The Kids

The Kids

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

When Did I Become The Parent?

Every now and then, I get this feeling of "I am actually the parent and in charge of these little ones" and it causes a slight panic in me. I find this feeling occurs when a possible catastrophe breaks out.

An example would be a few months ago when Abby put a bead up her nose. I had a stream of thoughts run through my mind in about a second, with the first being, "I need my mom to fix this." Then I remembered I was the mom and had to fix the problem. After receiving the divinely inspired answer of having her blow her nose, the bead popped out and she was safe.

(This was actually a very helpful experience for the incident of Caleb putting peas up his nose the other day, but I will let Nick share that fun story-what is wrong with our children?)

This feeling of panic happened again the other night. I was on my way to bed around midnight after finishing some laundry and packing for our trip to my parent's house. I heard a cough from Caleb's room, followed by a loud cry. I walked in there and found him covered in vomit.

Oh, it gets better.

He was covered in his dinner all over his face, his pajamas, his pillow, his blanket, his sheet, and (most unfortunately) his lovey. I do not think I can ever eat peas and carrots again (and it is possible he will not, either).

I took one look at him and immediately wished for my mom to take care of it. However, something kicks in when one is a parent. Some magical thing happens that takes away the smell (well, some of the smell-let's be honest-it was pretty bad) and the love for the child overcomes the natural reaction to walk away.

After cleaning him and collecting the vomit covered articles, I began to wonder where his dad went to. I seemed to remember him passing by the room, groaning in agony, and walking away. Fortunately (okay, fortunately for me), Caleb found him in bed, went to snuggle, and immediately threw up again all over his dad.

I was downstairs, starting the washing machine, when I heard my name being called in extreme panic. I thought someone was dying.

After cleaning up the second mess (and finding myself believing in karma), Caleb finally calmed down and went to sleep. As I finally drifted off to sleep, I kept wondering how I got to this part of life. It feels like yesterday that I was the child who was sick and being comforted and cleaned up by my mom. My life is suddenly not my own and my priorities are for things I never dreamed they would be for.

Yet, somehow, I find it all worth it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Polite Talking Back

I have to hand it to my son. At least when the little sinner talks back to me, he says it like this: "No thank you."

"Caleb, pick up your toys."
"No thank you."

"Caleb, come get your coat on."
"No thank you."

"Caleb, finish your dinner before walking away from the table."
"No thank you."

(And my personal favorite)
"Caleb, if you do not stop doing that, you will need to stand in the corner."
"No thank you."

It gets even better when he realizes he is not winning the battle. The "no thank you's" get louder and come out with more force. An occasional hand gesture with accompany the phrase.

Ah, how I love the terrible twos.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

When I'm 21

While putting Abby to bed last night, she smiled sweetly at me and asked, "Mommy, how old will I be when I get married?"

I fought the urge to respond with "really old" and just said, "someday." I also explained how I was 24 when I got married. She said, "I think I'll be 21 or 20 something." When I nodded and smiled she decided, "I think I'll be 21."

In some ways it is nice to hear her talk about marriage-Nick and I must be doing something right to make it look desirable. In other ways, the thought of her growing up is so strange to me. She has been little for so long that my mind cannot comprehend her being at an age where she could become a wife. I do pray for her future husband, but I guess I have been keeping the image of her actually marrying this unknown man tucked away in my mind for another day.

She is only four-years old, but conversations like this bring the "someday" closer and closer.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Few Lines Out Of Their Mouths

I lit a candle on the dinning room table the other day. Caleb immediately yelled, "Birthday Cake!" For some reason, the word "candle" does not come naturally to him, but the sight of a flame makes him think it is someone's birthday. Then he starts singing, "Happy Birthday to Caleb, Happy Birthday to Abby, Happy Birthday to Daddy, Happy Birthday to Grandma..." The list goes on and on.

In this case, while Caleb was singing his song in celebration of a flame, Abby decided to make a wish on the candle (my kids are clearly in need of entertainment). This was her wish: "I wish to go to Heaven." She also mumbled a few more lines so quietly that I could not hear her (between her and God, I suppose), but just that line by itself broke my heart. I asked her why that was her wish and her response was, "I really want to go there because we haven't been there in a long time." Of course I immediately asked her when she had been there before, but she could not remember at the time.

What had me laughing last night was at bedtime. Our routine is to put Caleb in bed first, while we pray as a family and then we take Abby to bed. Usually Abby prays and Caleb tried to copy her. He manages to say every third word in attempting to keep up with his sister, who rattles off her prayer pretty quickly. Last night we were trying to get Caleb to pray on his own, but our stubborn daughter yelled, "No! No! I'm doing it-not Caleb!" As she was finishing this ridiculous rant, Caleb bowed his head and firmly said, "Amen!" Just the timing of it had us in tears with laughter.

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Example

I know I should be setting an example for my children on what a Christian should be. They follow my actions and attitudes. I hear Abby when she says, "Oh Mommy, it's a red light" in a sad voice while we are driving. I hear Caleb say, "Go, go, go" when we are stuck in traffic. So, clearly, I could be doing a better job.

I have really been trying to work on my patience, particularly when driving. I could blame my bad attitude on growing up in the country where the occasional Amish buggy might get in the way. I could say that I am still getting used to city driving. (And then I could admit that I have lived here for five years now and realize I am full of it.)

Just when I think I have come a long way, today happened. I was driving home from Abby's school, going through a series of lights not too far before our house. The last light before a two mile stretch of nothing brings two lanes down to one. Technically there are two lanes going through the light, but immediately it comes down to one after crossing through.

So, I am sitting at the next to the last light, leading the line (my competitive spirit loves when that happens) when I see this little blue car sneaking out of the line behind me to park himself next to me at the soon to be non-existent lane. There is a chance he wants to turn onto another road or pull into a business, but I know this type. He honestly thinks he is going to pass me, in my really cool mini-van.

This little voice inside of me (I think it is called a conscience) is telling me to relax and just drive normal. But, the sinful part of me (which won today) floored it the second that light turned green. Never mind the cost of gas and how that was really wasteful. Never mind the sounds of my kids in the back, saying "Whoa!" and the stroller in the back crashing against the side of the van. I was determined.

Unfortunately, Mr. Blue Car decided to floor it as well. I had one of two choices-slow down and suck up my pride or keep going.

I kept going.

And I won.

But, did I really? Yes, there was a huge satisfaction to seeing that little blue car get behind me in humiliation. Getting smoked by a mini-van should teach him a lesson. However, what did I really prove? What if that guy was really late for something important? What if he was having a bad day and I just become the icing on the cake? And what if my kids decide to follow my behavior and think of themselves first in every situation?

I need to remember this the next time I am encountered with this situation-which should be around the same time tomorrow when I am driving home again.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


If you know me well, you know that one of my favorite bands is Caedmon's Call. On their latest album, they have a song entitled "Sacred" that is an excellent representation of my life right now. Abby and Caleb both love the entire album, particularly this song. Abby sings along every time, which makes the song all the more precious to me.

This house is a good mess
It's the proof of life
No way would I trade jobs
But it don't pay overtime

I'll get to the laundry
I don't know when
I'm saying a prayer tonight
'Cause tomorrow it starts again

Could it be that everything is sacred?
And all this time
Everything I've dreamed of
Has been right before my eyes

The children are sleeping
But they're running through my mind
The sun makes them happy
And the music makes them unwind

My cup runneth over
And I worry about the stain
Teach me to run to You
Like they run to me for every little thing

When I forget to drink from You
I can feel the banks harden
Lord, make me like a stream
To fill the garden

Wake up little sleeper
The Lord God Almighty
Made your mama keeper
So rise and shine, rise and shine
Rise and shine, cause...