bleeding. Then I got some ice and wrapped it in a clean cloth. I applied cold compress on his lips to prevent swelling while he continued to cry. He was inconsolable for around an hour.

In between sobs, I would give him water through a medicine dropper because he wouldn’t drink from his cup.

Then, as I wrapped my arm around him and applied cold compress on his wound, I seized the opportunity to explain to him again why we have house rules, why I give him those reminders every so often.
I told him once more that his dad and I give those house rules to protect him from getting hurt and to establish order in our house. I reminded him that we love him and we don’t want him to get hurt that’s why we keep on reminding him to follow our house rules.

Thank God that it was only his lips that had a cut and that his tongue and teeth were not hurt or the other parts of his face. It broke my heart to see and hear him cry so loud last night. I also felt like crying with him as he wailed every time I press the ice to his wound. But I had to be strong for him at that moment and I had to do the tough thing even if it would hurt him some more because that would prevent or lessen the swelling in his lips.

When he finally calmed down a bit, I gave him paracetamol medicine for pain as instructed by his paediatrician. Then, I asked him to put a gauze between his lips to further stop the bleeding. Then, we put cold compress some more.

He was not able to finish his dinner anymore. We tried to give him some milk. At first he was hesitant but we eventually convinced him to drink milk. We told him that if he does drink milk, not only will his lips ache but his tummy will also ache. After that, he was a bit quiet and was just sitting in one of our arm chairs in our sala.

I asked him again why he bumped his mouth on the chair that caused the cut or wound on his lips and he said that it was because he did not obey me when I asked him to sit properly while eating. He understood the effect or result of his action. I can only hope and pray that he has learned his lesson already.

Today, as he sat again on our dining chair to drink his milk and eat, there were times when he would not sit properly again. We gently reminded him of what happened the night before. He could very well recall and recount what happened. But he it wasn’t enough to keep him still all throughout his meal. We had to remind him again.

Then, I thought of the similarities between God’s commands and our house rules. God, our Father, gave us the commandments and teachings in Scriptures to guide us and protect us from harm. It was because of his love for us that He gave these to us. Unfortunately, like little kids, we don’t always heed them. Sometimes, it takes a painful experience first before we learn our lesson. Sometimes, we don’t learn our lesson still even with painful experiences resulting from them. But God, ever patient as He is, lovingly and patiently reminds us time and again about His commands and teachings. Thank God, He never tires in giving us reminders. Thank God, His arms are always there to lovingly comfort and console us when we are hurt. And thank God for His grace when we finally learn to do what is right and consistently live them out.

I pray for my son that he would soon learn to be more disciplined and follow our house rules. I pray that the lessons we teach him would be written in his heart and mind. I pray that as a parent I would always look to God for inspiration so that like Him, I will always be there to remind my child about the things that he should do to protect himself from harm and that I would always be available for him when he needs someone to hug him while he’s hurting.

My husband came home around a couple of hours after the incident happened. While my son was telling his Dad about what happened, I went inside our bedroom and gave myself the chance to cry. Then, Yanthy came in and sat by my bedside smiling. He just kept on smiling at me as if telling me, “Mom, I’m alright now.” I asked him if his lips still hurt and he said not anymore. I asked him if he will disobey Mommy again and he said no. Lastly, I asked him to give me a hug and we embraced each other tight.

Looking back, I am reminded that God feels our hurts as well when we go through painful experiences. His hearts breaks, too. We are not alone in our sufferings. The Bible says that God is close to the brokenhearted. I’m sure of that. I have experienced His loving presence during the most painful and challenging times of my life. I will always be grateful that I have Him as Father and Friend, whose strong and loving arms I can always count on.

One day, when my son is all grown up, I pray that he will always have that certainty in his heart that Mom and Dad and most especially God will be there for him still to give him reminders and to embrace him just in case he gets hurt when he fails to do what he’s supposed to do. For as some parents say, “Parenting doesn’t stop when your child turns 18 or 21 or when he/she gets his/her own house or starts his/her own family. Parenting is a lifelong job.”