Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Less Than Ideal Day

Today's Count-down calendar activity was all about going to shop for the "Giving Tree" kiddos that we had picked out. Because of Beverly's convicting blog post, John and I agreed that we should challenge the kids to contribute some of their own money towards the purchase of those presents. To say they were thrilled with the concept would be a lie. Instead, we got to witness our children's not so happy attitudes - and had to give them a rather stern lecture about their blessings and greediness. Good to know we don't have "super-perfect" kids, hmmm?

The morning went like clockwork for me, super smooth, and even the initial picking up of the kids made me believe this afternoon would work well. But, soon, Mikayla's mannerisms were bugging Brayden, Brayden was yelling at Mikayla and there you go. I thought maybe a stop off at DQ would help, which it did - but then that led to Brayden spilling parts of his blizzard all over the cart of products we had picked out in Big Lots.... and then, let's see, somewhere between Brayden using the wrapping paper roll to bonk Mikayla, Mikayla being "so tired" she had to sit in the cart (the cashier guessed she was 4....) - and then the arguing beginning again in the car - I lost it. Yes, I'll admit, a smack on Brayden's leg was involved - which led to him balling, Mikayla balling, me being ready to pull over on the highway - yes, what a wonderful day filled with the blessing of giving to others!

As I tried to lecture my way through my feelings - I suggested that perhaps John and I had failed in our parenting efforts to teach them how to give selflessly. Brayden "freaked" at that comment - suggesting that we as parents had failed completely tripped him up. It was actually quite heartwarming as he was protecting his view of us as wonderful parents. So, I used that as leverage and asked that they demonstrate our wonderful parenting techniques with their improved behavior.

I will say, things did get better as we were in the mall - moving on to the more specific present requests. But, by the time John got home, I was pretty wasted. On the other hand, the kids have spent the evening bonding together in Mikayla's bedroom - looking for ways to make money - drawings and crochet scarves and garland, selling games they no longer play with (woops, you won't find that many left - Mommy already took care of that idea...). They're currently discussing business and selling techniques with Daddy. I think they are catching on to the fact that times are a bit rough, and this might help. I appreciate the ingenuity, but on the other hand, their ambitions might be a bit lofty.

So, there's my day of ultimate child-rearing success. Pretty impressive, huh?

=) Challenge, Day Three: I sent an email to someone who I had a very meaningful conversation with yesterday, as I wanted to thank her for being very encouraging to John and I.


richard said...


I am completly shocked that you have the only 2 kids in the entire world that act that way.

Just kidding! It is nice to know that I, actually don't have the only 2 kids in the entire world that act like that. It is nice to know that some things are still normal at home!

richard said...

Oh, leaving to start for home tomorrow. Will be in Virginia Saturday at noon eastern, and should be home mid week.

Anonymous said...

chele said...
I don't know you other than the comments I read on Steph's blog. But I am SO EXCITED that you are coming home soon that I irrationally find tears forming... Bless you for your sacrifice for our country and for those less fortunate around the world. You are a hero. I hope that your travelling adventures are smooth and steady.
God bless,

Growin' with it! said...

is this richard the guy you told me about in july. COOL DEAL!

well my friend, i am totally amazed you even kept it up after the ice cream episode. even so far to endure the mall. impressed!

and don't be so hard on yourself. kids will get it eventually and it sounds like your's are picking it up quicker than most. no go back to DQ and treat yourself for being a GREAT mom!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow - I'm so sorry to hear it was a tough day. But it sounds like it ended well.

I'm shopping for gifts and could use some small scarves... :-)


Colie said...

From the sound of the last two entries your son, although selfish with his money, is very fond of his parents and very sweet on telling them. I love it!

It sounds like an exhausting afternoon and a little disapointing. They will learn the act of giving my friend - I'm sure they will surprise you one day and you will remind them of this adventure and laugh. Good work mom!

HollieHobbie said...

Something my kids and I like to do to make someone smile is: ask the cashier what their favorite candy bar is, then buy it and give it to them right there as you are checking out. Yeah, it has given us many funny looks, and I wonder if their manager will think they have shoplifted, but I am trusting for the best.
Also, looking a cashier in the eye and saying "you have a nice day too"
Or, I said the day after Thanksgiving to cashiers "Thank-you for being so patient and friendly as you guys probably had to be here really early this morning".
I love the "paying extra at Starbucks"
Oh and remembering the janitor at school at Christmas with just a little gift like some caramel popcorn or something.

StephieAnne said...

Thanks for the encouragement everyone. When we go as hog-wild with "fun stuff" like we do during the Christmas season as a family, we all need to recognize that with the peaks come the valleys - something I'm trying to really get them to understand as their emotions hit every note.

Great smile ideas, Hollie! I especially like the candy bar one - I'll be using that, I'm sure.

Today's been a very nice, peaceful day - this evening we'll be attending the local Christian college's Gospel concert that will take place at - and involve a lot of people from - our church. It just so happens our school is doing a fundraiser at Cold Stone Creamery tonight, so, we'll just HAVE to do our part with that too!

Family O'Foxes said...

I thought of you today when I went to park downtown and I had to pay the parking meter. The parking meter next to me was flashing so I dropped in money. My kids kept- "you're so nice mom." hee hee!

Beverly said... I started ALL THAT???? hahaha

I have to learn over and over that my children need grace for their human nature all the time - just like me! They haven't learned how to NOT be transparent every moment, right?