Big vs Small

“Rogue! I know you are angry. Paby is playing with your faaavorite outdoor toy. You want him to get off, so you pushed him down, is that right?”

“No, Mama! He get on mine wiggle rider and I want get on mine wiggle rider, so…so….I got andry and….I…

“It’s okay, take a deep breath and think. I’m ready to listen and help figure this out.”
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Parents say the darnedest things…

We’ve all have those moments where the words that just came out of your mouth register in your own brain, and you realize how odd you actually sound. Here’s a few of mine from just this week.

1.) “please go to the backyard BEFORE you get your penis out.”

2.) “Not tomorrow tomorrow, but tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow.”

3.) “I’m sorry. I accidentally put your zombie on the wet countertop, and it’s ruined. We’ll have to throw him away. I would like to help you make another zombie if you’re okay with that.”

4.) “I don’t want you standing on anyone’s head, even if they tell you to.”

5.) “She doesn’t want to shake her butt, and that’s okay.”

6.) “I’d like for you to move your secret lair out of the hallway, please.”

Put your own strange sayings in the comments, and I might publish it in the next “Parents Say The Darndest Things.”

The Battle that Wasn’t.

I began to get frustrated at my kiddos during the editing routine. A little silliness doesn’t bother me, but tonight’s giggles turned to screams, chasing, locked bathroom doors, and sheer insanity. I felt my throat tighten as impatience bubbled its way up, so I closed my eyes to block out the visual chaos, breathed deep, and let the stress flow out in a cleansing sigh instead of the shout it wanted to be. I paused long enough to make sure I was in control, then called the kids by name. Continue reading

I Was Wrong

Mazzen was taking a break from playing with blocks in the living room to have a snack. I came back into the living room, and she followed. Paby also came in, and crossed in front of the chair in which I sat, and I heard a loud sound. I looked down, startled, and saw Paby scooping up the blocks that -I assumed- he’d knocked over.

Mazzen told him anxiously, “Paby, I wasn’t done! I want to finish playing when I’m done eating.”

He didn’t respond, grabbed the last block, and began walking away.

I felt frustration rising; he often ignores his siblings, and it is something that irks me. I breathed deeply, and called him back.

“Paby, Mazzen was talking to you.”

“I knooow. I’m putting the blocks up.”

“I want you to put them back.”

He walked away again, not responding.

I became angry. I was tired. Rogue had been cranky since getting home from his granny’s, and was attached to my lap. That always makes me feel more irritable, because I feel less able to physically get up and do what needs to be done when addressing situations.

And so I yelled. I lost my temper, and yelled “Paby, I told you to put the blocks back, and I expect you do do it. Now!”

He came back in with anger on his face.

“I AM!”

“No, you’re carrying them away! Put them back where they were, next to your sister on the floor!!”

“They WEREN’T by her! They were in the kitchen!! I was trying to put them back!”

Realization dawned on me then. When I went to the kitchen to get her snack, Mazzen must have brought an armful of blocks with her and set them down to receive her food. Paby found them, and not realizing she was using them, picked them up to put them away. As he passed my chair, he dropped some, which had drawn my attention and Mazzen’s.

He was helping; being responsible. Then, when asked to put them back, he was returning them to the place he found them.

And I was yelling at him for it.

I hung my head in shame.

“Paby…I’m sorry. I didn’t understand, and I jumped to conclusions. Thank you for helping. I was wrong for getting upset; for yelling. “


Not “it’s okay,” because the way I reacted wasn’t okay. But “okay.” Okay, I accept your apology. Okay, we can move past this.

I looked up at my firstborn, an understanding smile on his face, and saw a look of forgiveness in his eyes. A look of empathy. He’s no stranger to letting frustration control one’s words and actions. And he was choosing grade for me.

Something I should have chosen for him from the beginning.

Always choose grace. Always choose understanding. And when you don’t, when you choose anger and admonishment, always, always choose “I’m sorry.”

Big and pretty awesome, and a little bit scary.

A scary slip last year had made Rogue wary of our 30″ deep pop-up pool, but a few weeks after setting it up this year, he’d decided it wasn’t so bad. Still, he is too fearful to go under water, and he has not learned to swim or float, as his older siblings all did their first summers.

I was working in the garden when he asked to go in the pool. It was the first time he’d wanted to play in it without me or his oldest brother, who “saved” him last year when he fell under, and I thought it would be a good chance to let him get more comfortable with the water, sans-splashing siblings.

So I helped him in, and sat a few feet away, in the shade, to watch him play.

He walked around, splashed a little bit, set sail a toy boat, and tried to force a playground ball under the water. It, of course, resisted, so he pushed again. Wow! How fascinating! He called to me in amazement.

“Hey, Mama! Watss dis! Whoaa-“

My world froze as his sped up.
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Bedtime sillies

For the past few weeks, I’ve begun asking my kids (and answering for myself as well) three questions:

1.) What was your favorite thing about today?

2.) What is something someone else did today that you thought was really good, or made you feel thankful or proud? (And though you can repeat what someone else has said to add to the encouragement, it doesn’t count as your answer unless you are thanking/congratulating a different person.)

3.) What is something you are going to try to do better tomorrow than you did today?
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My patience was waning fast as I stepped outside for a moment of peace after a morning of demands, whining, and disarray.

I breathed deep, then began to wander around the yard. I peeked at my vegetable garden, peered into the inflatable pool, checked the mailbox that I knew would still be empty at this time of day.

I turned to go back inside, holding my breath for the chaos that awaited me; the cereal on the floor that I hadn’t cleaned up yet, the six loads of laundry needing my attention, the sink full of breakfast (okay, let’s be honest, last night’s dinner dishes, too.) I could already hear the boys voices as they debated heatedly. Something flickered in the corner of my eye; a cardinal? my favorite bird! I turned my head to get a better look, and saw a tiny pair of red boxer briefs disappear down the hill. Fantanstic. Sighing, I followed, calling “Rogue! I’m going back inside now. Come on!”

His blonde head popped up above a patch of weeds and he yelled back, “I’m just looking at my flowers!”

Ah, yes; Rogue’s “flowers.” Our yard full of stubborn dandelions = his garden full of flowers, of which he is very proud.

“Yes, they’re beautiful. Now let’s go.”

I grabbed his wrist, and he swiped at the dandelions as we left, snagging three and pouting “me no done yet.”

“I am, and you weren’t supposed to be out here anyway.” I thought grumpily.

When I stepped into the kitchen, I found my four year old, Mazzen, perched on top of the sink, with three of my collected glass bottles in hand, holding them under the running faucet.

“What are you DOING?!” I gasped.

Rogue stepped around me and offered Mazzen the weeds.

“I got them!” He hollered excitedly. “I got them a’prise for Mama!”

Mazzen glanced at my irritated face, but accepted the stems and placed one delicately into each bottle.

“We wanted to make it pretty so you can feel happier,” she said, her eyes searching my face with uncertainty.

I felt shame crawl up my face, heating my neck and cheeks. I went forward and embraced Mazzen, carrying her off the counter, then knelt down to gather Rogue into the hug.

“Thank you.” I whispered. “It is beautiful, and I do feel happier. And I’m sorry that I’ve been so impatient this morning.”

Rogue kissed my cheek as Mazzen hugged my neck. They hopped up, running off to play.

I turn back to turn off the water and gaze at the bottles in the windowsill. I suddenly see them the way I couldn’t while impatience clouded my vision. Beautiful, happy flowers.

“Patience and wisdom walk hand in hand, like two one-armed lovers.”
–Jarod Kintz, $3.33


Severe Malfunction: Please Reset Unit

Warning: Thought-Processing limit has been exceeded. Use caution and low volume levels when interacting with MAMA unit to avoid eye twitching, exasperation, and possible complete nervous breakdown.

Troubleshooting tips: offer chocolate, backrubs, and plenty of quiet. If problems persist, going to bed early may help reset MAMA unit’s sanity module.

If none of these tips correct the problem, please contact local DADDY for assistance.

Headaches, insomnia, nausea, oh my!

We’re at the hospital today, hoping to get some answers for the symptoms Logan has been experiencing since his surgery a year and a half ago. Prayers, thoughts, and good vibes are welcome! So far, there’s been a little hesitation, a lot of hands-holding, and several requests to “go home first.” But no tears yet!