Wednesday, May 9, 2012

This Mama Needs To Stop Barking!

          I don't know about your house but at my house bedtime is somewhere between a traumatic to a chaotic experience. I can't wait for bedtime but at the same time I dread it. Bedtime is hard work! There are baths to be taken, jammies to be worm and then there is the dreaded teeth brushing!!! So, to say the least, bedtime doesn't bring out any beauty in me and many times is an emotional safari for the boys and me.
          Last night my children were particularly more tired than usual. So I had an even greater sense of urgency to get them into bed.We started the much dreaded bedtime routine. As always I was pushing my kids to do what they needed to do in order to get to bed in a timely matter. My little four year old who once upon a time was the easiest and most willing participant in our crazy bedtime routine is now just as non compliant as the rest of them. So off he went to play with his toys on the living room floor. All I could think about was how that darn kid was doing it again, defying my orders! Playing when he should be getting ready for bed! I started thinking my typical rant about how I can't do it all and how these kids need to help out a little bit. I had two of the four boys ready for bed so I decided to put the them in to their beds!
My favorite paper plate brand.
          Off I went to tuck them in and listen to their bedtime prayers. In the back of my mind I was thinking about how I was gonna get this kid of mine that was currently doing his "own" thing in the living room into bed. How dare he defy my orders! I am the boss!!! In the time it took me to get the two oldest settled into bed and to walk back into the living room my four year old had changed his activity! How could he? Who does he think he is? He went from playing with those over priced hunks of plastic called Squinkies to an art project! An art project! Unbelievable! I was just opening my mouth to start barking at him because not only was he all involved in his art project but he was using my paper plates. MY PAPER PLATES!!! Paper plates in my mind are my sacred and secret little saviors. Paper plates equal less dishes piling up in the sink. They make life easier. It's always a sad day for me when they run out.
          I open my mouth again to really get a good loud bark going when I see him intently drawing lines all around the plate. I close my mouth and begin to walk closer to him to get a better look. He proudly declares   "Look mama what I am making do you like it?" and then I am humbled to tears " Yes, Jacob I like it. You are doing a wonderful job." He then explains to me that he wants to tape it up by his brothers crib. The very brother who Jacob declared the day before as one of his best friends. How could I say no? My sargent instinct wanted to bark at him and tell him all about how that was a horrible idea because tape ruins paint and the baby will pull it down and eat it. Instead I choked down my bark and told him how I thought that was a wonderful idea. He finished his drawing and all by himself without me having to bark at him found a perfect place. A place where his brother won't pull it down and eat it but where I can see it constantly to remind me to stop barking.

Jacob's Masterpiece
What a beautiful, happy, sun shinning and smiling face with big eyes reminding me to bark less and smile more. After he was done taping his masterpiece on the wall he quietly and calmly went to bed and I laid down to nurse my baby to humbly reflect on how I should bark less and love more.

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