The Kids

The Kids

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Speech Meets

My kids had an assignment for school to give a speech.  They had to pick either a poem or a Bible passage (both from a page of suggestions to pick from), memorize it and then present it to their class.  After that, each class would select two students for a Bible verse and two students for a poem to go to the speech meet that our school hosts next month.

As much as I would love to see my kids participate in the speech meet (yes, I was one of those awesomely cool kids who proudly went to a speech meet from time to time in high school), I did not pressure them or keep talking about the meet.  I just wanted them to do their best.

And, quite honestly, Abby has a basketball tournament that same day so it REALLY was okay with me if they were not chosen.

Now I expected my over-achiever Abby to work hard and want to be selected.  Caleb, on the other hand-he is so smart, but because of that, does not always try very hard.  So I was very surprised when, during the last couple of days before the speech, he suddenly wanted to practice and work hard.

The day of the speech, he wanted to get up early to practice (I don't blame him-I wake up early every day because it is the only time the house is quiet enough to think).  My Caleb, who I have to drag out of bed every morning (except for the weekend, when he miraculously bounds into my room at 7am) was up at 6:20 am to practice his speech.

I know.  Amazing.

Came to learn AFTER he left that the speech was to be delivered the next day.  I wrote it down for the wrong date.

No problem-he wanted to wake up early the next day, just to make sure he was ready.

I went to the school that afternoon for the Valentine's Day party and before I left, his teacher gave me the letter that said he was selected for the speech meet.  When I told him about it, the look on his face was precious.  My middle child was so excited and proud that it brought tears to my eyes.  For once, it was all about him and not something "his sister had already done before."

I later found out that he had told his dad on the way to school that day that he really wanted to make the speech meet and was going to do it.  Well then-I guess he had made up his mind.

Now, for my over-achiever daughter, whose speech was not given until two days ago (her teacher had to go out of town and then fell ill, so they finally gave their speeches to their sub).  She knew her speech forwards and backwards (after all, she had an extra week to know it), delivered it with humor and expression, but did not make the cut.

Here is where I am proud of her and embarrassed by my thoughts.

She told me that she did not make it, but did not cry or complain.  She said her friends told her that they could not believe she did not get it, since she had everyone laughing with her speech, but she was happy for her friends that did make it.  Outwardly, I told her how proud of her I was and how she is so blessed to be able to play select soccer and be in higher reading and math classes and that it is nice when other kids get to be a part of things instead of her, to which she agreed.

Now, here is what my sinful, mama bear mind was actually thinking...

Are you kidding me?  I cannot imagine someone reading a speech better than my daughter.  And one of the winners forgot her lines and had to start over?  I wonder who would have been selected if the teacher was actually there.

Yep-not proud of it, but I think every mom can understand my feelings.

I have watched my kids play enough sports to know that they learn and grow more from the games that they lose than the ones that they win.  They need to not always get everything and win everything and be the best at everything.  But, as a  It hurts to see them disappointed, especially when I know how hard they worked at something.

My kids are currently 9, 7, and 3.  Something tells me that I have many years ahead of me of heartbreak.  And, thankfully, joy.

Monday, February 10, 2014

First 20 Minutes Of The Day

I woke up today with the full intention of letting Abby sleep in.  After all, she was still crying herself to sleep after 11 last night when I finally gave up and went to bed myself.  The poor girl kept having stomach pains off and on and could not fall asleep.  I arranged for my carpool savior to take in, realized I would be missing the gym and we would have to scrap together food for the rest of the day since I was planning on grocery shopping.

7:02 am, Abby comes downstairs to breakfast, all smiles and ready to start her day.  Seriously?

I called my carpool friend and said I would take in.

As Nick was leaving for work, our neighbor was stuck in the snow.  For some reason, in the middle of the cul-de-sac, there was a huge mound of snow, that could not be seen in the early morning.  Rather than watch our pregnant friend try to dig herself out, Nick took over and got her out, while I stood there with a shovel, thinking I could contribute.

With the crisis averted, I went back into the house and starting packing lunches, my gym bag and made arrangements with another carpool friend/neighbor about how the afternoon was going to work.

As I was on the phone with her, I heard a huge crash.  All three kids were at the table and the dog was (of course) by Noah's feet, waiting for crumbs.

The crash was caused by the following...

...for no reason whatsoever, the shelf in my downstairs bathroom fell.  It just fell.  No slamming of doors or something bumping it.  Not only did it fall (dropping the candle that rested on it), but it crashed into the towel rack, causing that to completely bust and fall to the floor.


I quickly closed the bathroom door to ignore that for the time being and went back to packing lunches.  Then I heard a little voice saying, "Mommy, I feel sick again" followed by tears.

Called my carpool friend (again) and arranged for her to pick up Caleb.

I put the crying child back into bed, got Caleb ready for school (I think I finished packing his lunch) and eventually got Noah dressed.

By then it was 7:20 am.

The day can only get better, right?

Thursday, February 6, 2014


I have an addictive personality.

For as long as I can remember, I have been a nail biter.  Do I want ugly nails and the occasional sore from biting too far?  No.  Have I tried to stop?  Yes.  Yet, here I type, with no long nails getting in my way.

I have the same problem with chocolate.  Chocolate and I go way back, starting with my love affair with Daffins chocolate (my hometown friends know the truth of which I speak).  If I go a day without some kind of chocolate, I start to get the shakes.

Maybe this is why I am known for my chocolate chip cookies.  Hmm.

I am extremely thankful that my addictive personality has never gone down the road of drugs and alcohol-I know that I am ridiculously lucky to not be one of those who struggle with such temptations.  Because I understand the loss of willpower, I have compassion on those who continue to struggle with those demons.

Because of my personality, I really should not be surprised that my children have their own addictions.  All three of them seem to have an addiction to electronics.

Okay, so they are probably like every other child their age in this culture, but I am noticing it more these days.

I blame the snow days.

Abby is not as bad as the boys, but the moment her ipod touch dings with a text or someone is trying to face time her, she feels the need to immediately run to it and answer her friends.

And why shouldn't she?  I do the same thing with my phone, right?

The boys.  Oh, the boys.  Caleb not only asks EVERY DAY for his kindle (because he has to harvest his crops?), but it is also all about the Wii and PS3.  I know that the second he walks up to me, gives me a little smile and says, "Hey Mom," he is about to ask to play one of those three items.

Because a seven-year old boy never just comes up to his mom to see how she is doing or offer to help with anything.

As for Noah-well, let me start by saying that he is currently "cut off" from any of the above mentioned electronics.

Normally, the only time we let Noah have control of the Kindle (Abby's Kindle, to be exact) is at his sibling's sporting events.  As much time as we spend on the sidelines of soccer and basketball practices and games, I gladly let him play a few games.

(Okay, so it also helps me be able to actually sit and watch the games.)

Lately, though, he keeps asking to play it at home.  Sometimes I give in (after all, I do work from home and I enjoy being able to make phone calls without the sound of whiny three-year old in the background), but usually I point to the ridiculous amount of toys in the house and remind him that I will start throwing them away if they do not get played with.

I have done it before-I admit it.

However, Mr. Noah decided to take things into his own hands this week.  The other night, I went to check on the kids before going to sleep (am I the only parent who checks to make sure they are breathing every night?) and Noah was in his bed, playing his dad's ipad.

At 10:30 pm.

The look on his (tired) face was something I had never seen before.  As he looked at us, he felt so much shame and started crying.  Partly because he was caught, but mostly because he KNEW we were disappointed.


Even though he is cut off for awhile, he has STILL continued to sneak the ipad or Kindle.  It simply is amazing to me.  If I hear silence for more than a minute, I know that I have to seek him out and find what electronic device he is hiding.

As I took back the ipad for the third time today, it got me to thinking about WHY he is doing this.  Yes, he is three years old and testing his boundaries and yes, he loves playing the games on it.  But, I think there is more.

What does he see ME do every day?  I work from home so even though I play with him all morning and attempt to work more in the afternoon, I do spend a decent amount of time on the laptop.  And my phone.  And he sees his dad on the computer (the beauty of the English teacher's job-always grading). And his brother on whatever game he talked me into that day.  And his sister on her ipod touch.

There is no escaping the reality of the tech age we live in, but certainly I can control how much time I spend on such things when I am with my kids.  Am I working/seeing what everyone else is doing on facebook while I am with my kids?  Or am I being truly present for them?  Can I go a whole hour without checking my phone?

As Noah is "cut off" for awhile, perhaps I should be limiting my addiction to electronics as well.

Why is it so hard to do?