Why I said yes (Shaping my kids)

Over the weekend, I asked Brooks to go upstairs, shower and get ready for bed, then he could open some gifts he received.  (He’d been begging to open them for hours, but we were trying to get the house in order, clean up, etc from a busy weekend at home but never at home).

About 2 minutes later, he comes upstairs to my room and says, “Mom, can I open one of my presents now and then right away I’ll go take a shower?  I’ll be really fast and hang my towel and get pjs on.”

Normally, my answer is no when my kids push back on something they are asked to do.  I don’t like to have gray area where they think that every time they whine or ask me to change my mind, I’m going to do it. That’s a slippery slope that’s hard to recover from.

But the way he came up and almost presented it as a business option made me smile inside.  (Gosh, this boy is just like his papa – a master negotiator.)

I said yes and the reason I did is because I want him to recognize when he chooses to take a little risk in a negotiation, sometimes it will pay off. Especially when he approaches it the way that he did – a reasonable compromise and a win-win for both of us.  (He did in fact, take a quick shower, hang his towel and get PJs on right after he opened the gift.)

I also want him to experience WINS.  I feel like I can often come across as a NO mom.

Can I bring all my pokemon cards to the grocery store? No.
Can I have a piece of candy tonight? No.
Can I play outside after we come back from dinner? No.

I want to have my kids feel like they win, too.  That if they approach things reasonably (without crazy whining and complaining), they may be able to argue their case.  I don’t want to turn my kids into little Gingers because I like them better as one-of-a-kind Brooksies (or Landons).

I’m trying to do a better job saying yes.  And letting them figure out what approaches result in success in our house.

Gotta go bathroom.

Brooks is the master of having to go potty at the worst times.  We’ll remind him regularly- when we’re leaving the house, when we pass a bathroom at the store – Brooks, do you need to go?

And it’s always “no”.

And then we get to enjoy this:

Yes, that’s my first-baseman in full potty dancing, holding himself form!

I even got some video and he literally dances around between plays, then the ball is hit to him, he runs to get it, finishes the play, then starts potty dancing again!

 

Landon turns 7: Cooking Party

Landon and his cousin, Harleigh, are three days apart.  They were born in the same hospital, side by side in the nursery, just down the hall from each other from the start.  They’ve been in the same preschool together and now are in the same elementary school.

While they haven’t been assigned the same teacher for K or 1st grade, they still try to find each other during lunch, recess and other times to say hi.

Plus, we are regularly doing family dinners, so the cousins get to hang out a lot.

Since we’ve started seeing more “gender separation” over the course of the past year (i.e. Harleigh wanting to do more girly activities with the girl cousins and Landon wanting to roughhouse with the boy cousins), we weren’t sure if they would still want to do a combined party – as they’ve done for every other party in their life.  We thought she might want a pedicure party and he’d want a superhero party or something.

We asked and they insisted on a joint party together and wanted to do a cooking class.  And it was awesome, because they each got to invite some of their classmates – who also know each other thru school – and everyone had a great time.

L bday 7lbday72

The class was great – they did individual pizzas and molten chocolate cakes.  And to take home, they made slime/flubber.  The instructors did a great job keeping their audience engaged and also made it very interactive.  For example, if they needed 4 cups of flour, they did it in 1/2 c increments so 8 people got to do flour. So everyone got to pour, mix, add a lot of things!

If you’re in Charlotte and looking for a fun cooking experience for a kids party, Flour Power was great!

First game.

I love using the blog to keep track of milestones and highlights.  Occasionally I’ll find myself taking a walk back to remember first steps, first time on the slide, etc.

So, of course, I need to document Brooksie Bear’s first t-ball game.  It was a long time coming for him, with a rain out first game that had him in tears because he wasn’t going to be able to wear his uniform and play.    This after a few canceled practices because of rain and cold weather.

He was beside himself to finally get out there:

Bgame1

And he did such a great job.  He stayed focused on the batter and didn’t get distracted by the grass, dirt, flowers, bees, etc that so often distract 4 and 5 year olds 🙂  He was so focused – which is a little outside of his personality.  It was so cute to see him ready to go.
After a year of sitting on the sideline always watching his brother play, he was so thrilled that he was the guy in the field and at bat.

And of course, the best part according to B:  batting and the snacks!!

Bgame2

 

Sweet dad moments.

My boys lucked out with their dad.  He really is a hands-on daddy who is constantly shuttling them to their activities, cheering them from the stands and involved in what they have going on with school.  He just loves being the dad of Landon and Brooks.

The other night, I came home to the sweetest images:

Yes, those are our boys uniforms cleaned, laid out and ready to go.  Complete with their belts and socks.  Courtesy of my husband.

Dean takes so much pride in being a baseball daddy – he takes special care to clean their uniforms just so (just like his mom did for him when he played), and always making sure they have all the gear they need and are ready to hit the field with plenty of warm up time.

Seeing those uniforms laid out just reminds me how much he loves his boys.  I see it in the hours they spend in the driveway playing catch, ,throwing pop ups, or taking some swings.  I hear it in the excitement in his voice as he sneaks into the dugout between innings to give a high five or word of encouragement.  And it’s evident in the time he takes to not just show them the skills, but also to teach them the nuances of the game.

He’s a proud dad of two growing ball players.  And I love that I get a front row seat to all the action (and the behind the scenes highlights, too).  Because all that action is the result of lots of behind the scenes work.

Brooks Says: I keep telling her…

A real conversation in our car the other day.

(Sidenote: My mother-in-law is overly generous and is always bringing toys, clothes, shoes, gifts, treats, etc for our kids when she visits.)

thisboy

Brooks:  When is Grammy coming down to visit us? I want her to bring us some presents.

Me: Brooks, that isn’t a good attitude. I don’t want you to expect gifts every time Grammy comes down to visit.  You should want to spend time with her, not ask her to buy you stuff.  I’m going to tell her not to bring any gifts next time she comes down to visit.

Brooks:  I don’t know what’s wrong with her.  I keep telling her to buy adult stuff, but she keeps buying kid stuff when she comes down her.

 

 

The cost of my yes.

I’m reading a book with my women’s bible study called “Present Over Perfect” and while I’m only halfway through, generally the premise is that so often we get stuck trying to be everything for everyone, except for those we really need to be there for.  We’ll bend over backwards for those who are in our “outer circle” (your happy hour buddies, friends I see 3x a year) but they aren’t really our “people”.  My people are my family, my closest friends… these are the people that I’m going to call when I get crazy news – good or bad.

And as a result, we live this frantic life trying to do, do, do.  We leave no margin in our life and so we are exhausted and overrun. We keep ourselves busy doing unimportant tasks for people who really aren’t that important to us.  We’ll cancel our family plans because our boss’ boss asked us to start a huge project at 4pm on a Friday (due Monday morning).  Or we’ll try to take on the Team Mom, Room Mom and PTA Coordinator roles – but by the time our kids get off the bus, we’re wiped out and angry because we’ve been stretched too thin trying to be too much for everyone else.

I can completely relate to this.  I often say yes to too much and then our family life suffers.  I sign us up to volunteer for events, or to host friends on the same day we have back-to-back sports activities.  I find I either say YES to everything, or YES to nothing.  It’s hard to find that happy medium.  So our life will be crazy hectic for 4-5 weeks and then completely dead for a month or two so we can recover.

Even when I’m resting, I’m not really resting.  I’m mentally planning my kid’s upcoming birthday party or I’m folding laundry while I relax and watch a show. I think mom’s are especially guilty because we take on so much when it comes to our children. I want to be super mom and working mom and helper/volunteer mom and party planning mom and playdate mom.  I want it all.

But at what cost?  That’s what I’m trying to figure out.  How can I really find the balance that we need for our family?  This book has really helped me remember that sometimes saying YES to something only feels important for a moment, but when I look back at my life, does my YES really matter.  I want to do things that make our family better.  That give us more margin to do things God might spring on us.  Not to have us suffering as we run from one activity to the next, one to-do list to the next.