Today, someone was being irritable with me. Luke looked at the person, gave them a mean look, and then said, “[Be] nice to mommy.”
During yesterday’s get together that we attended, we had set up a game to play with some of my cousins. Drew came over and wanted to join in. I told him that this game really wasn’t for kids but that he could sit on my lap. He responded, “Mommy, this should be a kids’ game because it has little pieces for little kids.”
Yesterday, I attended an extended family get together from my Dad’s side. My paternal grandparents had 9 children, 25 grandchildren, and I forget how many great-grandchildren (in the 30’s, I think). As is normal at a get together, there was lots of food and especially desserts. Beverages consisted of punch. I kept trying to intervene so that my kids were not eating too many sweets or drinking too much punch. Any punch is too much in my opinion, but that’s all we had to drink so… The get together was also during the boys’ nap time. I knew that I was going to have some extra hyper and grumpy boys the next day.
The boys were also given lots of candy as gifts and prizes for games. I told them they couldn’t eat their gift candy but had to keep it for another day. Drew asked me why he couldn’t have his candy. I told him that he would be “climbing the walls” if he had candy too. Very seriously, Drew looked up at me and said, “But, Mommy, we can’t climb the walls. There aren’t any ladders.”
The other day, Drew was chewing his nails. Jonathan asked Drew if something was worrying him that he was chewing his nails. Drew replied that he was worried about the house. Jonathan asked him, “What about the house?” Drew responded, “I don’t like the paint all over the house. I want red and blue and pink paint because those are my favorite colors.”
Luke’s latest “big word” is “actually.” He uses it a lot. Today, I asked him if he wanted to ride on a certain cart. He said, “Actually, I want to ride here.”
I had a long discussion with Will yesterday regarding some behavior that was of grave concern to me and to God. He was repentant towards the end of our discussion and then wanted to whisper in my ear something. He whispered, “Mommy, do you know why I am bad every day?” I asked him why that was. He said, “Because I haven’t seen Jesus. I don’t know that Jesus died on the cross.” I was able to take that opportunity to give Will evidence that shows God does exist, to discuss faith (it’s a fabric of every area of our lives — even the atheist), and then to show him why not having a belief in God doesn’t change the truth of what is nor the consequences of our actions. I gave him various examples, and he seemed to understand what I was saying. We then ended our discussion in prayer. There is a battle waging within his soul; it is crucial — one that will ultimately determine the direction of his life. My daily prayers are that he will choose to believe and to follow a life that alone leads to peace, joy, love, and eternal life!
Tonight as I was tucking Will into bed, he has lots of questions about Moses. After answering his questions, he said, “I want to be good like Moses.” I told him that God wants to use him in great ways, just like God used Moses. I then encouraged Will to pray to God to ask Him to help Will to be good like Moses. I also encouraged Will to pray the same prayer for his brothers. It was exciting to hear him say that he would. I truly believe Will’s prayers tonight will include this petition.
Jonathan and I have been trying to think of effective punishments to deal with boy offenses. So many typical methods don’t seem to be “hard” enough for the boys in preventing them from doing what it is that they want to do. They seem to think the momentary pleasure outweighs the consequences. After prayer and seeking wisdom, here a few ideas we have implemented:
If the boys complain about food, they are given another helping of the item they don’t like. They are allowed to have some dislikes, but they can’t be nasty and complain about it. They have to nicely say they don’t like it or just not say anything and still try a small portion of the dish.
If a boy is mean to another boy, they are required to serve that other boy for the rest of the day (meaning give first choice of toy, activity, and helping the other boy with stuff like meals and chores).
If a boy deliberately makes a mess, he is required to clean up that mess. If the mess is more offensive in nature (e.g. bodily fluids), the boy is given more chores to do on top of cleaning up the mess.
These are just a few of recent situations we have dealt with…
We have a particular son who is guilty of the misdemeanor of talking what we call “potty talk.” As a result, we do not use soap, nor hot sauce because of their adverse physical affects. Rather, we use a small dose of vinegar which tastes horrible but is otherwise unharmful to the offending child.
This particular son was talking about Satan trying to get us to do bad things. He then gave an additional example; he said, “Satan wants us to talk potty talk.”
This may not seem very funny to you, but Jonathan and I both caught the glimmer in each other’s eye at this remark and had to hide our smiles quickly before erupting into full-scale laughter. Ah, the joy of sharing “twinkles in the eyes” as we enjoy the humor in the things our boys say and do!
Drew and Luke received stuffed dogs for Christmas from their Sunday school teachers. I asked Drew what he wanted to name his new dog. He replied, “Mommy, you can sleep with my doggie tonight.”
“That’s okay, Drew, he was given for you.”
“Mommy, you should take him because he looks like you.”
“Uhm, thanks, I guess” (as I stared into the large snout of the dog, looked at its beady eyes and the huge brown spots covering its face).