Sunday, August 2, 2009

Imperfect Children

Sometimes my kid's imperfections drive me all the way bonkers, but sometimes I appreciate them, or at least the way they deal with them.


David hates bragging. It's his pet peeve. Kids who are heavy braggers don't end up on his list of friends and when his real friends brag I think it hurts him a little.

This may be in part because we've talked about the importance of honesty and telling the truth even when others don't etc. and I've used competition bragging as an example (Oh yeah? Well we have SEVEN computers and 12 TVs!). Part of this is because of the country we live in and how little value is placed on honesty (which I've mentioned before here and at the end of this one).

So now he hates it, whether someone is lying or not. There's one friend who does a lot of bragging that David rarely plays with and when he does he tells us about all the things the boy bragged about (and we try to be empathetic AND tell him not to gossip at the same time . . . tricky).

A couple of weeks ago David was telling me about how mean this boy was and that he was bragging again. The story went something like this (only with more detail):

"I was showing him this trick I can do on my bike and he didn't even care and just showed me that he can do it, too. And I showed him another and he showed me how he can do it better etc.. He just ALWAYS brags and I HATE IT!!"

So I asked David what he would think if the boy came to him and started showing him all these bike tricks he could do, one at at time. Would he think he was bragging?

There was a very brief pause and then his eyes grew wide and his jaw dropped (which was very cute). He totally got it and wasn't defensive about it or anything. I think the only thing he said was, "Oh my gosh." It was a really good lesson for him.


Ev sometimes has a hard time falling asleep at night. This is usually because she did something during the day that upset me and she can't stop thinking about it. Now she usually just tells me at the time, "Mom! I'm not going to be able to fall asleep tonight." And we work through her disobedience or whatever it is I'm upset about and she figures out how to right the wrong so she'll be able to sleep.

Last week she was still up reading at like 11:30 or something (at least an hour after her latest time of going to sleep.) I asked her what was up and after a little coaxing she told me that she had lied to dad during the day and she felt terrible.

Greg had given her money to take to the nearby store to buy some bread or something and she came home and told him there was no change, but there was and she had spent it.

I loved that this weighed so heavily on her conscience, of course, and told her that she needed to talk to Greg. She thought maybe I should just tell him everything and then she could come and say she was sorry? (nice try, Ev) She did the full confession, hugged her dad and was asleep within 60 seconds.


First of all you need to know that an important phrase Aarons uses is, "Ee dee day." Which, of course, means "It's okay." He says it whenever anyone stops crying or shows signs of not being upset anymore, including himself when he's hurt or mad and crying and, rather abruptly, stops and says, "Ee dee day!" with a smile. (weirdo) He also says it if you accidentally knock him over or something.

He recently found a doll that cries when you take out its pacifier. He loves this doll and loves puting the pacifier in and taking it out. He carries it around and allows it to cry for longer than my head can tolerate. But he's mostly sweet with it.

Except sometimes. Once I was in the room and he pulled out the baby's pacifier and let her cry for a minute. After a while he looked at the baby and said, "Ee dee day." Sort of soothingly. The baby continued to cry (as he continued to hold the pacifier in his hand) so he said it again. After another few seconds of the obnoxious, "Mama! Waaaaaaa! Mama! Waaaaaa!", he took the doll by the shoulders and yelled, "EE DEE DAY!"

At which point I started in on lessons on how to treat a baby.


Thora said...

I'm so glad that you're posting regularly again! I missed you when you were more irregular. I love Evie's conscience. Somedays I feel like my life is stuck in the threes with Lydia - it's nice to hear about older children - it makes me feel like this age might be worth it, if I can get through it.

Kazzy said...

How fun to get better acquainted with your kids. It sounds like your kids are so well-taught and well adjusted, learning that mistakes are part of being human. Cool.

Melanie J said...

I LOVE that story about Evie. And I love that you see your children this way.

Annette Lyon said...

And then, I imagine grabbed some chocolate and ear plugs?

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I'm just so glad to see that other perfect moms have imperfect children too.

(I'm kidding.)

This is such a great reminder that our weaknesses are all part of our development, and I'm sure God looks at us and teaches us much the same way that you do with your children.

gramalee said...

Ewie's angst has got to be a classic. I remember the moment clearly as I wrestled about keeping the change from a errand for my mom. Finally, totally tormented by guilt demons, I stopped making my bed and yelled "OKAY! I'll give it back!"
Thanks Lu.

Susan said...

Stop making me miss those guys so much! I love them all, and I can totally picture each of them as you tell the story. You're such a great mom (or maybe you just got lucky 3 times in a row with great kids like that!)

dp said...

Good, just good.

L.T. Elliot said...

That last one was HILARIOUS! And would that we all should be as good as your daughter, huh?

Mrs4444 said...

What are you talking about? They sound perfect to me :)

Heather of the EO said...

Parenting is hard work...ugh...and you guys are really doing an amazing job.

That last one really made me laugh. EE DEE DAY ALREADY!!! :)

Alison Wonderland said...

Oooo I wish my kids had the conscience of your Evie!

I don't get what Aaron did wrong. Isn't that how you do it?

Kimberly said...

Those are some amazing kids you're raising!

charrette said...

I think it's amazing you're so tuned-in to each of their weaknesses and are actually helping turn them into strengths. What lucky kids to have you for a mom.

JustRandi said...

I love the way you're teaching your children. So many parents stop at just "don't do that".


Little GrumpyAngel said...

You are amazing. You take the time to teach your kids. I mean really teach them, not just yell at them for doing something wrong and putting the fear of Zeus in them. Thanks for sharing these stories about them. The last one was pretty funny.