Learning childLIKE

A few months ago, I took my 5 year-old son in to get tested for seasonal allergies.  He is always the first to start with the runny nose, red eyes, sneezing, and all that jazz when the seasons change.  The pediatrician recommended we go so we could see how bad they were and what to do from there.  We sat down with the allergist and he asked questions and then they did the poke test.  They wrote like 40 numbers on my 5 year-old’s back and poked him with different substances to see how he reacted.  I was in awe of my 5 year-old.  I told him beforehand that they were going to have to poke his back and he made up his mind, by himself, that he was going to be brave and that his blanket named Moo-Moo would help him through.  He didn’t even flinch.  He just laid their quietly and got all the pokes done.  I asked him if he was okay and it was just like, “yeah, I am brave.” Simple. It turned out that he didn’t react to anything AT ALL!!!  The allergist was stunned and asked if they could do a couple of injections in his arm to go deeper into the skin.  I asked my 5 year-old if he was okay with that, “yep, I am brave!” And so they injected his arm with 5 separate things.  He did flinch a little but said he was fine.  So, he doesn’t have seasonal allergies.  He is really, really allergic to dogs and cats. I will spare you all the back and forth between the doctors but, my big guy is totally fine.

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I was thinking about how crazy it was that I let them poke him all over his back and how I don’t think it would have been very fun.  He was totally okay with it and enjoyed his sucker and stickers that they rewarded him with.  Plus he thought it was cool that he still had marker numbers all over his back (they all came off in the bath!).  I learned a lot from my child that day:

1- When people tell you that something may be scary but that you will get a reward after of having more knowledge of something, you can make up your mind beforehand.

2- When you make up your mind before hand, you STICK to it!

3- It is only as scary as you make it.

4-A little sugar makes a big smile.

5- Trust.

6- Positive self talk is a must.

7- Looking at life at different angles can be a lot of fun.

As I have been reflecting on this, a scripture has been running through my head.  It is from a sermon from King Benjamin in Mosiah.  The king is telling his people many things before he gives the throne to his son and is reflecting on the lessons that he has learned.

“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.”

I submitted my 5 year-old to the poke test and the injections and he WILLINGLY submitted to them and was submissive, meek, humble, patient, and totally still full of love for me.  I need to become more like that.  I am not saying that I need to be child-ISH, but child-LIKE. I learn a lot from my kids every day and I learn a lot of repeat lessons as well from them.  But this really got me.

How can I become more childlike in my every day?  Am I willing to do things that may sound scary, but that offer a reward of knowledge that I am in need of?  Do I make up my mind to be brave and stick with it to the end?  Do I trust God to put me in situations and with certain people to help make a difference?  Do I engage in positive self talk and look at things from different angles?  I certainly get my sugar intake, don’t you worry about that! Is my relationship with God the same as my relationship with my child?  Do I willingly go where He wants me to go, not complain, am patient, and full of love?  I need a lot of work.  As an adult, I feel like I have chosen to close off some of those characteristics to keep myself safe, but you know what?  God is full of love for me and wants the best for me.  I need to be more childlike.

In Matthew 18:3 it says:

“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

Am I truly converted and acting in a childlike manner to my Heavenly Father who is my loving parent?  I still have a lot to learn from my children and a lot to learn to be more like them!

Blessed with Earthly Angels and a Big Mama Bear

The past couple of weeks we have been especially blessed.  We have had two different packages left on our door step, one specifically for our kids (so full of little toys and things the box wasn’t even closed all the way) and another one for the kids and us, as parents (Little People Nativity and some Christmas cash).  I can’t even tell you what these few things have meant to me.  Remember my post about not feeling like I matter, well receiving these unknown gifts made my heart burn.  It was a tender reminder to me, that someone out there was thinking of our family.  I have no idea who gave us those gifts, but the greatest gift they really gave, was love.  It wasn’t about the gifts really for me, it was the joy that entered our home when our kids especially felt SPECIAL LOVE for them.  I didn’t feel like we were worthy of such gifts, but the gift of love and joy are true gifts from a Heavenly Father that loves us.  What a blessing to see this happen in our own home.  Then this week, some special new friends, have picked our family to do the 12 days of Christmas to.  I have no idea who it is, but our kids look forward to it every night.

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To say that I don’t feel blessed, would be a lie.  How blessed I feel by “earthy angels” who have shared love and joy in our home and continue to do so.  What a blessing!  I hope you are looking for the blessings in your life and in ways to be a blessing to those around you.

With all that said though, there is more.  Some days I feel like I’ve got this parenting thing down, but other days I feel like a complete failure.  I felt like this week has been a dismal failure.  Maybe, it is way too many failures that have culminated.  They have been complaining about EVERYTHING and one kid has even started the “I never get to do what I want to do…”.  The other huge struggle this week…eating dinner.

We have been working on breaking our kids’ habit of being picky eaters.  We have introduced a lot of new food along with new rules for dinner.  One rule is they have to try 5 bites of whatever is new.  They don’t have to LIKE it, but they have to EAT it.  Well, tonight it was all out war.  I was excited to eat dinner until the complaining started before I even sat down.  I love cooking, I love baking, and it is hard to hear complaining before I even reach the dinner table.  Ugh.  This challenge of introducing new things etc., is not for the weak in spirit and consistency is the key, but tonight I snapped.  I made my 4-year-old sit at the table until he ate a carrot and a potato (it was like ¼ of each).  He did not like that.  He sat there for a long time, with 3 bathroom breaks and lots of complaining.  I finally let him leave, but he will be eating said food at breakfast and lunch if he hasn’t finished (and dinner is leftovers).  Maybe I am too mean of a parent, but I am trying to show him that I will follow through and his complaining is not going to make his food go away.  But, that doesn’t mean that I feel great about it.  I feel like a total failure.  Why can’t we just sit down for Sunday dinner, have a great conversation about what we learned about at church, and enjoy being together.  Someday..

I feel like sometimes I don’t know how to be a mom, I don’t know how to teach them certain things, and I just hope that I am doing something right, because I feel like I am ruining them. With all that said though, I want the best for them.  I want them to be able to be good people and good kids and respectable.  I want to see what they are passionate about and what drives them. I love to see them create and imagine and grow and I marvel at all their little brains can do and learn in so short of a time.  I want to be a close knit family, I want my kids to be each others best friends and to enjoy life together.  I want them all to know that I will fight for them.  I want to share, tell, and sink love deep in their hearts from their mom.  I don’t want them to question at all that I love them, and I just hope that all my failures and shortcomings I will somehow be able to teach them to love and serve and care for each other and for those around them.  I want them to be the people reaching out, like people have been reaching out to our family, instead for greedy gift hoarders.  For Christmas I want our home to be a place of peace and a place where all love more.

Fruit Snack Attack

This week I got to go on a field trip with LOTS of 1st graders.  It was actually really fun and the time went too quickly.  I was in charge of 3 of them, and those three girls keep me running.  It was fun to see things through their little 6-7-year-old eyes.  So fun. Normally the kids eat lunch at 11:40 when they are at school. Well, the field trip was LONG for them.  At about 11:30, you could see them kinda get glassy eyed and slow down.  When we climbed on the bus to come back to school it was 12:10 and we had a 45 minute drive back to school.  Luckily the 1st grade teachers knew their students well.  They passed out fruit snacks and water.  Normally, I HATE fruit snacks, but I had some any way and they were the best fruit snacks I have ever had.  I think I just needed some sugar to boost me through the craziness.  So, sometimes you just have to be flexible.

There are many things that I said I wasn’t going to do when I was a parent, but I have learned to be flexible.  We don’t have the financial security that I thought we would, we don’t buy the expensive mac and cheese, and my kids don’t love vegetables.  But, we have fun, we smile, we laugh and we read together.  I love my life and am so grateful for every day.  But, I still don’t buy fruit snacks.

A long hug

Have you ever heard of the Piano Guys?  If you haven’t it, you should.  Tragedy struck one of them 2 weeks ago.  There has been lots about it in the media where I live, I have shed tears about it and struggled with what I would do as a parent.  Truthfully, being a mom has been hard this past week with my daughter.  I feel like every day is a battle of figuring out how to help her feel GOOD and not sick.  It is hard because sometimes she looks great and is laughing, but people don’t see the tears, hear her cries or see her in pain at all crazy hours of the night.  As I have been trying to figure out how to help, my mind has been drawn to the experiences of the Piano Guys.

Today I read this blog post https://thepianoguys.com/message-piano-guy-cello-guy/.  Read it and think about what it means to you.

Then give someone a long hug…just because.

Watching

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This week of motherhood has been a huge learning curve.  Last week my daughter got sick, I am not going to go into details, but it is not something that just goes away over night.  It is going to be something that we deal with all the time.  There is a family tendency towards it, but every person is different.  And it is hard.

It is not that her condition is necessarily hard to diagnose and there are things to help, but it is basically try and fail and try and fail and try and make progress and the pattern repeats.  You know what the hardest part is, though?  Watching your child suffer.  It is hard to see my daughter wrench in pain, scream because it hurts, and not be able to do ANYTHING about it.  At times I feel worthless.  All I can do sometimes is just give her a hug and tell her to calm down.  But you know what I want to do?

I just want to take it away and have my happy girl back.

I am sure that is what Heavenly Father feels like at times with me and probably every one of us.  I know that He doesn’t like to see us in pain, but that it is part of our learning curve.  I am sure that He longs to take away our pain, sorrow, and heart ache, but knows that it will teach us so much more then just taking it away.  I also know that He has given me a hug and told me to calm down.  Sometimes it comes in the form of another person who is being His hands, and sometimes it comes as a feeling in my heart.  He never leaves me, unless I turn away.

I plan to be there for my daughter, and know that Heavenly Father is there right now for her and for me.  Sometimes it doesn’t make it any easier, but I am so glad I don’t have to do this parenting thing alone.  I always have someone to turn to and I always can talk to Him, in prayer.  If you didn’t know, prayer is power.  Literally, prayer is power!

My prayers are for my daughter and for ways to be able to help her.  And I know that there will be many hugs for both of us.

Skinned knees and bikes

This summer my six year old learned to ride a REAL bike.  We were hoping she would learn to ride last year, but she just wasn’t interested.  This year, she wanted to do it and had it down in 5 minutes.  There were definitely a lot of skinned knees though, like A LOT! She figured it out in 5 minutes, but in the ensuing days I think she fell more than that first glorious day.  Normally she is a little bit of a drama queen when she gets hurt, but this time it was different.  She would fall or sometimes jump off her bike before the fall and get right back up.  I was seriously impressed with her determination to become a “master” bike rider as she called it.  I love to see my kids succeed (who doesn’t?) but I loved even more to watch her truly self-motivated to accomplish her own goal.

This summer we also tried to teach our 4 year old to ride his scooter.  Now, you are probably thinking, can’t he just figure it out?  Well, it is a totally new concept for him.  I would say that he is not uncoordinated, but he was having a hard time connecting all the dots.  But there was a HUGE difference…I wanted him to do it.  HE didn’t want to do it.  The more I pushed, the more he pushed back, sometimes literally.  So I gave up trying to help him, and told him he needed to figure it out for himself.  Well, he doesn’t want to.  He uses his scooter to build construction sites and uses it as a wall to make his sisters crazy when they are trying to ride their bikes.  He is definitely more interested in building, digging in the dirt, and teasing his sisters- which is totally fine!

Then there is the two year old.  Yep, she actually took the trike from the 4 year old and took off leaving him sitting in the dirt.  “But mom that is my trike!” Haha, now you know the attitudes of my little ones.  They are all great, but this past year has been the first time when their little personalities are becoming more dominant and the sibling rivalry is coming out. In a way I totally love it, I love to see how they problem solve, or have a LACK of problem solving.  Never a dull day here.  One thing I have really been learning with my kids though, is to just let them be kids.  Sometimes I totally group them into a group called, “little adults.” If you want to read a good parenting book, you should look into “123 Magic.” You can check it out here. I expect them to do things like a rational adult would when their little brains are still just trying to figure out things, like problem solving.

In a way though, I wish I was more like them.  I wish I had the internal motivation to do things like my 6 year old.  She came with that drive, I didn’t teach it to her.  I want to jump right back up when I fall so I can become a “master.”  I wish I could not be afraid to share my opinion like my 4 year old.  And choose to do things that matter to me.  I want to learn from the good around me and laugh like my 2 year old.  I want to have fun EVERY day.  I think that is why in the scriptures we are counseled to be more childlLIKE.  Not childISH.  To be more trusting, more loving, less likely to harbor hard feelings and to go to time out and forget about it.  One of my favorite scriptures related to this is in the Book of Mormon (want to find out more about what I believe?  Go here or here).

Mosiah 3:19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child,submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

Sometimes I do “inflict” on my kids my little temper tantrums, but they love me just the same when I tuck them in at night and sing songs.  I need to be more like that.  I want to be full of love, ALWAYS!

I can learn a lot from my kids every day.  This summer I am choosing to let them be kids.  I didn’t go crazy with schedules or rules or enforce summer homework, I didn’t need too.  My 6 year old will read for hours at a time by herself without me bugging her.  If anything with her, I have to take books away.  Although I did request book reports and she doesn’t really like that.  My 4 year old has decided that he wants to learn to read and is memorizing sight words, because HE wants too.  He has also become very creative this summer, he will color for hours and create silly things EVERY day.  My 2 year old, she is figuring out that she doesn’t have to scream all the time, but she can watch her brother and sister and do what they do, and most of the time they give her what she wants.  Each one of them are different in so many ways, but they are alike in that they are just kids.  I want them to enjoy their childhood and enjoy each other.  Here is to many more skinned knees, bike rides, stories, coloring, problem solving, endless block towers and much, much more love!