of harriet’s reform, however brief

After breakfast each morning, there comes a part of our routine I call the “Morning Tidy-Up.” The children return upstairs where they are to dress themselves and make their beds. It is one of the only responsibilities in their young lives. Hugh, being yet but a youth, remains free to sit in his crib, driving trucks around and saying “Vrroooooom” to himself. Mommy generally takes a shower or puts laundry away or does some tidy-up of her own.

Norah is often exempt because she likes to make her bed in the early morning hours while she is still in it, thus saving work later. She also tends to dress herself rapidly, leaving her mostly free to play or get conscripted to help Harriet. I must have done a better job of teaching Norah both how to make her bed and how futile resistance would be, because she does it as a matter of course.

Not so the Chicken Lickin’.

When told to do her tidy-up, Harriet troops upstairs immediately. Anyone spying in the kitchen window would see a model child. (Unless that same someone then climbed onto the kitchen roof and peered in the girls’ bedroom window.) She plays, she dances, she climbs, she prances, she maketh not her bed. She visits Hugh, she visits me, she teases Norah, she dresses dollies, she invents games, she picks fights.

Sometimes I find that she has taken a step or two in the right direction, usually removing her trousers and throwing the pillow off the bed. Admonitions, warnings, frequent checks, even disciplinary steps have not yet yielded consistent and immediate bed making. She often claims that she can’t do it. This has worked well for her so far and she must hold the world record in Bed Making Lessons Received.

Usually what happens is I somehow end up “helping” and really finishing it myself or Norah ends up getting conned into doing it for her. I am aware that if I would just forgo my shower and stand faithfully over her until it is done each day, a new habit could probably be formed. I have occasionally done this. But I have not been consistent.

There have been a few occasions when she has done it fairly well. Each time she has embellished her efforts in some way. I have found every single item of clothing belonging to her and Norah torn from the hangers in the closet and laid over the bed patch-work style. (But it was made underneath.) Another time, upon finishing, it looked so appealing that she immediately ripped it open and climbed inside to celebrate. And once, I found this:

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Generally, in this house, Bedtime is Bedtime. But tonight Harriet was unusually wakeful. She just kept turning up, offering me boogers on her finger and making tiny amounts of piddle in the potty  . . . this is rather rare so I was patient. But finally I told her that there would be disciplinary measures taken if her person were seen or heard again. Twenty-five minutes of silence ensued. Then suddenly, there she was, marching proudly into the room.

“I’s made my bed and cleaned my whole room, all by myself!” She was completely thrilled that Norah (who had been sleeping for an hour) hadn’t helped. When I reached the girls’ room I found that the light was on, every single dolly was put carefully away in the basket and, in the midst of it all, her little bottom bunk was completely made.

It was unbelievable. The sheet was tucked in with military precision. The comforter was patted in place, her pillow was placed into the sham (hitherto she has been exempt from this task as I thought it impossible for her). On top she had placed a throw pillow and a perfectly-folded quilt.

I looked at the clock. 8:24 p.m. Just twelve hours too soon.

I brought her downstairs, unsure how to proceed and hoping to hand off the situation to Alex. I explained what had come before, and that she had not obeyed and gone to bed, but instead actually made the bed and found myself interjecting, “It was made so beautifully–” and cut off as the irony of it all struck me. I couldn’t talk or I’d laugh my head off. I motioned madly for Alex to take over behind her back (he is used to this gesture from me), but he too saw the humor in the situation. So we stood in the kitchen, trying to explain between gobs of laughter exactly how naughty she had been. Oh well.

 

 

Posted in Our Little Ones | 3 Comments

of sowing weeds and starting again

IMG_3225Sometimes when I sit down at the end of the day, there are moments that play back in my head from my day with the children. I hear Hugh’s giggles when I hid behind his chair and see Norah’s hokey spontaneous dancing in the aisle of the grocery store. I can feel the warm pudge of Harriet’s cheeks when she gave me a crusher hug. Often sweet moments come to mind, as when the girls announced a Sister Club picnic in their bedroom and spread out pillows, blankets, and a feast of wooden food and lukewarm water stolen from the bathroom tap when they thought I wasn’t looking. Or when Hugh suddenly dropped a truck and waddled out the front door because he saw Daddy coming.

But sometimes I feel the piercing pain on the back of my ankle when one of my children ran a shopping cart into it. I hear a little voice calling, “Moooooooo-mmy! I peed on my piiiiiii-llow!” twenty minutes after I finished putting clean sheets on the bed. I feel again the boiling frustration when we settled in to build a Lego house together during what ought to have been a quiet moment after lunch–and a ferocious fight erupted amongst the Sister Club, who began to bludgeon one another about the heads with their forearms. Worst of all, I hear myself shouting.

I could tell you how provoked I was. How they kept on fighting and disobeying and generally behaving like the excellent little samples of fallen humanity that they are. How two minutes after I finally separated everybody after a very frustrating time of it one of them released her bladder on a pile of clean bedding. While I dealt with this, she threw a plastic truck at her baby brother’s skull. Trust me, today, the Children Were in the Wrong. They were Naughty, they were Cross, and they were Stinkers.

I could tell you how very much I have to do. How behind I am in everything, how tired I am, and, for frosting on the cupcake of hardships, I am pregnant. (Thus we take our greatest blessings and add them to our kvetch list when we’re having a pity party.)

It doesn’t matter. Behind the smoke screen of Mommy Martyrdom lies the truth: the children aren’t the only excellent little samples of fallen humanity in this story. I didn’t get what I wanted so I pitched a fit. What did I want? Ease, I think. And peace and quiet. You might say I wanted the restful fruits of righteousness. I really do want my children to be righteous. Right now.

So I yell at them to get righteous right now.

I have not found this approach effective, fellow mommies.

Here’s why: “A harvest of righteousness in sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:18). Righteous plants won’t grow from angry seeds. The preceding verse fills out the picture a little more: “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

These are two of the most helpful verses for Being Mommy. And they blow through my mind like a breath of fresh air when I fall sit down at the end of days like this one. They remind me that I’m not alone in this, that my heavenly Father has not left me to my own devices. (Can we ever praise him enough for that?) There is a place to repent my worldly “wisdom,” a place to find the light I need to move ahead. There is restoration, there is a beautiful day loaded with grace dawning tomorrow. With that grace tomorrow we take these words and plant peaceful seeds. With that grace God grants the harvest.

 

 

Posted in Being Mommy | 7 Comments

of Kevin DeYoung: Just Do Something

“If God has a wonderful plan for my life, then why doesn’t he tell me what it is?”

Kevin DeYoung. Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will (2009).

This book has been waiting on my desk for a review for three or four months. To its credit, I couldn’t pass it by even after such a long time.

I had not heard of Kevin DeYoung when a new friend gave me (lent me?) this little book to read as follow-up to a fantastic conversation we had about seeking God’s will. But I found his direct style refreshing and his simple treatment of a murky topic helpful. We’ve all encountered the questions: “How can you be sure that this is what God has for you?” and “What if God doesn’t want me to do [this or that]?” This little volume may be brief, but it manages to challenge our confused theology when we try and answer them.

DeYoung takes as his target audience the younger generation in the church, but it’s a scattershot, resulting in perhaps some helpful strikes at the older generation, too (“This is not a book just for young people” (14)). He begins with diagnostics: “We’re not consistent. We’re not stable. We don’t stick with anything. We aren’t sure we’re making the right decisions. Most of the time, we can’t even make decisions. And we don’t follow through. All of this means that as Christian young people we are less fruitful and less faithful than we ought to be” (12). He points out the growing phenomenon of “adultolescence”.

One of the “most confusing phrases in the Christian vocabulary” (18), that mysterious “will of God”, and the difficulties of knowing precisely what it means (let alone what it is) are dealt with in chapter two. Time is spent making a very helpful and biblical distinction between God’s predetermined will of decree and his will of desire. I don’t know about you, but I have found that all the various meanings of the word “will” tend to muddy the waters of the discussion a great deal.

In chapter three the author suggests reasons why Christians want so much to know God’s will for their lives. Read this book for these reasons alone. DeYoung’s fearless direct style reaches its most insightful and incisive here. One example: “[A] reason we seek God’s will of direction is we are seeking perfect fulfillment in life. Many of us have had it so good that we have started looking for heaven on earth. We have lost any sort of pilgrim attitude” (29). He is also profound on the subject of our fear of the unknown (38): “A lot of prayers boil down to, ‘God, don’t let anything unpleasant happen to anyone. Make everything in the world nice for everyone . . . Tell me the future so I won’t have to take any risks'” (40-41). Chapter four contains DeYoung’s confrontation of our just-under-the-surface thinking, exposing to view some of our assumptions–that we have a “sneaky God” (46), who holds us accountable to perfectly follow his will without having any idea what it is. Is it possible that God doesn’t intend to reveal all things to us in advance? The author’s clear application of James 4:13-15 (“Come now, you who say, today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town . . . you do now know what tomorrow will bring. . . you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that”) to this issue is massively helpful, proving that these verses are in Scripture for a greater purpose than just the rote addition of the phrase “God willing” on the front of every statement containing a verb. (The book does contain some helpful suggestions concerning our language and how we talk about God’s will or following his leading (49).

The second half of the volume is dedicated to insights about how to make decisions and live life faithfully as we hold our choices up before God’s word in prayer. (His third pointer would be seeking counsel, 96.) “There’s a word for this approach to guidance and the will of God,” says DeYoung. “Wisdom. It’s not sexy, and it requires no secret decoder ring” (86) . . .”God says, ‘Don’t ask to see all the plans I’ve made for you. Ask Me for wisdom so you’ll know how to live according to My Book'” (90).

“We should be humble in looking to the future because we don’t control it; God does. And we should be hopeful in looking to the future because God controls it, not us” (47-48).

“Worry is a spiritual issue and must be fought with faith” (57).

“God’s will for your life is not very complicated . . . In short, God’s will is that you and I get happy and holy in Jesus” (61).

 

 

 

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gleaning from the garden

IMG_3228This was our garden less than two weeks ago. We didn’t finish planting until the end of May, so the beets and lettuces were just barely peeking out and all the little baby plants were bravely holding their territory in a sea of mud.

IMG_3232This was our garden yesterday. And I was reminded, as I always am, of what a miracle it is that things grow. We drop a seed in the earth and in secret and the dark it sprouts. It becomes a shoot, a stalk, a leaf, a bean. We can’t get over it. I think this is what is behind our family’s passion for growing things. We love the delightful surprise when a harvest appears “from nothing”–and God creates the world all over again.

IMG_3219Who but God could dream up a peony?

Strangely, though I planted only herbs and vegetables, we have been surprised by other growth also. Because we had to till up our garden where there was meadow before, a healthy crop of weeds has also emerged. And I have been reminded of the curious persistence of unwanted growth in a fallen world. I have also been reminded to mulch.

IMG_3233(Do you love these zucchini cages? I made them from maple branches and twine–I’ve only been waiting to try this since 2011.)

Additionally the garden has already taught me not to be a know-it-all. Wanting to keep costs down, we purchased only one roll of fence. At installation we discovered it would surround all of the space we had dug up except for one wide row. Betsy the Expert came to the rescue.

“Don’t worry,” she said. “We’ll just plant the tomatoes outside the fence. Animals will not eat tomato plants.”

“Are you sure?” asked Hubby.

I was very sure. So that’s what we did.

And the top halves of all of our tomato plants were nibbled off within seven days. Mrs. Know-It-All forgot to tell the deer that they don’t like tomatoes.

They’ve also been eating from Norah and Harriet’s pumpkin vines.

IMG_3246“Don’t worry, Mommy,” said Norah when we discovered this. “I don’t think deers really like pumpkins.”

She’s my girl.

Posted in Dela-where?, Dig for Victory, Keep House and Carry On | Leave a comment

re-post: of memorial day and my buried inner patriot

I had planned to post pictures of the annual Memorial Day parade in the little Connecticut town where my husband comes from, as we are visiting here and attempted to attend it this morning. Alas, the parade was removed to a rain location, so, still feeling patriotic, I am re-posting from two years ago, when we last attended it together.

IMG_3083We all went down to the local Memorial Day parade this morning. It seemed like a fun thing to do with the kids. It turned out to be more than that.

It was an introduction (for them) to small-town America at its finest. I didn’t expect to be so moved by it. Somewhere deep under my developing world-traveler/ex-pat self there is apparently a staunch patriot still dwelling. I am grateful for the veterans and the servicemen and the sacrifice they’ve made for our nation. But I think it was the whole scene that got me. There were waving flags and bunting and crowds of distinctly American people. It was all fire engines and girl scouts and old Fords and little leaguers.

We live in a place where the adjective “American” is not a compliment and nearly everyone seems very critical of and ignorant about the United States. One gets used to hearing it and learns to laugh it off. But it felt so good to be back and stand there as a part of my people at their colorful summer best and celebrate together our great country and those among us who have served it.

My dear sister-in-law and I went shopping afterwards. “We could drive the other way,” she said, “but we might hit parades in three more towns.” They’re happening all over America.

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of perfectionism and other causes of creative paralysis

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My husband says that I have become more creative since we married. I don’t think so, I say. All that’s actually happened is that I’ve stopped waiting for the perfect pitch before I swing at the ball. This has resulted in a lot more swinging. And some very creative strikeouts.

Many of my creative urges are literary. But when I read the offerings of people that can really write, the comparison game begins and I feel suddenly as though I’m shrinking into myself on the surface of my desk. My frame minimizes like a leaky balloon until I’m tiny. Too tiny to pick up a pencil, even with both arms. Way too tiny to push the laptop keys. Maybe if I was bigger I could do it . . .

What is it that prevents a creative thought from becoming a creative act? Okay, sometimes it’s the laundry. But I think often it’s the wet blanket of Perfectionism. If it’s not going to be truly excellent in every way we’d better not risk it. Because nobody denies that what we create is an expression of the self and an imperfect result would be exposing the imperfect self. We would so much prefer the big impressive effects as in The Wizard of Oz, hoping all will pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. If the product will not impress others adequately then we mustn’t make a creative effort. Better no painter at all than a bad one, we say. Go big or go home and by all means if you attempt it, you had better pull it off.

But is that really why we do something? Do we decorate and embellish and construct and write and sing and bake and plant and dance because we attempt–and expect to achieve–some ideal?

Effort is good: we should strive for excellence.

But there is a difference between diligence and perfectionism.

Some of the more uniquely talented people that I know struggle with this. Their problem is not the itchy trigger finger. It’s letting go at all. It can always be that little bit better . . . The word “finished” is so final, it means no more revisions.

Perhaps creativity (at least the human version) requires humility. How? In not having to have the results of my efforts reflect glory back on me.

I suppose the heart of the matter is why we’re doing it.

Posted in Keep Calm and Carry On, Make Do and Mend | 1 Comment

of making dinner, more juggling required

IMG_2143Undoubtedly it’s the toughest time of the day. (If that’s not true for you and you have multiple little kids close in age you are either lying or SuperMom, please unsubscribe immediately.) For all that modern science has done for us, it has yet to explain why little children go berserk in the late afternoon. They hit their most demanding state just as Mommy simultaneously reaches her busiest and most fatigued.  There have been many times since I became a parent that I wanted to run from the house screaming, “I just can’t do this!” and most of them have happened between four and five-thirty p.m. Because of that, and because this question appears with increasingly frequency in my inbox, I decided to write this one. I am not good at dinner time. Seriously. I could develop this topic for at least a seven-part series, complete with real-life stories from the front that would make your hair curl. But I do make dinner every day and I am learning as I go, so here’s some things I’ve found to be helpful.

Plan ahead. It does help a lot if you know what you’re going to make. There’s less pressure during the day to figure it out or pick up food. Also, if you have a plan you can thaw your meat from the freezer or soak your beans or whatever so you’re all set when it’s time to cook.

Prep ahead. This is the big one. Check your menu early in the day and chip away at it as you get a minute. Whenever you can, use your slow cooker in winter and your grill (American grill, as in, out-of-doors) in summer. Often I make up a dish in the morning to be baked in evening, like lasagne or enchiladas. If a dish calls for cooked chicken, I’ll bake it in foil in the morning and then chop and refrigerate it to speed up prep later. While the kids are finishing lunch I’m often peeling or chopping vegetables or making pizza dough or prepping a salad or a soup. The more steps you can eliminate for yourself the better. Here’s an example: recently we had spaghetti and meatballs. While the girls played outside in the sandbox in the morning I made the sauce and left it on the stove (interrupted by Hugh toddling around and making trouble about 32 times). I also mixed up the meatballs and refrigerated. Around two-thirty during Hugh’s nap, I rolled the meatballs and cooked them and dropped them in the sauce. At five all I had to do was boil water for pasta and cook some peas, the sauce was warm on the back of the stove and we were ready.

Save something fun for crazy hour. Are they loving colored pencils right now? Did you get a new coloring book? Are jigsaw puzzles or Legos a guaranteed twenty minutes? Hold them back all day and pull them out at four-thirty.

Occasional videos don’t equal bad mommyhood. I know our ancestors did this without them and so can we. But on your worst or the snowiest days immobilize the children with educational television. “Curious George” has gotten me through many a dinner prep. (If you’re a purist, try books on disc at the kitchen table.) If I have to prep dinner all at once, I might put a Baby Einstein video (free on You Tube) on for Hugh, put him in his highchair, give the girls colored pencils at the kitchen table, and cook taco meat, chop the vegetables, and heat corn tortillas in the midst of the hubbub.

Tie down as many of the children as possible. Hugh is eighteen months and his hero right now is Christopher Columbus: he wants to discover America. If I want to get anything done, I have to confine him. Last year I had to buckle him in a baby chair AND strap Harriet into her booster seat if I wanted to do anything. (People wonder how Harriet got so good at jigsaw puzzles at two years old.)

Embrace interruptions. Prepare to bounce around between the stove and the children like a rubber ball. Some days you can get the laundry, the phone, and the doorbell involved too and you’ll feel like a hacky sack. If you’re expecting it to be like that every time, it’s less frustrating. It’s also okay to say “wait.” My kids are used to being told “Just a minute, I have raw chicken on my hands” or “Wait until I get this in the pan.” If your children won’t tolerate waiting a few minutes when you ask them to, work on that first.

Keep meals simple until you get the trick of it. If we’re having guests or I want to serve something extra-nice, I’ll prep some ahead and then do the intensive work once Alex is home to play with the troops.

Make yourself a cold drink and put some music on. Remind yourself why you love family dinner, why you love your children, and why you love your Lord enough to keep your temper and keep smiling. When your husband comes in, “I’m so glad you are home!” should not be shouted at his head nor delivered between sobs. (A word from Martin Luther: “Let the wife make the husband glad to come home and let him make her sorry to see him leave.”) Test it may be, but this is the stuff of daily life. Let’s live it and be glad.

 

Posted in Being Mommy, Keep Calm and Carry On | 3 Comments

hugh’s best trick (in which i snort on the internet)

Posted in Being Mommy, Our Little Ones | 3 Comments

loving spud

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. . . and there it was, reposing among the other, more ordinary potatoes.

Like expressive vegetables? Don’t miss the unforgettable Sexy Carrot. (And the Fascinating Egg.)
And Coming Soon, more on the Mommy topic: “How Do You Make Dinner?”

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being mommy to more than one

This one’s for any mommies out there who have wanted to know what others may have found to be helpful as we learn to juggle the needs of multiple young children. Whenever I try to share advice I feel silly, like somehow I am trying to be an expert when I’m such a novice myself. Let me just say, I have gathered all of the suggestions below the hard way and it is my earnest hope that by trying to share them some of those who have written to me on this topic will be encouraged or helped in some way. (And that I will grow in these things myself!)

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Pray. “I lift up my eyes to the hills, from where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2). Striving without praying is wasted effort. If we want to bear fruit, we will pray.

When baby arrives, don’t make any assumptions about your future life for at least the first six weeks. The initial adjustment period is in its own category. If you have tons of support and your mom typically stays for a month or your best friend lives next door, start this period after their help starts to slack off. Things will get less crazy as you grow go, your ability to juggle and multitask will inevitably increase, your children are slowly aging, etc. Avoid letting your weary post-partum (or post-adoption-process) brain think heavy and overwhelmed thoughts. Just kiss your baby a lot and wait it out.

Be a team. It is still one of the best two pieces of practical marriage advice I’ve been given: your husband is your team. It will feel like you both have differing agendas sometimes: try and view each of your individual needs and goals as things you both have to accomplish and work together on them. Communicate about what would be helpful, support and receive his efforts, be thankful when he helps you, talk nice to him. Another word about this (which will reveal to you my own mess): Don’t get sucked into the silly, sinful, and futile Who-Is-Really-Doing-More-For-This-Family game. Make it your personal goal to each do as much as you can for the other and it won’t be a problem. (It’s biblical: See ‘Outdo one another in showing honor’ in Romans 12:10). Regularly practice putting yourself mentally in your husband’s shoes and think through all of the things he has to do, taking note particularly of the stressful things or of places where you can help. When you are tired, tell him you are tired and ask nicely if he can help you in some way. Don’t say that he is not doing enough or that you are the overworked, underpaid slave of the world. (Who does that, seriously.)

My husband understood the concept of team much sooner than I did. He has always cheerfully helped a great deal with the children and other things. Maybe because we’ve moved so much, most of the time he’s all I have in terms of help, relief, or backup. We’ve had to learn to juggle together and I am more aware than ever as we anticipate a fourth child that I could never juggle it all alone.

Quit comparing. Nobody’s a perfect mother, but if there is one I promise you she has found more profitable uses of her time than crying over how everyone else is doing it better. I can find zero biblical precedent for scrutinizing other people’s strengths (real or imagined) and using them to feed our own discouragement and insecurity. Let’s aim to be faithful from the inside out.

Make your routine work for you. (Remember, you are the Mommy in this family.) Forget dogs, predictable routines are man’s best friend. If you can’t remember the children’s names before 8 a.m., set bedtime later so they’ll sleep later. You can do that. We are early risers, but we tend to be bombed, busy, or needing time together in the evenings so we’ve always set our children’s bedtime early while they’re little. If something is not working for you, change it. I don’t like a long, complicated bedtime routine. I rarely do baths at bedtime. It works so much better for me in the mid- or late afternoon. Everyone is less tired, it provides a nice change-of-state or change-of-mood, often my little people like to play in the tub. If we’re not going out again, I put them in their pajamas or comfy clothes. There is an added advantage in winter if we are living in a place where the heat is not good–no one is going to bed chilly or with a wet head. Also, I don’t do baths every day (think of peanut butter as leave-in conditioner). I aim for every-other day, often it’s three days, and one memorable week recently everybody ripened for five days before Mommy did anything about it.

Plan ahead as much as you can. Invest some precious time that will bear big dividends later. It’s easier to grab Sunday outfits on Saturday night when you aren’t already running late, brushing your teeth, and holding a crying baby while you look at the clothes. Grocery shopping happens less often if you wrote a menu, holidays are more enjoyable if you laid your plans last month or last week.

Remember to enjoy it for what it is and enjoy each child for who they are.

Remember that children grow in phases. Each stage of each child’s growth and the way it combines with the other children’s stages create your current phase. None of the phases really last very long. Remember that some phases are going to be harder than others. It’s okay to do less for a while. The phase where child 3 is screaming incessantly and child 2 is trying to kill child 3 is a bad one in which to remodel your kitchen, sign a book contract, or plan an international move.

Tackle the problem spots one at a time. Often we can let stuff that bothers us build quietly because we don’t have the energy to face it or fix it. (The problem is, when it boils over it can seem like everything is all wrong all at once.) Maybe the household is a little or a lot more chaotic or more negative or more messy than you really want it to be. Pick one thing to work on and give your focused energy to improving it. This helps on the micro-level too, on those really crazy days when everyone needs something all at the same time all day long. Pick one crying child to help or discipline or band-aid or feed and get them stabilized and then move on to the next.

Teach for independence. Last, and maybe best thing I’ve learned. You’re not rushing them to grow up, you’re not missing anything, by encouraging appropriate independence as they go. If a child will soon be able to do something on their own or with less support, put the time in now to carefully teach it. It is worth every drop of energy you spend and extra time you “lose” watching those little fingers bumble through something if they are learning to do it well and successfully without you on a nearby day. When it’s time to leave the house, my oldest two can use the potty and wash hands, get out their shoes and put them on, grab their jackets, climb into the van, and buckle their own seatbelts. Harriet has learned all these tasks in the last six months. Before she could do them add at least twenty minutes to every departure while I tried to do them all for her while juggling a much younger Hugh, grabbing the library books, locking the door, etc. Sometimes there are reasons why your child just isn’t ready for the “normal” milestone at his particular age. But if there aren’t, don’t hold him back. It seems so easy getting the older ones ready for bed when you can say, “Go to the bathroom, wash hands, and brush your teeth.” (Except Harriet has not earned the privilege of brushing her teeth without supervision yet, as eating the toothpaste has proven a stubborn vice. “But it’s my favorite food, Mommy.”)

Bedtime is bedtime and no is no. [More than] enough said.

Posted in Being Mommy, Keep Calm and Carry On | 6 Comments