Throwing Fits

Earlier today, John really wanted a cookie (he calls them cakies). I informed him he needed to eat his food first, and then he could have dessert when we came home. He proceeded to have a pretty good meltdown, complete with a healthy portion of tears and carrying on.

He wanted that cookie right then and was pissed when he didn’t get it.

Around the same time, my older son wanted to go for a bike ride with his grandpa (we were hanging out over there). That didn’t work out, either, and he went into a class III pout/sulk. This is an 8 year-old version of throwing a fit, and not much different from what his little brother was doing.

He wanted to go for that ride, and he was pissed when he didn’t get to.

I was thinking about the whole thing tonight when we got home and it occurred to me how much like that we are with God. We go to him with entreaties for what we think we need to have or want to do and we throw fits if it doesn’t happen on our timetables.

We want our cookies now, and sometimes there are other things we need to do first, or go through first.

I’m as guilty of this as anyone. There was a time a few years before I met my wife when I was convinced I’d met the person I was “supposed” to be with. I remember praying that God would help that situation work out in my favor. I was convinced that if it happened with us, every other messed up thing about my life and myself would suddenly make sense.

It did work out, for a time, and I was happy enough. But not really. I knew she was pulling me away from God, but I didn’t care. I told myself I had things under control.

I don’t think it surprised anyone when things imploded in a spectacular fashion that messed me up for years, until a beautiful young woman from Yuma sent me a message on MySpace.

After things ended, I was furious with God. I resolved not to ever share that part of myself with anyone again, even though I desperately wanted to. With that resolution, I was also withholding part of me from God. It wasn’t just the matter of denying my company to the ladies, but also rejecting the part of me God created to know him best.

I was throwing a fit, because I wanted to be with this woman and God knew better than I what I actually needed.

Maybe it’s like that with you, or has been. You want something from God or someone else, and you want it now.

Maybe you won’t get it. I don’t know how you respond to that, but for me it made me want to turn away from God rather than toward him. It made me take my toys and leave the sandbox for a while, metaphorically speaking.

It didn’t help at all.

So how do you handle it when God doesn’t give you what you want? Do you throw a fit? Do you sulk? Do you run toward God or away from him?

Of Raisin Nut Bran and the Man With No Nose

I suppose I’ll never learn. Today, everything was going smoothly enough. David was ready early, and had already eaten breakfast. John was watching the ambiguously gay dinosaur and minding his own business and I realized I hadn’t yet gone “PeePee.”

It seemed like I had time for a quick standup, so I hurried to the back to take care of my business. I left the door open to listen for screams and was about 5 seconds into things when I heard the pantry door slide open.

“John Ryan, get out of the closet!”

I heard the door slide closed and hurriedly finished up. I had just flushed when I heard “oh, no!” from the living room.

“Aw, crap.”

I rushed toward the living room and was greeted in the hallway by a guilty-looking toddler.

“Daddy, eat food.”

“I’ll get you something to eat, but first I have to clean up whatever you just did.”

“Daddy, hi.”

“Hi, John. Let ‘s go see what happened.”

What happened was that John found big brother’s cereal.



I figured cleanup would have to wait until we got back from taking David to school, so we all loaded up and got going.

We dropped David off, and headed to Albertsons to pick up a few things. We were in the dairy section when I saw an older gentleman with no nose pushing a shopping cart. He had a bandage taped flatly to his face, without a bulge underneath. John, of course, was kind enough to point him out to me in his absolutely loudest voice.

“Daddy! What’s that?” (which is pronounced, ‘Daddy, zat?’)

“He’s shopping, buddy. Same as us.” I pushed the cart to the veggie section at warp speed.

We finally got home with no more incidents, and John was kind enough to help with the cleanup in the living room.


I fixed John some “toe” and made myself some eggs and veggie sausage. John took a single bite of toe, and then decided his cleanup efforts had been too exhausting to continue.


The rest of the day should be interesting.