Motherhood, Mostly (a 7QT post)

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ThisLittleLight_Beatitudes_CoverI’ve been so busy lately, I just now realized I never shared this! We are running a giveaway of This Little Light of Mine on Goodreads. Six copies available, to be “drawn” by Goodreads on May 1st. Click on over and sign up!

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I think every woman–probably everyone–is well aware that the reproductive cycle affects a woman’s Crank-O-Meter. But I always thought it was Phase III, post-ovulation infertility, i.e. PMS, that was the cranky time. But in a recent  column in CCL’s Family Foundations, Dr. Gregory Popcak mentioned that it’s often the transition from Phase I to Phase II–i.e., the time when you’re entering fertility–that you get the most moody. It was like a light went on in my head, because my fuse is wwwwaaaayyy shorter with my kids during that time. (Three guesses why I’m reflecting on THAT this week.)

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Yes, TMI, I know. But you know how the Europeans are always telling us we’re Puritans at heart? It’s like we want sex and sexuality splashed front and center all over everything–as long as we keep it fun and un-threatening (read that shallow, pointless, and without significance beyond the bedroom). Ladies, if our bodies are causing us to have difficulty with patience at a certain point in the cycle, I think it’s important to acknowledge that and offer each other encouragement in overcoming it.

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Michael is why her glasses are falling off her face in this picture. He had them stretched out.

Michael is why her glasses are falling off her face in this picture. He had them stretched out.

To return to the topic of #2. Julianna’s glasses, in combination with Julianna’s cognitive weakness, are making me IN.SANE this week. The worst part is I can’t yell at anyone about it, because the at-fault person isn’t old enough to “get it.” Yes, you guessed it: Michael. Michael likes to go up to Julianna and rip her glasses off her face, then twist, squeeze, throw and/or hide them. It happens every single day, usually several times a day. But he’s like a dog; if you expect him to connect words and/or consequence with his action, it has to happen right then, and I don’t discover it until some time later, when I look up from dinner prep or dishes-doing or whatever and see her sans glasses again. And of course, she has no earthly idea where they are.

Thursday morning I’d had enough. I called her over. “Julianna, when Michael takes your glasses, what do you say?”

“Thank you.”

“No. You say Mommy help. Say ‘Mommy help.'”

“Bah-ee heh.”

You can see all his Mayhem in this picture...

All his potential for Mayhem shines through in this picture…

“When Michael takes your glasses, what do you say?”

“Thank you.”

“No. You say Mommy help. Say….Mommy help.” She said it with me.

“When Michael takes your glasses, what do you say?”

“Thank you.”

We tried this ten times in a row. I kid you not. TEN. Can I say that loud enough? TEN!!!! And STILL she didn’t get it!

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This encounter, which I tried with variations (what do you DO when Michael takes your glasses?) all the way to school, with very little success, got me to thinking about that “okay?” thing. Modern parents are always getting lambasted for finishing instructions with “okay,” because they’re asking permission of their children instead of taking charge. I try to avoid that word, but not because it’s a sign of asking my kids’ permission. No parent says “Okay?” because they’re asking their kid’s permission. What “okay?” is doing is requesting acknowledgment. It’s akin to “Do you understand?” or “Do you hear me?” All morning I wanted to tack on the word “okay?” to those exchanges with Julianna, because I wanted her to acknowledge that she understood. And I didn’t do it, because you know what? SHE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND.

(Update: At dinner that night, when I asked her what to do when Michael took her glasses, she got it right! Of course, she still didn’t apply the knowledge the next three times Michael yanked her glasses off her face, but…that’s progress, right?)

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Alex 1st Communion 041Oh yes, in case you don’t follow all the time, our household had its first First Communion last Sunday. And this reminds me of a cute thing I never shared. They have an evening of “centers” to review all the theological and Scriptural concepts several weeks before Easter, but the highlight for the kids is getting to try an unconsecrated host and wine. Alex’s reaction to the host was a tip of the head one direction and the other, raised eyebrows, and this comment: “It kind of tastes like popcorn, only flat and with no flavor.” HA!

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Alex 1st Communion 056And you know you need a Nicholas moment, right? The other day he was trying to tell a little friend (not this one) when Julianna’s birthday was. “It’s Februay–Faybeeway–Febyewrehr–Febeeyayee–what is it again, Mommy?”

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 214)

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9 thoughts on “Motherhood, Mostly (a 7QT post)

  1. At my daughter’s first communion practice, one boy complained that the wine tasted yucky. His father explained that this was because the new priest was buying really cheap wine.

    The beauty in watching our children receive the sacraments is that it keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously or placing Jesus on a pedestal.

    • You know I can see people taking you to task for that last, but I think you’re right! Jesus’ humanity often gets overlooked. He couldn’t have been as effective a preacher as he was if he didn’t use humor, if he didn’t relate, and no one relates to ANYONE else if they take themselves too seriously.

  2. I can completely see how you’d be frustrated. Ten times…wow! I have seen my sister have to go through some things like that (not exactly…but kind of) with my autist niece.

    Congrats to Alex on First Holy Communion! I teared up at both of my oldest two…I would imagine it will happen again next year with Helen. Such a special time.

  3. joymhb

    Thank you for #5, I struggle with that so much ~ I get grief from my mom and MIL that I’m asking the kids permission but really I’m just trying to establish that I was heard ~ need to find a different word but hard habit to break.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    • I know just how you feel, and I’ve NEVER used that word! It’s like a habit you don’t have to get into; you just have to fight it even before you ever get started. I will say I substitute “Do you understand?” a lot. Although my stubborn 4yo has figured out to say “no.” Sigh. 🙂

  4. Oh wow, that is incredibly frustrating. Both that Michael does that to her glasses and that she doesn’t stop him/understand what to do. I don’t think I would’ve had the patience to try ten times in a row, and then try again after dinner, but I suppose that’s the point of parenting, huh? That they’re *not* going to get it the first time, or the 10th time and that’s why we’re here for them? It’s just such a frustrating process.

    Thanks for the bengay/Tiger balm tip. I’m definitely picking some up while I am out tomorrow. I’m so looking forward to some relief!

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