You know what I love?? Seeing my girls being friends.
Sure, we have bickering and melt downs every single day but something’s starting to happen that I am so happy to see. There’s a friendship brewing!
The girls are about four years apart, which will be a lifetime of distance once girl child gets into her teenage years. But for now, they are still kind of close in age.
They share a room and they are also homeschooled so they are together (along with boy child) much more than other siblings usually would be. This is helpful as we try to cultivate their friendship.
Whenever we can, we try to remind the kids how important family is. We remind the kids that they will always have their brother/ sister to rely on. And it’s important to be there for each other. Even when they’ve grown. We’re talking about that now. Just so it’s in the back of their minds…brewing.
We like to put things in their minds to just marinate…things like always looking out for brother or sister. Like when the kids go to their Sunday School class. I remind boy child to look out for baby girl and make sure she’s ok. I remind him that he should make sure baby girl is safe because that’s what brothers do.
I remind girl child that she has a little shadow in baby girl. And sometimes that annoys girl child…the responsibility.
But…that’s family. God made girl child to be a big sister. When I remind her of that, she seems to take her job more seriously. After all, God gave her this assignment to be a big sister.
She does a good job, too. Baby girl looks up to girl child. She wants to be friends and she wants to do whatever girl child does. She values girl child’s ideas and she depends on girl child’s confidence when baby girl is unsure.
Even at the dentist. Recently, baby girl had her first dentist appointment and she was a little nervous. We all went since all the kids had appointments…but when it was baby girl’s turn in the chair, guess who she asked for?
Her friend…her big sister.
That’s what we want to see and that’s what we’re gonna try to keep instilling in the kids.
When the kids are grown and when they go their separate directions, we want them to be close in their hearts. We want them to remember they have each other when they feel like have no one else. When things aren’t going the way they hope. They will always be able to count on each other. And they’ll have each other long after Momma and Daddy go to heaven.
A lesson we continually teach now for a lifetime of usage.
Ah, children. As mentioned before and by so many others, children say what they want, when they want. It’s our job to teach them about the filter. We as parents help them exercise and strengthen that filter. (Well, we try anyway!)
But I’ve also said earlier that children’s lack of filter is sometimes- many times- down right hilarious.
And of course, I shall provide an example.
Public bathrooms…a mecca of potential inappropriate and loud commentary from a child as he or she hears things that require a comment or imitating noise. Obviously, the child within us hears things and laughs on the inside. I believe God made farts to give us all a little chuckle. Of course, flatulence relieves gas build up inside the body, but come on…the noise? That’s simply for human pleasure.
Here’s the philosophical cause and effect of farting:
Farting makes noise+ farting noise makes us laugh + laughter releases endorphins = therefore farting is essential to good health.
I say all of this to say…I took a child to the public bathroom recently- a women’s restroom. We found a stall and began our routine of “going potty”. As a woman, I am immune to many sounds in the women’s restroom and didn’t even think of it when I heard someone in the stall next to us begin to prepare for her feminine hygiene change by opening packaging. (Sorry all, that’s the most proper way I could think of describing it)
So, my girl child begins her “tinkles” and also hears the woman in the stall beside us begin her preparations by opening various packages and whatnot. My sweet girl, without hesitation and still sitting on the potty, blurts out “Mommy, why does she get a prize and I didn’t?! I want a prize!”
What do you say to that? All I could do is laugh. And thankfully, the woman next to us laughed as well and then said, “Honey, you don’t want the prize I have!”
All’s well that ends well, I suppose.
Have you ever been somewhere with your small children and struggled alone while others seemingly watched you fend for yourself?
This happened to me at the pediatrician’s office when my older children were young (actually, it’s happened many times) and I couldn’t believe that no one in the waiting room cared that I was struggling to push a stroller out a door while holding my baby in my arms. I mean that waiting room was, strangely, completely filled with men! Not one of them stood up and helped me. They all watched the show.
The momma bear in me scolded them as I made my way out the door, saying “You know, any one of you could have helped me with this door instead of watching me struggle, so next time you see something like this please get off your duff and help the poor woman.”
Let me say this: I know many men who would help me in that situation without hesitation- my own husband being one of them. I just couldn’t believe how many men sat there and did nothing! I mean there were like eight men in that room…all eyes on the pathetic sitcom going on at the front door of that doctor’s office!
So, having been through that experience I hereby state the following:
As a parent of a boy, I solemnly swear we will teach this boy manners. We will teach him to treasure women- not objectify them, but truly treasure them. That means my young man will open the door for a lady, he will stand when a lady enters the room, he will pull a chair out for her and tuck her in at the table. He will open the car door for her, he will walk on the outside of a sidewalk to shield her from traffic, he will allow her to walk ahead of him into a room.
For Pete’s sake men, open the door for her!! Even if she bristles at the act of chivalry, know you did the right thing.
Little boys love bathroom talk. I say little boys…little girls are like this, too. Don’t let those pink bows fool you. Little boys and little girls giggle when there’s bathroom talk. Anything about a toilet, passing gas, bottoms in general. They love to talk about it, laugh about it, draw about it…you name it.
And these little giggle fits pop up at any moment. At church, the grocery store, during the prayer before eating a meal, while completing school work, swimming, riding in the car…pretty much whenever the kids are awake.
The kid in me totally sees the humor but the adult in me feels the need to put a stop to this kind of humor/ conversation quickly lest one of my dear children tells their grandmother about poop or a stinky bum while sitting beside her in church! So this internal conflict rages. And sometimes the kid inside wins out over the adult, which sends our children into endless laughter.
There is a “delightful” children’s poop song (there’s really no way to make this sound less gross, so sorry!) that goes like this:
Baby had some diarrhea
Momma said it wouldn’t hurt so
Baby ate it for dessert
Disgusting, I know. You must remember this from your childhood. The kid inside of me giggles when I hear it.
The kids in my house giggle when they hear it, too. They love the idea of a poop anthem they can whip out at any time. And they do whip it out any time. And the adult in me regrets that they know this song…because I or my husband had something to do with them learning said song. I honestly can’t remember which one of us did it. But we often look at each other with the same thought, “this may not have been the best idea to teach them this song”.
But you know what, oh well! They know it. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s not. So we will use this as an opportunity to teach them discretion. Although I will say this particular lesson is a long, uphill battle. Uphill, near vertical hike with no water fountains or benches to take a rest, battle.
Sometimes our family gets to laugh together about poop. And we have a blast.
So this Powerball lottery is over a billion dollars now and the dreaming is kicked into high gear. Sorry, folks…we are going to be the sole winners this time around! 🙂
Husband and I were talking about houses and dreams of what we can do with the lottery winnings. We are on the same page in our dreaming- we both want quality but not luxury. We want land, we want a farm, we want a beautiful but not overstated farmhouse that has quality amenities but nothing as fancy as an elevator. I’ll never be too rich to not be able to take my tail up a flight of stairs unassisted! (Obviously, health not being an issue)
Something we also thought about was the effect such a lifestyle would have on our young children. No matter how much we are worth, whether blessed with a lottery winning or continue in a modest lifestyle, we want our children to always recognize hard work and be willing to participate in it. To see the value of hard work and the satisfaction of it. To know they’ve done a good job and that they can do for themselves.
We would love to have a working farm. Nothing big or fancy…but just enough to reap the benefits of a beautiful vegetable garden, the ability to hunt game to feed our family and to experience the rewarding hard work of tending to small livestock. So despite something like lottery winnings we will never ourselves be, nor let our children be, too big or too important to clean up poop.
So to sum up today’s thought: Regardless of how much money you have or how much you are worth, never be too big to clean up poop.
I tell you there is nothing better than when my meal passes muster with my children. They aren’t terribly picky, but considering there are three of them, their individual pickiness can cause a bit of strife at any meal. We don’t force them to eat all of their meal when they claim something is yucky. But we do insist that they try it.
Try something new. Try it again to see if their opinion of the yuckiness changes. Every meal- at least three bites have to be taken.
Here’s the awesomely exhausting part of the “Try a Bite” decree. When a child doesn’t want to eat something, that child essentially shuts down from all attempts of changing his or her mind. Convincing said child to try a bite is challenging, to say the least. There is a lot of opposition, a lot of bargaining attempts (from the child) and inevitably a bit of weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Now, here’s the awesomely irritating part of the “Try a Bite” decree. Eight times out of ten, the teary-eyed child reluctantly puts a bite in his or her mouth and it just sits there for a second…and then a smile creeps on the child’s face because it is, in fact, yummy like we’ve been trying to explain for the previous half hour.
Oh the humanity! You’d think we were trying to poison these children. This was the case with everything from pork tenderloin to oranges. I mean, who doesn’t like oranges?!
Now, all that said, I have a great measure of success that I absolutely love and once you read about it, you’ll understand the title of this blog post.
Two of my sweet babies are hummers. By that I mean that when a food tastes good to them, they go into a zone of euphoria and complete focus on eating. While in this state, they also begin a humming sound. It’s a near constant sound, confirming the approval of their taste buds and congratulating me with every bite they take.
So, for all the stubbornness to get a child to eat a bite of food and the promise that said food will not, in fact, kill them, there is often an undercurrent of appreciation that I can hear from the other children that confirms to me that I’m not a bad cook after all!
I have declared war on glitter.
It’s everywhere in my house- on my clothes, stuck to the sink, in the carpet.
It. Is. Everywhere.
That’s the trouble with glitter. It’s been called the “herpes” of the craft world. Once you have it, you don’t ever really get rid of it.
So how did I contract “the glitter”?
Girl child and boy child wanted to make me something special so they went into our laundry/ school/ craft room and helped themselves to craft supplies that they were not supposed to touch.
It’s true what they say about when it gets too quiet all of a sudden. Something horrible is most likely happening. And boy did it ever.
I don’t think this picture does justice to what actually happened on this dreaded evening. An entire bottle of glitter, about 5 inches tall, was dumped out and “used” to “make” a “craft” along with the contents of two- yes, two- bottles of glue.
When they were finished, the glitter was everywhere. It was all over them, it was on the floor, there were footprints of glitter everywhere they were walking. And they kindly brought their surprise out to the family room where baby girl bumped girl child and her glitter flew in the air before landing all over the couch.
After I had “excused” the children from my presence, I was angrily preparing the vacuum cleaner to suck up as much of this crap as possible. Once I figured out that some of the glitter was stuck to the huge plops of wet glue (also on the floor), I began working around those little islands to grab as much freestanding glitter as possible. Oh, I was angry. I was mumbling how ridiculous this was and how the kids should know better and who in the world do they think they are, messing up my house like this?!
And then this quiet phrase snuck into my mind:
“For this child I prayed” (1 Samuel 1:27)
You see, we didn’t think we would ever have children. We waited well over ten years for our first child. And then we were abundantly blessed with two more soon after our first. For this child I prayed…I begged and pleaded. I asked for this mess…this glorious mess.
So yeah, I have glitter everywhere in my house. And I have children’s laughter, too. And I have to remind myself that glitter isn’t the end of the world and it’s not really all that bad to look at, considering we will be seeing it for the next year or so!