My Fitness

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

self rebuke and musings on my parenting

The other day I was at Aldi (a grocery store, for future reference) when I saw myself reflected in another mother. This mother was obviously stressed and speaking sharply at her 9ish and 12ish -year old daughters. They were "helping" and making things take two and three times as long by taking things off the shelf that the mother didn't want and she'd have to put it back etc. It happens all the time with every child, and every parent understands the annoyance (luckily my kids put M&Ms in the cart and then I say "ooo! good idea" lol).

Perhaps this mother was under an unusual time crunch or just needed to pee (heehee, I've been there!). Her girls took her shortness in stride acting very accustomed to her sharpness of tone. But the whole scene made me feel sorry for the mother and ashamed of the times I spoke harshly to my own boys. Especially this made me feel bad because my boys are 2 and 3 years old and not 9 and 12.

I am a very lazy parent, which is only exasperated by the constant fatigue of pregnancy. And I have decided that I don't want to be this mother in ten years. I'd rather have my boys fill my cart with items I have to then return to the shelf than to speak to them in a manner so condescending (this mother didn't say anything mean to her kids; it was all in her tone). I wouldn't speak to an adult that way (except my husband, and now that I realize that, I'll have to work on that too) no matter how troublesome they were being so I shouldn't speak to my child that way either.

I wondered if they lady was embarrassed by the number of items and the number of times she had to tell her child to stop. Maybe she felt that the others shoppers were judging her. I don't think anyone was even paying attention to her. She just happen to be in front of me. Every time I lazily think I should just yell or spank my kid into submission I'm reminded of this lady. And it breaks my heart. In general I dislike spanking anyway. I always feel horrible after I yell or spank or otherwise handle a discipline situation incorrectly. So I had to stop and ask myself, "Why do you keep doing things this way if you're just going to feel bad about it afterward?"

Do I want to discipline my children or punish them? Discipline takes time and effort and is not for the lazy parent. Punishing a child for acting like a child is easy and simple: just yell or hit. (I do believe there exist the possibility of spanking in an appropriate setting; but I also believe that usually parents are just punishing instead of disciplining when they do spank. This is an entire different subject and I don't feel like getting into it. Chances are you have already made up your mind one way or another, anyway.)

I like to explain myself to my kids. Even if they don't understand it trains them to know that they deserve to be treated like a person and it trains me to see them as a human-being and not just the larva stage of becoming a human.

Then I read this article: 10 Commandments for Parents: Forsaking All Others. That was icing on the cake, as the saying goes. What commitment do we make to our children? We are in covenant with our spouses. But we don't even have a contract with our children. Perhaps some kind of ceremony is in order. I don't know what my husband would think of that. I don't think our children need to be committed to us in the way that we should be committed to them. They have "honor your father and mother" and I have witnessed that as long as parents do a good job, their children will honor them. But if parents are embarrassed by their children then the children will respond to that.

Do I value other adults and their opinions above my children?

Do I value whatever activity I'm doing more than my children?

What has God called me to do?

Monday, October 7, 2013

my little angry birds

Finding a Halloween costume for a child can be quite the adventure. When there are two children, it only doubles the adventure.

We've searched for acceptable costumes in many locations, but the boys would have none of them. Finally, though, after my son requested that I play Angry Birds just so he could watch those foul fowl fly I decided to ask the boys if they wanted to be Angry Birds for Halloween..."YEAHHHH!" and here they are:

this is actually not related to anything Halloween, but obviously Angry Bird related

And then they exchanged costumes:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

ftd fail with a happy ending

Dear FTD Flowers,

My loving husband decided to send me a half dozen chocolate covered strawberries. At the last minute we were called out of town to visit my husband's grandfather who's death is imminent. Two days before the scheduled delivery my husband made the appropriate change of delivery time via YOUR website using YOUR available options. After we had already left THE NEXT DAY he got an email saying you were unwilling to change the delivery time. So on Monday we got 6 rotten, unrefrigerated strawberries waiting for us. My husband contacted you to fix your mistake and he is still waiting for a reply. I am hopeful that you will make this right. I am hopeful that even a big company like you still cares about individual customers. I am hoping that your customer support is not as rotten as those strawberries I received from you but is instead actively trying to fix this problem. I am hopeful that we will be able to use you in the future. We will see. We can only work with helpful and honest companies. 

Lauren Mulford

Since writing the above to my customer service representative at FTD, a beautiful and delicious new set of strawberries arrived at my door and they were amazing! Apparently FTD tried to get UPS to not ship it, but there was miscommunication and it was too late for UPS. I'm really grateful for how things ended. I was close to tears about getting rotten ones originally (I blame the pregnancy). I really like FTD so I was very glad for how they handled things. 

And so the strawberries lived happily ever after covered in chocolate living in my belly...

milk, white, and dark chocolate covered strawberries