Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pass the Oxygen: Parenting in the Trenches

I love my children.  Dearly.  But sometimes parenting is so hard.

It started when I woke her up from her nap.  She hit me.  That's a first for this house.

Now, before you get all Judgy-Judgerson on my parenting, know that I am trying.  I've read the books.  My husband and I have taken classes.  We've prayed with and over our children.

After our usual discipline techniques I thought she had calmed down.  Then the whining.  Which became crying.  That escalated to yelling.  Which gave rise to an all out kicking, throwing, hitting, screaming banshee fit.

By now I am at a loss.  I've tried every reward, discipline, and punishment I can think of.  If you are feeling holier-than-thou about your parenting right now, you do not have a strong willed child.  Bless you, and please keep your comments to yourself.

Just when I thought all hope was lost, I threw up a Hail Mary pass.  (Forgive the football analogy, but tonight is the NFL draft.)  The one thing I could think of to end the madness: I sent her straight to bed without supper.

Never done this before.  Hated doing it.  Don't think I'll ever do it again.  If you are wanting to berate my parenting skills, you'll have to line up behind yours truly and shovel through piles of self-loathing to reach me.

So, here I am.  Also not eating supper.  Googling "encouraging verses for parents."  I read through them praying for some new insight.  Some glimmer of hope for my weary bones.

The commentary at the bottom of Proverbs 29:17 caught my eye.  It said that in Hebrew, the "peace" spoken of in the above verse is "rest properly, a breathing again."
And it hits me.  That's why this thing called parenting is so hard.  There is no rest.  There is no breathing.  It is split-second decisions.  It is one human attempting to show grace to another human. 

And it is hard.  Harder than I thought it would be.

But it is also much more wonderful than I ever imagined.  Even after moments like tonight, I wouldn't trade it.
Tonight, this notion of peace is keeping me sane.  Knowing that persistent and consistent discipline will birth proper rest.  A breathing again.  Delight to my soul.

Till then, could someone please pass the oxygen?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Painting with a Squish

No Texas childhood would be complete without the reading of Tomie dePaola's The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush.  This classic tale explains the proliferation of the wildflower and the origin of its name.
In days of yesteryear, Little Gopher, was a painter.  Due to the scarcity of Walmart, he had to make his paints from crushed berries and rocks.  This notion of "no Walmart" is always fun to teach to small children.
So, what did we do after reading this story?  Made our own paint from berries.  With nine children.  Alone.  In a carpeted dining room.  I promise I'm not crazy.
Each child was given a bowl and spoon for squishing blueberries and strawberries.   The end result was a bit messy, but so much fun.  I have found that most things worth doing with children are.

Some of us may have eaten most of our berries pre and post painting.

All in all, an excellent, hands-on activity for preschoolers.  However, I do think the finished masterpieces will attract extremely "pesty" art-lovers.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Daily News Backlog

I have gotten crazy behind on posting the Daily News.  Apologies.  I don't know how you have all coped.
So, let's start off with a bang.  After this week I have pondered if Sunrise School needs to have a lesson on what constitutes TMI.

In the following, Carter highlights the biggest news with the Sunrise gang: the outbreak of potty trained children.  Usually easier, but not always.  We shall not speak of the day of five accidents.  Always an adventure with children.

Again, there is no one named John at Sunrise School.  Side note: today he was Green Lantern.  Which brings to mind my favorite Sunrise School moment of 2013 thus far. 

We were learning about the twelve disciples.  Had a full-blown lesson on it Monday.  Memory verse for the month was John 3:16.  We discussed John in-depth.  I was so proud.  These little minds soaking up knowledge like sponges.

Then Tuesday.  I thought we'd review before we moved on.

Me:  "Our memory verse is John 3:16.  Who remembers who John is?"

Entire Class:  "JOSIAH!"

Me:  "BA HA HA HA HA!"

Much ado about food.  A budding entrepreneur.  And one mishap resulting in many boo-boos.

And more food.  Always food with these kids.  I probably answer more questions about lunch and snack than anything else.

We leave you now with Sunrise School's littlest napper.  A girl and her Dolly.  What could be more precious?  More peaceful?