Orifices, Boys, and Family Values.

I’m taking an amazing class called “Simplicity Parenting” and I love it.

It’s really made me think about all aspects of my parenting and the message’s I want to send to my children by how I respond to situations and to them.

The most valuable so far has been around family values.  It’s interesting to actually sit down and write out the “values” that I am interested in fostering and protecting in our family and the actions I take or discussions that I have with the kids as it relates to the actions, behavior, or habits we develop in the home.  I’ve found it to be a starting point for collaboration with them and one that seems to be having an impact… at least on one of them.

Last night my son ( age 6) was enjoying a one way dialog on a subject I call “poopy” talk.  What is it with boys and poop, phart, pee-pee, burp, penis, booger, butt, smelly butt, “Ba”-gina and every other orifice and unpleasant word and function of the human body that requires constant hommage and reference?   My daughter has taken the high road in these situations and simply looks at him over her glasses in her oh so mature nine year old way and simply says:

“Really Shaw?”  in such a way that might create immediate shame and repentance in even the most criminal of behavior.

It simply makes him giggle with glee to have his discourse corrected by her and of course serves the purpose of having him ratchet it up a notch.  Giving him the attention he wants has a way of now making the one who is calling him out the subject the OBJECT of his affection making it a much more “personal” attack on the caller – outers orifice’s.  The talk turns to :

“YOU are a poopy head and YOUR butt smells….” ( for example)

I knew what was coming and planned on jumping in but I think she handled it beautifully:

“You know Shaw, since you are going into the first grade and still wet the bed it makes sense why you need to still act like a baby and use those words…. and, ….those words do not fit into our family value system at all… do they mom?”

Now… I find it fascinating that she used shame (which is not a family value) and blended it seamlessly with our family value system in order to pull rank in the situation.

But on the flip side?

It was effective – he stopped the potty talk in mid expletive, and she was able to divert his attention away from HER orifice’s and onto HIS.

Brilliant. That girl is going places.

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She’s a Mess

My first born will turn Nine tomorrow… Sept 12th.

It’s amazing she’s even alive – on top of being domestically challenged, the hospital where we had her did not even give us a manual for how to care for her!  When we got her home and found out she did not come with directions I was PISSED. I called the nursing station when I was feeling better finally (just last year) to give them a piece of my mind.

In spite of their negligence I managed to figure out a few things that I think were important and I am proud to say that I am very happy with how she’s turning out.

She’s pretty amazing – meaning- she amazes me, and others.

She’s creative and intelligent, bold and independent, incredibly loving and thoughtful, quick witted and funny. She’s athletic and she’s strong, and has an incredible flair for drama.

As a mom i also see the challenges ahead for her and I know that there are some interesting character traits in her that will likely manage to bump up against others. We all have these-  the parts of us are both the blessing and the challenge.  On a good day her boldness and independence can be courageous and inspiring and on a bad day it can look stubborn and relentless.

On a good day her quick wit and humor makes everyone laugh and see how clever she can be and on a not so good day it comes across as sassy and spoiled (ugh).

Her flair for Drama makes her an amazing actress and her imagination soars to places that inspire me, and when it’s used in other ways she can become an incredible advocate for her little brother being left by the side of the road or dropped off at the orphanage.

In the South when they first met her ( her daddy is from Alabama) they started to experience her personality and they kept saying… “that Manon she’s a mess” – until finally I told them i did not think that was very nice.  My Mother- in -law laughed and told me that where they come from being a mess is a compliment. I kind of liked that… she really is a mess.

I see so much of myself in her… and it teaches me things about myself even as an adult that have been quite illuminating. I parent her as I would have liked to be parented when I was a child…all I had and was given.. and all that I was not.

Now I know why those nurses at the hospital did not give me the instruction book.  They didn’t because they couldn’t. They could not possibly known her or appreciated her the way I do.  They could have never told me what she needed because i was the only one who had the key to unlock her needs. They could not have comforted, supported, disciplined, allowed, snuggled, tickled, invested, intended, applauded, interacted, or understood the way I have….

because I am her mother… and the manual was after all –  inside of ME  all along.

Happy Birthday to my little mess.  I love you, and I can’t imagine my life without you in it.