Seize the Day

This adventure called parenting is one that is constantly challenging, changing and one that keeps us learning. The irony being that more often than not it is the children teaching us not only about where they need their boundaries or security to fall or what stimulation they require but they teach us about life too. And just when we think we have it all together once again they open our eyes to a whole new realm.

It is easy as a parent to become caught up in the discipline, parenting and ensuring that all our child’s educational needs are met that we do in fact lose out on the very marrow of parenthood. Parenting is a hard job and a huge responsibility. It is however just as important to take time out with our children. We need to laugh, to play, to dance and explore this amazing earth with them. It is so easy for us to become caught up in our “mature” adult world that we are no longer capable of drawing ourselves away to simply be with, and enjoy being with, our children. When last did we sit with our child and simply watch a dragon fly dance across the water? Have we recently squashed our toes in mud? Did we take the time to colour a picture? Or dance in the kitchen? Yes these are all interruptions within our busy schedule and they do draw us away from all we need to do. But I am learning day by day that they do instead draw us into the company of our children which draws us into their lives and as they grow into their confidence. We are then able to see the world through their eyes, their understanding, and their hearts.

Just this last week I was yet once again pulled back to the essence of being Mom. It had been a long day and I had asked the twins – aged 4 – to yet again get out the bath, dressed and tidy their room. After a period of time mother instinct kicked in and I knew nothing was happening. I threw down the peeler and marched to their room – ready to deal out the wrath of Tired Mommy. On reaching their room I could see no one, only a lump under one duvet. Pulling back the blanket, ready to reel out my list of consequences, I was greeted by two, barely clad, squirming cherubs. They held within their hands a torch and were giggling incessantly.  “You found us. We hid. The torch… Giggle, giggle.” Instantly my parenting wanted to discipline, wanted to see to it that I remained the one in control, that they learned they needed to obey. Yet a small voice inside me began to ring louder, a voice saying, “this is actually really funny and you too need a good laugh.” Digging deep I managed to push past all the serious parenting, discipline, and training roles and for that moment in time just be Giddy Mommy. We tickled and giggled and squirmed. With that the stress of the day melted away and I could return to peeling the carrots rejuvenated and refreshed. My children then too jumped to their tasks and were soon dressed and had a tidy room.

So yes we are called to a high, noble and difficult position of training and education these little beings. But we are also called to a humble place: a place of simply being, a place of learning to stop, and relish the simple moments that these wonderful little people bring into our lives.

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Creativity Feeds Off Life Experience

One of the most frustrating experiences, as an educator is when you are trying to encourage creativity and imagination and the children are simply not engaging with you. The first few times one goes home and relooks at the lesson plan. Was it too boring? Was it above their heads? Did I expect too much of them?

However when one stops and reworks the lesson, going through it step by step, scrutinising why the creativity simply did not flow one realises that the failure did not lie in the lesson planning but rather within the child’s life experience.

More times than not a child will be asked to describe something interesting that happened to them recently and their response is, “I did go to the mall.” On further prompting and questioning they may add, “We did eat there.” One can keep digging and ask them to explain what they heard, tasted, saw and such and so try to make more of the experience. However most have been there so often for so many weekends doing the same thing over and over that they cannot in fact remember anything very specific as it all merges into the rest of their weekend memories.

A teacher is able to take items to a classroom and ask a child to feel them and write about it or the class may visit a farm and record the experience. However this is very limiting and a child cannot rely on someone always providing a structured, scheduled experience from which they will gain their creativity juices.

As parents it is our responsibility to ensure that our children are exposed to a vast array of situations, places, people and experiences. As they interact with a variety of age groups and visit many places the child is absorbing and processing vast amounts of information. They are experiencing physically and emotionally all sorts of new feelings with which they are now able to connect their creativity.

Our time with our children is so precious and short that we need to specifically choose to partake in activities that will not only form lasting memories but ones that will ignite a passion and fire within their souls. As passion that will overflow into their creativity.

It is obviously much easier to spend our spare time with our children at the mall or letting the children play computer games all weekend. The reality however is that parenting is not easy and often we need to make a conscious choice to choose to do something we may not naturally be inclined to do. However when we choose to stomp through a forest on a rainy day or go catch tadpoles, take a trip to the old age home, play a soccer game in the back yard we are not only keeping our children busy but we are reaching their hearts. This is fundamental, not only in the building of our relationship with them but to connect their emotions and hearts to a world beyond themselves and their needs. As our children reach out and engage with the world, other places and other people they form emotional connections that light the creative spark within. Suddenly they find they do have an opinion, they do have story to tell and they want to contribute to the world of creativity.

So let’s all take up the challenge and ensure that at least once a week our children are made aware of something around them that causes them to question, makes them wonder, thrills them to the core or simply engages their senses in a new and invigorating way. In so doing we are priming our children to create.

 

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Free to Choose

English: Portrait of a girl from Portugal

What is it that all humans crave, strive for and will die for? Freedom.  Freedom to be ourselves, freedom to make our own choices and to have the right to be who we are. Freedom is a powerful concept and realisation, for one to be able to express ones freewill is the ultimate human experience. To be able to choose, to be able to decide for yourself and do exactly as one wishes gives one not only the feeling of liberty but one of power, integrity and self-worth.

If as parents we tap into this inbuilt desire for one to be able to express our own freewill we are able to make parenting and discipline all that much easier – as the child ends up doing all the work for us. As with all aspects of life one may have the right to express ones freewill, however there is a natural law that sees that every action results in a consequence. Children need to learn that their choices result in natural consequences.

Within the home or school one needs to have boundaries and acceptable conduct. The children then need to be aware of the choices they may choose from and what the consequences may be. It could look something like this: It is decided that within your home you don’t permit hitting. Therefore a child who chooses to hit – experiences a natural consequence – they are removed from all other children and are required to sit alone until such time as they choose to no longer hit. There is no time limit set on their “timeout” as once they choose to apologise and change their behaviour the natural consequence is that they may return. If however they hit again, well they are again removed.

As parents it is our responsibility to let our children know about the choices they have before them and what the consequences of these choices may be. We then leave them to choose and simply ensure that the natural consequences play their roll. If homework is not complete they may miss going to the beach as they need to complete it on Saturday. If they choose to not help tidy their room they may need to miss a movie to do it. This is very different from threatening or punishing a child who does not complete their task.  It is rather a natural result of the choices they have made.

The great part about tapping into the desire for one to express one’s own freewill is that you are able to step back and no longer need to rant and rave and become emotionally involved. As parents we are often too scared to allow our children to make their own choices. Instead we take on the responsibility of deciding for them and so prevent them from feeling the pain of poor choices. The result being not only that the parents are becoming more and more tense and emotionally drained but children are not learning to take responsibility and ownership for the choices they make.

Choices are fantastic, they make parenting so much easier because if a child is offered the choice to obey or share or work in a team and they choose not to it’s their choice and they are in effect “choosing their consequences.” A child may not choose what one thinks is wise or good or right but that is how they learn. Rather they learned the pain and joy of expressing their freewill within the safety of their home than to feel the full pain of making foolish choices later in life.

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To Chore or Not to Chore

In our home we choose to chore 🙂

From the day a child can walk – without falling over – they start to help pick things up, put away dishes and do anything a little person is able to do. From about aged 2 or 3 (depending on the child) they are given specific “responsibilities.”

Changing the term form “Chores” to “Responsibilities” changed the whole attitude and feel in our home. The little ones may need to feed an animal whilst the older ones have either more responsiblities or more demanding ones. The children love having responsibilities and will become quite upset if someone does one of theirs. It makes them feel needed, rooted and that they have a place within the home.

When our children turn 13 we have a evening to celebrate their “pre-adulthood” and with this comes greater responsibility. So at present our 14 year old is responsible for the washing. Well, I ensure it is washed and hung up and then it’s up to her. She need to bring it in, fold it and put it away. I love how she’s begun putting on CDs so the little ones all want to listen and then she gets them to all fold the washing with her. This is great as it teaches her to not let the washing (or anything in life for that matter) pile up and how much hard work it takes to truly be responsible for something as well as many other life lessons. She also has a number of other responsibilities such as washing the breakfast dishes and clearing the kitchen after supper.

The other children have responsibilities such feeding animals, making beds, putting clothes away, putting dishes away. Sometimes children require some direction and help such as I may need to place their duvet at the bottom of their bed neatly so they can pull it up to make their bed. Other times they may need to be given a more specific task such as – pick up all the red blocks. Often children become overwhelmed when given a task too big and therefore their reluctance to help is actually that they don’t really know where to start.

For these responsibilities our children are not remunerated. We all have a part to play and a role to fill to be apart of the family. This is also a chance to train them in loving others. If someone is sick or away we step in and help each other out. If however they are asked to do something that I would usually employ someone else to do such as mow the lawn we will show our appreciation by giving them some money towards something they are saving up for.

We do also try to make it fun. So we’ll often play Amazing Race where I give them tasks to complete in a set time (these can range from washing dishes, to scrubbing a wall, to peeling and freezing bananas.) If the task is completed they get a small prize – raisins, a snack, or such and the next clue. If it isn’t completed in time once it is completed they need to run around the house, miss the treat and then get the next clue. I find they don’t cope with more than 5 activities in a game so after the 4th or 5th task they get a grand prize – an ice-cream (or my favourite: to watch a DVD – in the middle of the day – and I get to have a quiet cup of coffee:)

Another game we play is the “Post Box Game.” I put some tasks into a box. The children then need to sneak up and get a clue and do the task without me seeing them. I obviously know where they are but pretend to not hear them and then I suddenly turn around or jump out at them. We all have great fun with this and yes the chores get done too. Otherwise music is good on a whole. Listening to worship songs or stories helps them to not dwell on the fact that they are doing chores. Oh yes and we also sometimes have everyone folding washing while I read to them.

This may not work for every family but for us it’s been a great balance and an opportunity to teach our children about responsibility, love, running a home and what being a family is all about.

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Love is a Verb

Parenting and education is not all about “doing the right thing” and “getting our discipline just right,” often it’s simply about enjoying each other’s company and creating forever memories. We can tell our children we love them. We can demonstrate that we love them. But nothing speaks as loud as simply living out love with them and this often occurs by simply having fun together.

With Valentine’s Day popping its head around the corner we are presented with so many creative and exciting ways to celebrate real love with our children. Over the generations Valentine’s Day has become an exclusively romantic celebration, when in fact it provides the ideal opportunity for us to celebrate real love and demonstrate that love to our children.

Spend some time thinking through your day on 14 February and what little moments you can snatch up to woo and love your children. Some suggestions may be to decorate the breakfast table with hearts and flowers the night before and then get up that little bit earlier and pop some scones in the oven for breakfast (or buy some yummy muffins.) Candles go really far to create a special ambiance that even our children will appreciate. Have little paper hearts upon the table with each person’s name on them. During the day every family member needs to write something they love about that person on their heart so that they can be distributed at dinner time. With younger children you may want to build up to the day so that Valentine’s Day provides us with no only opportunities to love our own family but to let our children demonstrate love for others.

Children often feel that the world is all about them. Yes, they are aware of others and that they need to care for them but it’s seldom that we provide opportunities for them to do this and grow in their love for others. Valentine’s Day provides the perfect opportunity to do just that. You may not be able to do anything on Valentine’s Day owing to work and school commitments but there is always the weekend. A few ideas would be to make cards to drop off at an old age home, take a cake to an orphanage, make cupcakes and cards and drop them off with librarians, police officers or firemen. A child could make special cards for their teachers and friends. they know what it is all about. You can make crowns for them to wear with hearts upon them and laminate place mats onto which they have stuck hearts or drawn a picture of the family having a fun time together.  If the morning is a rush there is still the evening in which to do something special together. You may want to have a special meal or as a family choose someone that you feel needs to “be loved” to share dinner with you. Simply spend some time doing something fun and different together. Have a picnic supper in the garden, play a family game together,  go for a walk, pop secret notes into each other’s lunch boxes or place beside each of your children’s beds a single rose with a handwritten love note. The ideas are endless. Yes, they do all take time but that’s part of loving one another – the fact that we take time to do it.

By simply taking a few moments out of our busy schedules to make a day special or different for our families we are speaking volumes. We often forget that concepts such as “love” are actually verbs and that our children can only truly learn about them by seeing them in action.

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Giftedness is Very Real

There I said it! My Son is gifted!

Unlike Autism, ADHD, Down Syndrome or Dyslexia, Giftedness is something we don’t talk about. It’s something we dare not utter a word about because when we do we are shouted down for boasting and being proud. (As we see the author of “I Hate Hearing About Your Gifted Child” just did.) Thank you Laughing at Chaos , AwayFromTheOven and LifeWithinIntensity for your inspiring blog replies. They made me ralise it’s time for me to be bold enough to let others to hear from us too.

I am not sure why people feel so judged and threatened by gifted children when in fact that’s just who they are. They function differently from the rest of us and see and hear the world from an entirely different perspective. Why is different so intimidating and somehow wrong?
It’s how you think, how you perceive and how you breath. Being gifted isn’t something you can turn on and off, it isn’t something you can work hard at and become, it isn’t being talented or skilled in an area such as sport or music. Instead it’s just who you are.

Gifted children are not at the top of the class, they often the “plebs” who’ve been misdiagnosed with ADHD and are sitting on Ritalin. They are often the trouble makers and those just skimming through each grade. These are not children to be threatened by instead they are an endangered species that we need to save. These children are able to offer so much and yet we are pushing them aside, discriminating against them and drugging them. So many resources are available for Learners with Special Needs – who battle through the system and yet there are none available for my learner with special needs.

He began reading at 22 months, when he was 5 he was reading encyclopedias. I called a school to enroll him in grade 1. I asked what they would do with him while the others learned to read their response, “He’ll just need to suck it up and wait for the others to catch up.”

So we homeschool – by choice – well yes… Until I hit a real wobbly last year and wanted to send them all to school. Again a phone call. “I have a 9 year doing grade 7 maths and high school reading and language.

Can we enroll him next year?” Reply: “Well, he’ll need to go into grade 4 and we’d try extend him but he’ll need to do grade 4.” Imagine! That’s like telling a 3rd year varsity student that they need to go back and start varsity over again. So yes we love homeschooling but it’s no longer only by choice, we are kind of out of options.

When saying my day is tough other homeschoolers have turned around and said, “but at least your child reads what do you have to complain about?” Well my gifted child is reading – but he reads anything and everything he lays his eyes on. That includes billboards, newspapers and the Bible. Maybe that sounds like a dream, but is it? When your child is 5 and having sleepless nights because of world hunger or trying to understand death and eternity at 3 years of age. How do you explain to a 6 year old about government taxes and the economy crashing when he wants to know about why the government is repossessing houses? The best yet is trying to explain God’s judgment, justice and grace to a 5 year old.

How about seeing the world only as black or white. Everything is either good or bad. There is no grey. Everything has to be justified and fair. The rules, every rule needs to be kept. The world is so loud and bright and the sensory overload can be so great that melt downs are apart of ones reality. One who needs to move to think. The pressure of thinking one needs to be perfect and not being able to sleep at night as their mind is so alive. So the list continues.

The intensity so great that Mom and Dad fall into bed exhausted every night. And they say siblings are usually not far behind each other. As our little ones are growing they may not fall into the profoundly gifted category, like their brother, but they too are following close behind. Can you imagine to intensity of these little people trying to all help me make supper, tell me about their day or work on an art project? No it’s not horrid just very noisy, opinions flying, conversations heated and everything being analysed. Nothing can just be “because it just is.” But why?


Looking at just a few of the gifted “symptoms” mentioned above would it make everyone feel better if I say my son has a “syndrome.” May I mention that besides doing grade 7 maths, he’s just finishing writing his first novel at 9 and that he’s busy building a birding website, he plays the violin beautifully, he writes wonderful poetry and he is the most amazing big brother. Or am I only allowed to dwell on his “syndrome symptoms?” We have been blessed with an amazing little boy who is tender hearted and loves with his whole heart – another symptom I suppose: Gifted children either do something completely or not at all.

For 9 years I have kept quiet but I can’t let others tear down something so beautiful and pure as the gifted child – without which there’d be no Mozart, theory of relativity or Starry Night. Just as I see every human as a unique creation by God and rejoice in who they are, don’t see our gifted children as a threat, simply see them for the beautiful people they are and celebrate that you too may one day benefit from what they have to offer this world.

So just aswe need to raise our voices to save the rain forests so we need to raise our voices to save the Gifted Child who is just like everyone else – just wants to be accepted and loved for who they are. Instead of trying to box them and feel threatened by something new just try to understand the gifted child and you maybe pleasantly surprised with what you find!

Pearl Buck sums giftedness in the most beautiful way….

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: 

A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. 

To him… 

a touch is a blow, 

a sound is a noise, 

a misfortune is a tragedy, 

a friend is a lover, a joy is an ecstasy, 

a lover is a god, 

and failure is death. 

Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create – – – so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.”


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Does Timeout Really Work?

Funny you should ask this as when our first child was born I would have answered with a resounding “no – timeout is a waste of time!” However 8 yrs and 5 children later – timeout is now our main form of training we use with our children!

Over the years I’ve learned that the key is not timeout but the how and why of time out. Firstly you need to establish why you are putting your child in time out. Is it as a punishment – in that this is what you get for that behaviour, or is it because you want to change their behaviour. If it’s a punishment they will kick and scream and give you a hard time when they get out. If however it’s a point of training, you’ll soon start seeing a difference.

If you want to train your child to display (and not display) certain behaviour traits you firstly need to choose what you want these to be. For example hurting and shouting at others is not acceptable in our home. If one of our children displays these behaviours they are put in time out. But here’s the key: I don’t put the time out away from the action. I simply turn a chair toward the wall so their back is to the activity. The rule is you stay there till you choose to change your behaviour. No time limit just until they can choose to alter their behaviour. After a while they will stop screaming on the chair and turn to watch the others and want to join in – and here comes the training – they realise if they want to join in they need to choose to alter their behaviour! They then slip off the chair and begin to join in happily and play within the boundaries I’ve set. If they hurt someone before I removed them they are required to apologise before they join in again. We use this for small things such as not helping to tidy up or refusing to excuse oneself from the table as well as bigger issues such as outright disobedience.

Be warned the first time out our one daughter experienced – probably just before she was 2 – she screamed for an hour and kept getting off the chair and trying to play at breakfast time and I kept putting her on (by not shouting but only repeating what was required of her – she needed to sit on her chair at the table and not run around, “sit on your chair to eat.” An hour later she slipped off the chair, climbed up at the table and ate all her food and came skipping down the passage to join us. It was hard work but now timeout only takes 30 seconds till about 2 minutes till they choose to change their behaviour. This taking charge of ones emotions and behaviour is a valuable life skill. There are not many adults who can control their own will. Help your child become one who can!

Why Can’t You Just Be Good?

We love birthdays in our home. It’s a day to bless and honour one specific person and celebrate them being a part of our lives. I encourage each of the children to make gifts instead of buying them and we usually spend the day doing something special. This often involves going somewhere, which the birthday person chooses, for the day.

One other great treat is their birthday breakfast. Usually we stick to oats and mealie meal – as these are nutritious and healthy and give the kids the energy they need for their day. But on birthday morning we’ll often have muffins or scones. This week it was my husband’s birthday and as we were away we had egg for breakfast and then a “party” in the afternoon with some cake, 2 sweets each, a few chips and a biscuit for each of the kids. Well I wish you could have seen the change in their behaviour! Within 15 minutes they were jumping off the furniture, no listening as all, irritating each other and quite beside themselves.

Granny looked at me and said, “I see why you don’t often have cake in your house.” Besides the fact we like to keep sweet foods for treats this is exactly the reason we try avoid preservatives and sugar as much as possible!

How many children are being labelled ADHD and dosed with Ritalin when in fact it’s just all the sugar and preservatives coursing through their bodies that prevent them from being able to listen. Yes, we do live in a world governed by processed sugar and our foods are full of preservatives but as responsible parents, just as we put sun cream on our children to protect their skin, we need to limit their intake of all these products as it can do them such internal, emotional and mental harm.

Read our health posts to hear more ideas on how you can change your way of eating to help your child develop their full potential. Furthermore we need to be aware of what we have fed our children and how this is affecting their behaviour. This is simply because we don’t have the right to shout at our kids and expect them to behave when we’ve filled them with sugar.

Often we need to look at what circumstances are causing our children to behave the way they are. Maybe they are hungry, tired or filled with preservatives and sugar. All these will affect their behaviour and will often prevent them from being able to respond to our demands. A tantrum at the shop may be brought on by the fact that they are in fact hungry or tired. The best way to deal with these is to realise that it’s actually home time. Quickly do what you need to, cut the trip short and meet your child’s needs then you can start to work on the behaviour issues.

The old saying, “you are what you eat,” may in fact hold loads of truth in that what we eat has a huge impact on how we respond to our environment and those in it.

Play Fair

“I had it first!”
“It’s mine!”
“Tell her to give it to meeee!”

Daily these words echo within our home, as I’m sure they do through every home with small children! Throughout the years we have tried so many different ways to control these out bursts. Everything looks so easy on paper but add two, or more, real life, little people filled with passion, anger and irritation and all reasoning goes to the wind!                      

To help calm the storms we have implemented a rule regarding ownership. It’s simply that if an item belongs to a specific child they may choose to share it or not. This develops the character of the child sharing as well as the one wanting the toy. The child wanting it may need to learn to honour the fact that it is not theirs and that they can’t have everything they want. The child who owns the toy may need to learn to share or if they genuinely are concerned about it being broken or such, they need to learn how to tactfully put the toy away – and not flaunt it in the other’s face! It often helps to think how it would feel for us as an adult if someone came up and asked to borrow our car. If it was a friend we may agree – however to a complete stranger we’d defiantly recline their request.

Some people suggest that children should just be left to fight it out but that does not help train them to develop their social skills. As parents, it’s our responsibility to help our children channel their feelings and become compassionate, considerate thoughtful, caring citizens.

Just as adults, we wouldn’t want to spend time with people who insulted us, screamed in our faces and if someone hit us over the head we’d report it as a criminal offence. We just wouldn’t accept others treating us this way and yet we often expect children to have to deal with it. Just as in the adult world relationships require trust and friendship to blossom so each child needs to earn the right to play with other children – even their siblings. If however they can’t play within the expected social norms they need to learn that they won’t be able to join in!

This may sound really complicated but it works simply like this: Even when children are irritated and upset with each other they need to talk and act respectably to one another. Failing which, they no longer have the right to spend time with those they are upsetting. This is achieved by them needing to sit on a chair till they choose to behave in an acceptable way. If they continue their anti-social behaviour, they are banned from playing with the others for a length of time such as an hour or the morning. Not until this happens do they realise how much they actually want to be with their siblings and they soon learn to calm their tempers. If they do get off the chairs and continue fighting I put the toy in the cupboard and replace them on the chairs so that when they are ready to practice self-control they have to think of something entirely different to do. 

We’ve used this technique with children as young as 2 years old and they quickly learn how they need to honour each other in order to be allowed to be a part of family activities. It is hard work and requires vigilant parenting but to see your children playing together happily is worth all the effort!

 

 

 

Everyday Mommying

When I was growing up and I spoke or thought about the future for some reason I assumed I’d have children but never thought of myself as a Mommy. For that reason I never gave much thought to what being a Mommy would entail. Many times being Mommy involves cuddling, reading books or discovering another natural beauty with our children.

On other days however  – or should I say on most days – it’s actually about food, clothes, cuts, tears, lost items, irritated siblings and stuff (everything from old toast to ballet tutus to my handbag contents) strewn from one end of the house to another. You feed the tribe, tidy the kitchen only to hear a little voice say, “Mom, what can I eat?” Once the kitchen is finally sorted you find that the teeth cleaning turned into washing the bath – and walls – with the toilet brush. An art activity results in the dining room table having glitter glued to it – on purpose or the paint brushes have all the bristles eaten off before they get to even start painting. Need I continue?

Today was one of these “normal” Mommy days. It was hard and I’m not proud to say that when the kitchen floor was flooded, everyone had wet their last dry tracksuit pants in the rain, I had tripped over yet another dress up item, someone asked for food and then I was faced with a toilet incident I wasn’t a very nice Mommy. BUT thank you God for the TV and especially for the creation of the movie Heffalump! Needless to say it was watched twice!

I realised that as long as I had this cozy picture of what the day could have been: sitting snuggling with books in front of the fire everything went from bad to worse. I hate using the TV to babysit but today that was good Mommying. I had to take stock of my capacity, where the day was heading and what I was becoming. Yes I did contemplate trying to sit down and read to everyone but they were all irritating each other and I knew it would just agitate. So I stopped trying to strive toward the fantastical and managed to eventually literally live minute by minute.

So even though I gave little thought to being Mommy when I was growing up – the pictures I had conjured didn’t look anything like today did but I got through it and at bedtime my almost 9yr old boy called me back 3 times saying, “I don’t know what’s wrong but I just need to hug you some more.” Hmmm – maybe he too had a hard day but I was too busy with the clutter to notice?

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