Friday, March 30, 2012

Another one of those days

Apparently Levi is afraid of thunder this year.

I found that out this morning when we had about five mild rumbles of thunder. My normally relatively-collected son morphed into a barnacle clinging to me for dear life. For hours. I have never seen him so absolutely crumpled.

Moms who have high-strung, clingy, and needy kids, I salute you. Some kids are just born that way. Mine wasn't, THANK GOODNESS (but #2 might, I can't speak too soon). How you get anything done is beyond me.

So we spent the morning absolutely entwined...there were times when he clung so tightly to me I really didn't even need to hold on to him myself. I somehow managed to sweep while he ate breakfast (thankfully, food trumps even fear for him), vacuum while he stood on my feet and buried his face in my pajama pants, put beef stew in the crock pot (mind you, to distract him from the thunder I did a tutorial - on the floor, with my cutting board and garlic press - on how to cut, peel, and mince garlic), and do five loads of laundry. Hey man, we have a busy weekend that includes me working tomorrow and all of this was front-burner stuff, thunder-fear, barnacles, or not. Meanwhile, I'm huffing and puffing like the fat kid on the playground while carrying 25 pounds of raw anxiety, thanks to being pregnant.

When he wasn't afraid, he was just full of it. I'm making lunch and little hands are grabbing at everything on the counter, pulling things off the table, launching into the fridge. No. No-no. No we don't touch that. No. Please stop. No-no. I said no, Levi. He wants to touch the toilet, the garbage, everything gross in the house. Everything we tell him not to touch every. single. day. He's spilling the dog's water. He watches Molly eat like a HAWK and won't let me get anything done until I've refilled the bowl right then and there. I fold laundry, he unfolds it. I fill, he empties. I put away, he takes out.

I'm not writing this to complain. I have zero spiritual application here nor will I try to find one. It's just one of those days, and I'm exceedingly grateful that these days are few and far between for me!! I'm BEAT! And it's only 1 in the afternoon!! I about sang with sweet relief when I put him down for his nap (I think he did too)!

What am I going to do with two??? How do you moms out there with three, four, or more kids do it?? Augh!

Monday, March 19, 2012

No guilt

I'm sitting here blogging and should be doing dinner prep.

I did a ton of housework this morning while I feel like I should have been playing with my little boy. After all, we've all read the poem about finger prints on the wall or whatever.

I gave my kid a sucker at my OB appointment this morning so he'd be occupied. It should have been an organic, non-GMO, gluten-free cracker or something like that (not dogging it, I have all those things)...but he really loves his "doctor appointment sucker" and gobbles it with reckless abandonment.

His lunch should have been colorful, thoughtfully and excitingly displayed...but it was a piece of torn up turkey lunchmeat, a hastily-cut piece of co-jack cheese, and some older-than-necessary cantaloupe, basically all thrown in one bowl (because I needed to make it to said OB appointment).

Aren't you so sick of shoulds? And feeling guilty? What's that all about?

I've worn a mantle of guilt since Levi made his roaring entrance two Octobers ago. You?

I've never had professional pictures taken of Levi. No chubby baby spilling out of a basket or wearing a sock monkey hat. No heartwarming photo of the three of us walking in a field together. Nada. I gave up taking many pictures of him at all because A) he won't stop moving for a nanosecond, and B) every picture ends up being of his hand reaching to the camera and his face threatening to cry.

He eats like a barbarian. He knows how to use a spoon and fork, and I've been pretty impressed when he actually takes up the effort. But he'd rather plow thru his food as a ten-finger experience rather than be neat. And I'm okay with that. The three of us enjoy dinner together, Matt and I enjoy conversation, and Levi eats with reckless abandonment (notice a theme?). He's pretty neat about it, it all ends up mostly in his mouth, and he's not picky. Not terribly civilized, but I'll take it.

I don't sit down and formally teach him all of his numbers and letters every day. Collectively gasp now. I'm not an "every moment is a teaching moment" mom. I guess I should be? He's got books aplenty, magnetic letters since he was about four months old (and every once in a while he runs by and hits the button on this little apparatus that sings the alphabet), and all that stuff. I figure he'll start stringing it all together when his brain has the right amount of myelin in the the right places.

I let him play alone (or follow a few inches behind me) while I clean the house. Because I want order and I want him to see that work is a good thing and a regular part of our day. But then I feel guilty because I feel like I should be doing things like taking him to the photographer and, you know, whipping out flash cards.

But we DO set boundaries. And pray with him. Apologize when we know we've lost our self-control. We're teaching him the importance of obedience and the word no. We're consistent with discipline. He might not listen to me and Matt all the time but he doesn't have to be told something twice when he's with the sitter.

I'm not trying to be bragadocious, I'm just saying that if you sit back and evaluate, you're really not doing everything wrong even though you feel like it some days. Ta-RUST me, there ARE some parents out there who ARE doing a LOT of things wrong AND ruining their kids' lives...and if you're currently reading this blog in any way or capacity, you are NOT one of those people.

God's Word has a lot to say about what being a good parent is and what the job entails. Believe me, it has nothing to do with how early your kid walks or talks, if they can recite Avagadro's number by a certain age, if their manners are perfect, whether or not their plate has a full rainbow of colors on it, or if their sippy has juice or water in it. Nothing. All of these are outward signs but say nothing about the condition of their hearts, over which we have zero control. All we can do is pray for them, examine the condition of our own hearts, and sow as much Truth into them (ours AND theirs) as we can.

It doesn't matter how many professional pictures you have.
Or how great your kid's manners are.
Or any of that.

You will not stand in front of the Throne of Grace and account for any of those things.

So (and I'm speaking to myself here) - stop feeling guilty.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Have nots

If by reading my blog you get the impression that I listen to the radio a lot, your impression is correct. It gives me good stuff to think about!

So I was listening to Midday Connection today (the one I referred to in my last post with all the cackling hens that normally drive me crazy), and one of the hosts opened up with talking about needing to run to the mall to get a pair of pants, and even though she found and bought what she wanted, she couldn't help but leave feeling like....a have not. Just the way the store clerk behaved, the way everyone in the store was dressed, the overall everything.

Do you ever just feel like a have not?? I'm embarrassed to admit that I do. In a lot of situations. I feel like a have not when I go shopping uniform is old jeans and a sweatshirt. In the summer a pair of sandals (the same pair I've been wearing for over 10 years) is nearly welded onto my feet. My highlights are half grown out most of the time, my nails are manicured by my teeth when they start to bug me, and there may or may not be makeup on my face. And I'm surrounded by people with spiffy smart little outfits, cutesie little skinny jeans and fashionable boots, perfectly styled and colored hair, and sassy handbags.

I feel like a have not on Facebook. I think, Wow, they have a really nice house... or Goodness, they got to go on another fancy vacation... or She always has great outfits on...or whatever.

Kids half my age (fortunately, people half my age technically are still kids...not for long...) have Smart phones, sleek computers, nice cars, and killer wardrobes.

I feel like a have not at church. There, I said it. I'm not trying to knock anyone, nor am I thinking of anyone in particular, and I know that Sunday truly is the one day for most people to look nice, and most of them do it out of respect. But let's face it, do you ever just feel like you're in a fashion show for the Almighty? But I know that someone next to me feels like a have not, because I try to dress nicely too. It's just in the same pair of black pants every single week with the hem that keeps falling down. BTW - this is why Matt always wears jeans to church. Because there are a lot of people there who truly are have nots. And we've heard stories of people coming to church who didn't feel like they could come back unless they had a suit, because that's what everyone else was wearing and they didn't fit in.

My point here is not to get anyone to write back to me and say, "Oh! But YOU have a nice house too! You always look nice! You wear nice clothes!" so I feel a little better. Nor is it my point to make anyone feel guilty. My point is, I'm NOT a have-not. Not at all. *Very* few of us in this country truly are.

I heard once that comparison is the death of gratitude. That's the bottom line. When I compare myself with others and let that comparing attitude settle into my heart, I completely fail to see what I already have and abandon any opportunity to be grateful for it. And that's just flat-out wrong. And it hardly glorifies God. It's basically me thumbing my nose at Him and saying He could've done better. Think of when your kids/spouse/friends complain when you've given them so much. Yeah no.

So I need to reconsider when I feel like a have not. My treasure can't lie here what difference does it make?