Good afternoon.

All is well in the Whitman household. At least if you believe the headlines.

Seriously, Meredith is doing well and is progressing nicely. Her therapies are yielding dividends that are encouraging. Her memory, while not perfect (let’s face it, who’s is), is improving. Her health is good (minus the whole tumor and paralysis stuff). So, in that respect things could hardly be better.

Enter the three-year-old. (I’ll do my best to be kind here, because after all he is my son and I love him dearly.) If anyone needed proof that sin is a sickness all humans are born with, then spending time with a typical three-year-old should clear up that up for you right away. I’m told Malcolm’s behavior is typical. I read it in the books and I hear it from my parenting peers. Either way, it isn’t a whole lot of fun dealing with the whining and crying that accompanies the selfishly-motivated desires of a little boy who isn’t getting his way.

What has proved to be the most challenging aspect of this contest of wills is getting through the initial onset of the whining and crying and identifying the source of the whine and/or cry. Once I am confident that the cry is not a result of something sad, or painful, and is most likely selfish in nature, then I am able to assume the role of father and help him work through it (without giving into his demands). Of course, that takes an amazing amount of will power on my part because the whining is so piercing and aggravating that I can barely think straight. And I confess to not always being strong enough to overcome my own selfish behaviors in order to focus on correcting my son’s.

When all is said and done, however, if I’ve been able to keep my cool while standing firm and if Malcolm stops crying long enough to listen to my correction, then we will have formed a stronger relationship because of it. I might even argue that he loves me more because of the correction (especially if I’ve done well with the delivery of the correction). And as importantly is that I am helping (with a large dose of God’s workmanship) to shape Malcolm into the type of man that he will ultimately become. Malcolm, along with his three-year-old peers, may be a selfish little boy, but with every course correction I see him take I see a mighty fine individual emerging. That’s what I try and set my eyes on when caught in the thick of the battle.

Praise to God for your health and take care.