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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Positive Parenting? What Comes Out of Your Mouth?

It's always shocking to hear any stern disciplinary words coming from the mouth of my tenderhearted daughter, especially since they are usually connected to a string of words that just left my lips. If you ever wonder how your parenting style sounds, hide in the bushes and give a listen to how your little ones talk to their own kids. It might surprise you.

Last night I walked around the perimeter of the house to close the gate to the chicken coop. This corner of the house is closest to Senia Mae's bedroom and even though our home is made of sturdy brick, it is hardly soundproof. I overheard her reprimanding her cat, Tulip.

I could hear Senia Mae grunting, "Tulip, NOW!" in a seriously irritated voice. Even though I usually save that particular threat as the fourth and final warning, I realized then that I was going to have to be a little more aware of any uncensored words that escaped my mouth. Who knew that my parenting was going to be the primary model for her role playing. AARG! Back in the house I noticed her looking at herself in the bathroom mirror.

"How'd you get that red spot above your eye?" I asked

"Tulip scratched me," she said.

"Why did she scratch you?"

"Well I was trying to get her tucked into bed and she was growling at me."
"And..."

"So then I put her in time out," Senia Mae said, "And she scratched me."

"Hmmm," I said. "I think when cats growl that means they don't want to be touched anymore."

"But Mama, she WASN'T listening!" Senia Mae pivoted around and pranced out of the bathroom knowing full well that not listening always has negative repercussions.

I sat there for a moment trying to come up with an appropriate response... but none came. Maybe I'll just take this one back to the drawing board and think about it overnight. Hopefully after a thorough rest I can reformat my parenting skills so my child's innocent cat doesn't suffer the consequences!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Holiday Stress: Something to be Thankful For

Even though this is the time of year we are all supposed to be listing what we are truly thankful for, I find myself burdened with stress as I try to get everything done before the holiday. We will be spending it with family after watching our lovely niece walk down the wedding aisle. I am truly thankful that she has found love and can't wait to see her in her white gown, even though in my mind it still feels like she is eight years old. Once again I'm stumped with the eternal question of the ages: how does the time fly by so quickly when you are old but so slowly when you are young and waiting for life to begin?

Because our southern dogs aren't used to the weather in Delaware, I tried to get them matching fleece cover-ups so they don't have to warm up by lying on top of the heater vents.
Luna was thankful for her festive jacket after her beautifully flowing Cocker spaniel coat had to be completely shaved off after a romp in the sticky burr bush. Birdie, on the other hand, acted like she was being punished, giving us the poor pitiful me face as she imagines herself confined in a full body cast.

Who would have imagined a power outage right in the middle of baking the holiday cookies? Although they will probably turn out looking more like chocolate chip crepes, or sweet Thanksgiving nuggets, if I am truly thankful I can be gracious enough to realize that we have enough food to make cookies, perfectly baked or however they come out.

I am thankful for everything in this last picture. God has provided me a life of abundance with everything I need to thrive, whether I realize it or not. I have the love and support of my wonderful family to share the holidays and the normal days. And finally, after the stress I put on myself trying to make everything perfect, I am thankful for being able to sit in my hot tub with a glass of red wine. Life is good.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Oh, For the Love of Lipstick...

I've always said that when Senia Mae was born she appeared with a poof of glitter. That's not exactly true, it was actually an emergency c-section, but even then it seemed that right after her first bath she was already wearing a tutu. Much to my chagrin, the tutu talk has now flip-flopped into in-depth discussions of bras and makeup.

"Tons of girls in my class are wearing bras," Senia Mae says nonchalantly as we stand next to each other brushing our teeth over the bathroom sink.

"What?" I gasp. "You're seven... girls in the second grade should not need to wear a bra unless they are having a severe hormonal imbalance!" I view my reflection in the mirror and am not sure if the foaming at my mouth is excess toothpaste or my body's appalled reaction to my daughter wanting to grow up too fast.

"Well everyone else is wearing one," she says.

"We don't always do what everyone else does," I say. "By the way, I noticed you've been into my lipsticks."

"How could you tell?" she asks as her face flushes a bright crimson.

"You have to twist the lipstick back down before you put the cover back on."

"Oh," she says. "I was going to talk to you about them anyway."

"About my lipsticks?" I ask.

"Yes, Momma, you have way to many of the same color."

"What do you mean? These are all different colors. There's Tobago, Rain, which is a moisturizing gloss, and this one, custard, is actually a concealer even though it's shaped like a lipstick."

"What's a concealer?"

"It hides the dark circles under my eyes when I don't get enough sleep."

"Oh, like when I come into your bed in the middle of the night and keep you awake by sleeping sideways."

"Exactly," I say.

"Well, since we're both not getting much sleep... maybe I need to use concealer, too."