Monday, July 15, 2013

Sometimes They Just Need To Be Taught

I walked into the kid's bathroom to grab something only to find balled up toilet paper NEXT to the toilet, again.  REALLY?! Who does that?  That is SO gross!

Same day, I go to pull out some dishes for lunch.  As soon as I opened the cabinet door, every plate and bowl came toppling out of the cabinet, and I couldn't seem to find a single cup anywhere!  Breathing a little shorter and slightly raising my eyebrows in annoyance I try to just breathe, swallow down the frustration and neatly stack the dishes back into place and retrieve the cups from the farthest corner of the cabinet.

I decided to go tidy up some of the house, as I often do to relieve some built-up angst.  I began in the girls room and got a little carried away, as I tend to do when straightening up things that someone else puts in places that are not the designated "home" for the "things" they have put "away".  The shirts are in the pajama bin, the skirts are in with the jeans, and all the baby doll stuff is EVERYWHERE!  The tension begins to boil inside of me until I explode!

After getting frustrated over the same 3 scenarios (and several others) over and over and over it dawned on me that sometimes the things that I get irritated or frustrated over are things that most of the time I have neglected to teach.

Sure, when the girls began to unload the dishwasher I was simply in awe of the fact that my little "helpers" were actually growing into REAL helpers, that I could care less how the dishes were put away.  But after time the fact that all the pots, pans and lids were thrown placed in the correct cabinet just wasn't enough.  They were all messy and caddywhompus, and caddywhompus is NOT a friend of everything-has-a-home-and-must-be-just-so mom.  But did I once stop to teach them how to place the lids upside down on the pots and stack them up like a "mountain" to make them all fit together?  Did I once explain how you have to line the plates upright, in order to house the bowls right next to them, stacked up inside of each other, because, by-golly, we have an army to feed and that makes for a plethora of dishes to keep in the cabinet to feed the masses.

But what about the toilet paper all over the floor ALL.OF.THE.TIME?  Well, did I ever stop to realize that one of my children missed the first 3 1/2 years of my instruction and example where she would have learned that toilet paper actually goes in the toilet, not wadded up on the floor?  She peed on the floor or in her crib most of the time before we met her and if she ever went on the potty, she most likely didn't have any toilet paper!  Even when we were overseas with her I would run to catch her going potty to lift her up on the seat and wipe her myself.  "Wipe" lessons were neglected.

But what about the bedroom and the "stuff" that needs to be placed in the correct "home".  First of all, I have to go way back on this one.  Way back to when I decided to make a "home" for something...and then change that "home" to a basket...then a bin, then a drawer, then a different basket...I can't ever make up my mind as to where the "perfect" home is!  Yet I expect my kids to be able to keep up with the schizophrenic "stuff" that keeps disappearing and then later reappearing in different places all.the.time.  But even beyond that, have I ever stopped to explain to my littles as to the correct home for their stuff?  Maybe even sit down with them and tell them that this basket is only for tops/shirts.  This other basket is ONLY for jammies.  And if you need me to hang something up, just ask me really quick, instead of shoving it in with the dress-up clothes or Barbie furniture:)

What a difference a little instruction and gentle guidance has made in our house.

Oh the things we learn as mamas.

I can be taught, and one lesson I am constantly made aware of in this house is grace.  I need grace.  They need grace.  We are in this together.  We are a team!  I may be the coach, but I certainly need a touch of grace when all I want to do is yell at the team and constantly switch play books on them.  And they need grace as I adjust my expectations and relay the plans for the next play.

To the Colony who will one day read all these posts:
I love you with all my heart.  Thank you for your grace and forgiveness, even when I have to ask of it multiple times a day.  Thank you for not expecting me to be the perfect mommy!  Thank you for being patient with me as I navigate the waters of motherhood.  I pray that you will turn out just fine and that one day we can laugh about all the things we have graced each other with:)
With all my love,
Your Mommy
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