Brilliant maneuvering in girlhood games . . .
Everyone who has ever been a girl knows that the best person to play in the game of "Family" is the mom. In our house, the Mom is always played by Mary (7), while Margaret (4) gets relegated to be the little sister, and Joseph a baby boy or a dog.
I was getting ready one morning and listening to my two daughters bicker, with Margaret pleading, "Please, I want to be the mom! You're always the mom!" In this case the stakes were high because the girls were actually taking care of baby Thomas for me, so they had a Real Live Baby to take care of.
I interjected, "Come on Mary, it would be nice if you let Margaret be the mom."
Mary replied thoughtfully, "Okay." But before Margaret could finish her jubilation, Mary instructed decisively, "But you just gave birth to the baby and you're too sick to take care of him, so I'll be the nanny who cares for the baby and you will just have to lie in bed."
Well played, Mary, well played.
|Thomas (7 months)|
New foods this week: mashed peas, Chinese fried rice, elbow pasta with Alfredo sauce, yogurt.
This week, Thomas (7 months) has been mastering pulling up on the plastic stool and pushing it around the kitchen as a 'walker.'
Picking up sticks in the yard after the windstorm last week . . .
My memory is so full of holes these days that my only hope of changing habits is with little signs to remind me. This latest pregnancy and sweet Thomas sent me tumbling, so we dropped our lovely family morning prayers a long time ago, now doing nothing but grace before meals. In an effort to start to climb back out of that hole, I laminated prayer cards for the Morning Offering and the Angelus.
Even that isn't enough for my memory, so I have to put the Morning Offering cards on the kitchen table at night when I clean up so they are there in the morning.
Then when we clean up from breakfast, I put the Angelus cards in the center of the table so we see them at lunch time.
As long as I was doing signs, I am temporarily using a sign to get my children back to following an old rule.
I want John to empty the dishwasher before he eats any early morning cereal (which precedes a wholesome hot breakfast around here by at least an hour), otherwise he has no motivation, so to speak, and complaints are increased at the onerous nature of the task. Also, I want the three oldest children to have dressed themselves before said cereal or, when we go upstairs, they are well-fed, and they're only getting dressed for school time, which results in the process of dressing taking half an hour or more. In contrast, if the little fellas are hungry, it is amazing how rapidly they can dress!
Repeatedly, I would forget these rules in the morning as the kids grabbed their cereal as fast as lightening, so I wrote the above sign and now set it out each night before. Setting out the bowls is another 'sign' of sorts, as I've been telling the children to use small bowls instead of Super Huge Soup Bowls for cereal daily for ages . . . always after they poured their overly huge servings, having "forgotten" again: thus, the petite bowls are on the counter and nobody forgets. The children would come down bleary-eyed, see the sign, shoot me a quiet glance, and head back upstairs to dress.
I managed through the challenge of a second back-to-back week of Chris traveling for work, as well as a second back-to-back week of our van being on the fritz. Chris takes care of our vehicles so well that I haven't even pumped my gas, but for the rare time, in ten years, and I've lost all familiarity with mechanics' shops. I successfully took in the van, checked it in, rented a new van, and did the whole reverse procedure the next day, with all five kids in tow! Without screaming or losing my temper! I may not get paid, or receive accolades or letters of recommendation, but these are the small 'badges' for which a homemaker takes credit.
In my purse . . . "Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence: The Secret of Peace and Happiness" by Fr. Jean Baptist Saint-Jure and St. Claude de la Colombiere (originally written in the 1600s)
By my glider where I nurse the baby down for nap . . . "Christian Self-Mastery: How to Govern Your Thoughts, Discipline Your Will, and Achieve Balance in Your Spiritual Life" by Fr. Basil Maturin (originally published 1939)
On my bedside table: "Guidance to Heaven" by Cardinal Giovanni Bona (originally published 1658)
I haven't read all the links that are off-shoots of the following article, but I offer the article as encouragement to parents distressed by babies' frequent wakings: "Normal, Human Infant Sleep: Feeding Method and Development" by Darcia Narvaez, PhD. If you're not distressed, then don't worry about it. :)
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