Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Yeah for Moms!

Never say or write that one of your children is "relatively easy". LOL When will I learn that lesson? Today, Timothy (aka the easy one) had quite the irrational fit. He used to love these Leap Frog Phonics videos we have. He learned his letters early from their letter video and then went on to learn a lot about phonics from their word video. But for some reason, after several viewings of the word video, he suddenly became frightened of the word machine (it combines phonics chunks and spits out words, if I recall correctly). Now he goes berserk if we try to put the letter one on for Emily Rose. She is very active and an auditory learner like Daniel, and while she doesn't have any interest in watching a video, she will listen to it as she goes about her play. Daniel picked up his sounds from listening to that video and from doing the Melissa and Doug wooden-alphabet puzzles.

I should put in a plug about the Melissa and Doug wooden puzzles and other learning products. I love them! They probably have lead paint though, unfortunately. We bought them before the series of lead-tainted toys came out of China. They are all made of wood and are painted, which makes me suspicious now. We can't afford them nowadays, so I don't know if their style may have changed or not. We have quite a few from earlier times, and I watch Emily closely whenever they are out. We always found an abundance of their products at Toys R Us.

Anyway, today, I decided that the Leapfrog videos are such valuable tools, that I just had to help Timothy through this fear, for Emily and her sister's sake. He obviously didn't remember that the letter video doesn't include anything with the word machine. I literally had to hold him on my lap and soothe him while we watched it. He was shaking through some of it. The whole thing is just bizarre. Kids, for that matter, are bizarre. He did enjoy it, though. Go figure! But when Daniel, wanting to instigate something, tried to rewind it and put it on again, Timmy had another fit on a smaller scale. All I can do is keep working on it. I can match their stubbornness, most of the time. LOL

The whole family just left for AWANA. Phew! It is so quiet right now. What really struck me today is that as moms, we really don't know our true value to the family until we have to lie on the couch and watch someone else try to "run the show". I'll try to explain what I mean. It's Wednesday and Kids Choir starts at 6 pm and AWANA at 6:30. It's roughly an eight minute drive to the church. But it takes some time to get everyone fed, cleaned up, and backpacks packed and troops loaded. Add to that the bulky coats that come with the 27 degree weather we're experiencing, and you've got to allow at least twenty minutes to just get into the van. Well, at 5:21 p.m. Don was putting potatoes in the microwave to go with the shake and bake chicken he put in the oven. When I glanced at the clock, I knew I had to get off the couch (I was entertaining Emily with the play dishes), and try to get something in the kids' stomachs before we had to get busy cleaning and checking faces, checking shirts for food stains, and getting the AWANA gear packed. Plus, I had to encourage Don into the shower, because he was volunteering tonight. I knew that since it was already 5:21, he would be lucky to have even a minute to get any dinner himself. But I didn't mention that. The man loves his food! LOL He did manage to eat some chicken and a banana before rushing off.

Other things happened today that made me realize how much I've learned, from prayer and trial and error, about managing time and kids. For example, when Daniel comes in from the outdoors, or from errands, etc., I know it is best to let him have about 15 minutes of downtime before starting a school lesson or asking him to do a chore. He has trouble with transitions. Sometimes I set a kitchen timer to let him know how long it will be until the next school lesson. It helps him enormously. On a daily basis, although Don is here Monday through Friday until 2 p.m., he doesn't notice a lot of the things I do to manage personalities and time. As he's taken over this week there has been more turmoil than we usually experience. Today it all seemed to culminate, and now I really understand better what function I play in the family.

When many started questioning whether Sarah Palin could manage the Presidency, I wasn't one of them. As a mother of five, she didn't have to prove anything to me. Women learn to become outstanding CEO's without ever having to step into a board room or an oval office. And what's more, as the children go into different developmental stages, the whole learning process starts anew, making Mom even better at her job.

So if you're a mom, give yourself a pat on the back today. More than likely, no one notices the good you do. There may never be any credit given by one's family. And that has to be okay with us, for the most part. But we can try to give credit to each other, mom to mom.

I really appreciate all the support you've given me. Thank you!

And I wanted to let Terri know that last week I did slap Emily's hand (trying it out for the first time). You know what she did? Looked at me with shock and slapped my hand right back. I was flabbergasted! :) I knew then that I might be in trouble with that girl. She's sweet 80% of the time, but that might be changing. Girls, I was told, can be a handful, due to the fact that their emotions run higher. I'm new on the learning curve with that. I'll probably have to try a lot of things before she is out of the twos and threes. Since she is so active, I know being held in my lap will really get to her. It might be the deterrent I need for now.

And Arwen, thank you for the tip on the 123 Magic procedure. I remember having trouble with Daniel early on regarding bedroom time-outs. He used to make a mess of his room, and he sometimes came out before the timer rang. I can't remember how those things got resolved, so I definitely need tips on time-outs. Emily has gotten out of her crib twice now, but she doesn't seem to have a burning desire to do it daily. It's time to babyproof her room, and within a few months she should be old enough to do a quick time out in there by herself (or at least it seems like it). We'll see. She might try to use the dresser to climb out the window, for all I know. LOL

1 comment:

Evenspor said...

We just bought Beeper Letter Factory, because he learned so many letters when we borrowed it from a friend. It wasn't just that he learned the letters, it was that he was suddenly interested in learning them. Before the video, he didn't want me to teach him anything. After the video, he started asking me all the time to work on his letters with him. He was very sad when we had to give it back.

We love LeapFrog. We'll probably have to get him Word Factory one of these days too.

And you are absolutely right about moms. I have a thing on my desktop, stolen from someone's blog, about being a homemaker. It says, "Homemakers are indispensible. If mother can't do it, someone else must be found. Without a guiding presence in the house, things go down deep and fast." It moticates me to get finish up school ASAP so that I can get back to "guiding" things around here. Firebirdluver is great and works hard, but he misses so much.