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Thursday, November 19, 2009

one of those days

For the past 10 weeks I've been rising early and getting all of us dressed, fed and out the door by 9:00 am. I've been a part of a Bible study on Esther at my sister's church. I wanted Tyler to be a part of a "preschool" setting as well. I was motivated to be there on time so he could participate in learning the songs for the little program they do at the end of the "semester." We were almost out the door this morning when Luke informed me that "baby has poop on her" of those "up the back" kind that require an outfit change, Mothers, you know what I speak of I am sure! Thankfully I was able to rescue the outfit and we were on our way!

There was a lovely spread of food, a feast if you will. We are so blessed to have food at every meal, aren't we? We do not know hunger. After breakfast the children performed their program, something I was sincerely looking forward to this entire time. Tyler wouldn't go up. I was really upset at first, feeling that this was an issue of obedience, of will.....then I was embarrassed, (seeing as were located in the FRONT seat) and then, after the program was over, I was just sad.

My sweet sisters took Luke and Paisley, (thanks guys) and I took Tyler out to the car. I placed him in the front seat and asked him why he wouldn't go up to sing the songs. "I didn't want to" he said. So, we had a little talk about how he doesn't get to do everything he wants to do and how life isn't all about HIM. "I want what I want", he said. Oh my, out of the mouths of babes! I know how he feels sometimes.....we do want what WE want! I felt like this was a teachable moment because it was. Teachable for both him and I. I WANTED him to go up there. I was truly disappointed in him and I wasn't going to hide that. I could have cared less what the other Mothers were thinking, (although I can imagine they were wishing him up there as all the Grandmothers were thinking, "just leave it be"). It was more the issue of the weeks I invested into getting him there on time, my expectations of how I thought the morning would go. Instead of being angry in that moment, which I think would have generated shame in him, I felt sad and I cried.

I don't think I've cried in front of Tyler before, so he was all eyes! I told him that I was excited to see him sing his songs, that I worked hard to make sure he could be in class on time to learn them and that I was sad because I didn't get to see him sing. He understood what I was saying to him. I'm not sure what a psychologist would say of my actions, but I don't read many books about child psychology, I just live my by Mother-gut. I don't believe it's wrong to tell our children how we feel from time to time, (we know they are masters at telling us)!! So, we finished our talk and he came to class with me, much to his chagrin. The discipline for him not obeying was to sit with me in my class, (another thing I'm not sure what a child psychologist would say about).

I did feel that there should be a consequence for his actions. I know that in a year from now, perhaps even later tonight, it won't really matter if he sang his songs or not, but that's not the issue here, not the TRUE issue. It's a heart thing and I had to look beyond the silly, albeit, sweet, preschool performance and see it for a deeper thing. I could have let it go and for the rest of this day I have been second guessing myself: "Maybe I shouldn't have made a big deal about it", "maybe I should have prepared him more that morning so he understood what was expected", "maybe this, maybe that." Mothers are masters at "should haves".

This morning's class was beautiful. Women sharing testimonies about what they learned in the Bible study and about their personal lives. There are alot of women fighting hard battles right now. My sister has this quote in her bathroom, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." How true it is, there is so much beyond the obvious exterior. What really matters can't be seen.

After Bible study I was on my way to my sisters house. Paisley was crying, bless her soul, she was hungry. My hungry, crying babies unnerve me like nothing else on earth....makes me all jittery and nervous inside until I feed them. I guess that's the way it's suppose to be, makes the Mommy get up and do something to sooth herself just as much as her baby. Apparently I was going to fast as indicated by the flashing lights in my rear view. I started crying, as in, like a baby....sobbing. I'm thinking to myself, "get a grip Janelle", but I couldn't and I didn't. Thru my watery vision I grabbed all my papers and handed them to the officer between sobs. He was probably totally rolling his eyes behind his sunglasses. "Why are you so emotional?" he asked. "I can't afford this right now, " I replied. "But you're driving a Mercedes"....OH.NO.HE.DIDN'T!! "Yes and we just spent $2,000 to get a new transmission" I said. Now he made me MAD and I was already crying, don't they teach these cops anything about women's emotions!? "What year is it?" he asked. "1995" I said. "Is it gray or black?" WHAT? Now I was really hot, "it's charcoal" I said in my most annoyed voice! Meanwhile Paisley is crying in the backseat and I said, "I need to feed my baby." His reply, "I"ll be right back", (which in cop talk means, "see you in 15-20." So I reached back and took Paisley from her seat and fed her.....Mommy and Baby mixing tears!!

He had no mercy at all, in one fell swoop all my Christmas money gone, seriously, $185! WHAT? The boys are totally getting oranges in their stockings this year! Actually, I think I'll go to court so I can at least remove the points from my record and if the fine gets removed, well, then Merry Christmas Jake! I WAS going too fast, but can't a girl get a break?

Especially a girl in a Mercedes!!!

"A true friend laughs at your stories even when they're not so good,
and sympathizes with your trouble even when they're not so bad."
~unknown author~


Sharon said...

OMW Janelle! I soooooo understand - not the driving a mercedes thing, but spending money where you just do not want to spend it right now! Such a bummer. So, here's to our Christmas with your children getting oranges in their stockings, and me wearing last year's Christmas outfits! :) But dog gone it - we'll make them the best flippin oranges and the prettiest last year's outfits we can, right?!

As far as the little guy not singing - that's the cutest story ever and you did a great job with the teachable moment. I still think if every Mom was like me, you and Janet, this world would be such a great place.:)

Anonymous said...

I hope you are recovering today, Janelle. I often find that after "one of those days" the next one is especially grace-filled. Here's to much needed grace!
Love you!

Ang Stoltzfus said...

oh janelle-
WHAT A DAY! I'm hoping your were able to come home & take a nap after that one!
As for Tyler- I (personal opinion) think that it's OK & even healthy for children to see their parents cry every once in awhile. This is real life after it fair to them when we try to "cover up" or "hide" the hard parts? & Especially because you gently explained to him why you were feeling that way. Just yesterday I was crying & Addalie said, "Jesus help mommy no cry". So sweet. Of course that's all it took for me to smile again.
As for the ticket....grrrr. i hope you win in court!!! Police often don't show up for those kinds of hearings right?
love you girl!

Shar said...

Oh lady...what a day! Can completely understand about the little man not singing - Jude did the same in preschool and I felt the same! I'm learning that I need to keep it all in perspective... And the cop business...oh I don't have the words! I love you! Hope to see you tomorrow?

Mark and Heather said...

Hey Janelle was thinking about you today and now I know why! Hope your day today is better and full of grace!

every day is a gift... said...

dearsie, dearsie just sucks at times! one for the memory book, for sure!

Anne said...

Oh, I constantly have those moments with my first born. Her personality is so different from mine and I always question the way I've handled her introverted ways. Sometimes, she can be just plain rude and as a mother, I want to nurture her but she also needs to be aware of how her actions affect other people. I never feel totally confident in myself or the way I've handled things in those moments.

The old adage, "When it rains, it pours..." I guess it was very true for you yesterday.

I hope today is a bit sunnier in your neck of the woods.

PS I once had to pay a $150 ticket for going 7 miles over the limit. 7. Miles.
PSS I always got oranges in my stockings growing up and I never equated it with a lack of funds...I think it's a nice tradition :)

clarita yoder said...

Oh Janelle! This driving story just made me want to give you a big hug and tell you that as women, *we understand!!* I know *exactly* what you mean about hungry babies crying - I cannot take it at all! But oh my, your story made me laugh too! I love you honesty and realness! You're such a dear!

And I loved the teachable moment you took with Tyler. How beautiful. The Lord truly gave you great wisdom in the moment to speak with him... I love that!