Thursday, March 6, 2008

101 Days

I looked up at my ticker today. I don't do that often. However, I was glad I happened to glance at it, as it told me that I only have 101 days until my due date! YAY! That's manageable, right? WOO HOO! Besides...I'm not planning on going all 101, so..... :)

The thing that I really wanted to blog about today is something that has been catching my attention and has really made me proud of my mothering abilities. I don't mean to toot my own horn or anything, but it really just comes naturally to me like someone who is really good at baseball or accounting or something...it's my "thing." If I've blogged about this before, I apologize, but I truly don't remember.

So, Cassie is sitting in her high chair this morning and says she's finished with breakfast. I ask her what she wants to do thinking the answer will be "Yo Gabba Gabba" (her favorite show right now) or "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" (favorite #2). Instead she says, "CUPS!" I knew the word she said, but couldn't figure out the meaning. She craned all the way around in her highchair (it has a really high back) to point at the dishwasher and said, "CUPS! FORKS! PATES!" She was asking to first empty the dishwasher that she knew we started last night before she went to bed! I have really encouraged her to help me with simple household tasks and she has started to prioritize them as "first things first." It did my heart good to know that I am "training her up in the way that she should go" in many ways. When the family room or her room start to get messy, she starts singing the "clean up" song and starts cleaning up. When we've been playing with Mr. Potatohead and I need to go to another room, she says, "CLEAN UP!" and will clean it all up before joining me. She helps with laundry. She is just really embracing all of this. She really makes me proud with the measure of responsibility that she already seems to be assuming. I know that we'll go through stages where cleaning up is the worst punishment she could ever think of. I'll wait for those and deal with them when they come. For now, I'm just nurturing these habits and trying to teach her that a Godly woman does her job to the best of her abilities and does the important stuff first. Both of these concepts do NOT come naturally to me whatsoever, so it is very hard for me to teach and model these. It is making both of us better people...me because it helps me procrastinate less and be more productive and Cassie because it is teaching her life skills at the tender age of 22 months. How powerful is that?!?

Like I said, I am really not tooting my own horn. God gets the glory in this one 100%. He gave me the abilities to nurture. He has given me the insight (some through my cousin, Cami) that I need to start training her young. He's given me the strength to be a better housewife for HER sake and for HER benefit rather than pleasing myself.

So, if you all have ways that you've trained up your children (or children you work with if you're a teacher or the likes) or are trying to or whatever, please comment. I would love to hear new ways to help my child become a woman of God.

4 comments:

Chelf said...

Habit. I am an awesome Auntie. Every time I dress a kiddo, I say what I do. "This is your RIGHT arm, and this is your LEFT arm. Give me your LEFT foot." My niece KNEW right from left and correctly, by her second birthday.

I read to kids all the time. Niece has a bedtime story that she can recite to you. If you read it any different, she knows and WILL correct you.

I teach her big words for everyday things. Instead of saying here and there, I say BACK and FORTH, or TO and FRO. Niece sees my rocking chair, and immediately asks for "FORF!" which is our rocking game. (kind of a Near/Far like Grover from Sesame Street used to do with all the running)

SIL was youngest ever at her church to recite all the books of the Bible (66 Club), because she knew she could do it at the same time her brother (DH who is 2 years older) did it.

I am bad about housekeeping. I need to go do CUPS right now, as a matter of fact. :-) But the things that come naturally to me are singing, reading and showing others love. I can teach others to look for ways to show God's love in small, anonymous, random acts of kindness.

Niece also can sing many church songs, all the way through. She is now only 2 1/2. She changes the lyrics to fit her mood, and she knows that it is funny when she does it. We laugh when we say she is genius, but in many ways I believe she really IS. She has been given the room to explore, and had conversations about it all along the way.

The BEST time to teach is NOW, and when they are small. They can learn other languages, they can learn abstract concepts, they can take in so much more information than adults give them credit for; and the best of it influences them for the rest of their lives.

Kids will still surprise you. Friend Josh was maybe 5, and he was riding in the backseat of the car, past an Office store. He looks up at the sign, and says, "Mommy, what is technology?" We knew he could read, but WOW, that was big. Niece saw our closed laptop on a table, touched it lightly, and said, "THIS is a computer!" Nobody had ever told her that. We don't know how she learned it. They just absorb everything like sponges. Our jobs as women, moms, aunties, and the like is to be clean, clear water for them to soak up.

Sorry, didn't know this was going to end up so long.

Cami D said...

Yep, I agree with all that.

One major disturbance I have with this generation of Mothers is their lack of respect for the task or the importance of doing it right. It is NOT something that comes naturally (for the general population), like an instinct, but must be cultivated. You can learn how to raise children to love God. It is also not arduous or labor intensive--most days. It involves a lot more than just getting our chores done and checking off the list. You search for meaning in the smallest tasks. You use each opportunity for growth. Example from this week: I went to the kids school for Dr. Seuss birthday bash and a little first grade girl, who is notorious for her tantrums and lack of obedience to her Mom, came with Jacie for me to read to them (along with my boys and two more friends). She made a comment about being good while she was with me. I asked her about that and she said that she knew her Mom gave me permission to spank her. I said 'Well, yes, and I would if you needed it, but you should be good all the time, especially for your Mom. You know why? Because thats what GOD wants you to do. He wants you to be a good girl ALL the time.' Jacie then said 'Yeah, you wanna grow up to be a Christian someday and go to heaven.' The little girl asked--What's a Christian? Oh my!
When I was telling this to another friend and her husband, who don't attend church-I know them from wrestling club, the Dad said 'Oh, you used the old God and guilt trick!' WHAT?
I was using even the smallest situation to teach her something that she obviously isn't getting anywhere else!

Anyway, I just received an email-from familylife.com- that really applies for me right now in my parenting walk. JJ who is now 11 has started to notice girls and I think change his mind about them. Esp with a girl cousin his age who has recently started the 'change', that he is around often at church. The awakening has begun. I got an email from Dennis Rainey on the topic of protecting your children in this sexual society. It was very informative and I found a lot of advice very useful. The first half speaks about how to train your son because society is raising aggressive girls. Our sons needs to be prepared before being tempted. I liked a lot of it. But the last half is what I found the most useful. It is giving advice to Moms about how to raise your daughters to be Godly and pure. A lot of it is making your mind up ahead of time, preparing for it and examining your own life. How do you model Christ and what is your Christian walk communicating to your child?
Here is the last paragraph. I just love it!
"Whether you’re a mom or dad, and whether you’re raising boys or girls, your children need your love and guidance as never before. They need to be loved when they don’t believe in themselves. They need to be clothed in wisdom that morally protects them like armor."

I know this is a little beyond your years as a Mom, but these are issues facing me right now. I think its a good idea to share, to learn from others, to better prepare ourselves for what lies ahead.

LAURA said...

5 DAYS!! 5 DAYS FOR ME! 6 FOR YOU! IT'S ALMOST TIME! YAY! WOO-HOO!!

Bek said...

Okay, sheesh, where to begin? So many posts, so little time to comment on!!!

I loved your "B" list, it gave me some good ideas for when I make mine (when I find the time!) I loved yours, too, Michelle! I may not have commented on that, but I'm saying it now!

The dishwasher chore with Cassie is precious!! I can just hear faintly in my mind in that sweet voice, "Pates!!" Chloe's job every night before bed is to turn the light off ;) It lets her know it's bedtime, and puts a smile on her tired face.

I'm glad that today, Sunday, has been a sunny day for you, Devon! I know that snow last week had me gloomy, too!

Cami, I loved that website that you made mention of, and I agree with what you say about our culture! Thanks for the website!