I am taking advantage of Grampa Neil's time here for him to be my "training wheels" as I learn to do everything anew with five children. On Wednesday, the housekeepers were coming over, which was a nudge enough to inspire me to leave my nest at home and actually take the kids somewhere.
We went to lunch at a restaurant and then visited the children's library where there is a temporary play area based on Clifford the Big Red Dog.
Our meal at the restaurant went actually quite well, although I would not attempt such a thing without a second adult at this time. We practiced a new "exit procedure" for getting out of the van, who I take out first, when the others are allowed to exit, and how we traverse the parking lot so they don't get run over. Their behavior was basically very good, I learned where some "weak spots" are, and the manager even came over to say how pleased he was to see a family praying grace in public, which was kind of him.
Then we went to the children's library, where behavior began to fall apart.
I discovered some big areas of disobedience and failure to listen, which truly are important because I don't feel it would be safe for me to be out alone with the five kids . . . if they're running away and not listening.
I am one month postpartum and am learning many lessons, some old lessons of which I'm being reminded and some new ones. I think that all my lessons are boiling down to my learning that I'm not in control, I can't keep our home life orderly despite my best efforts, and I have to accept a tremendous amount of imperfection. Somewhere God is working amidst all this and I'm trying to figure it out.