Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Today, a friend noted that Maylin is 
pretty. tenacious. about what she wants.

She wanted to be not-where-Mom-was-going and let us know with her quiet resistance that she had no plans to enter the room that we were entering. She stood outside (with a window between us) and sulked while casting longing glances in the direction she wanted me to go. Since her safety was not an issue, I repeatedly motioned that she could join us, but didn't require her to do so.

I am comfortable letting her choose to be miserable, as long as she doesn't make the rest of us miserable. 
Mark dealt with something similar, but different this past Sunday.
(To preface the story: Maylin doesn't like "goodbyes." 
She must still think she is 
Queen of the Universe 
 because she apparently believes if she does her "whiny limp noodle show" that 
 the (insert undesired event here) will not happen.)

As the college boys said goodbyes, hugged us, and headed to the car, Maylin began 
The Show.
News Flash: All classes at UF must be cancelled if she "limp noodles" on Sunday night...
her brothers are released from University responsibilities because she has so willed it. 

Au contrair, mon ami!
As her performance gather momentum, her beloved Baba looked at me. He looked at her.
We understood her not wanting her playmates and
loyal subjects to depart.
Mark decided she could be miserable if she wanted, but she was going to be miserable...quietly
He dealt with her sweetly and firmly, and she understood that she'd
prefer to be less vocal about her misery.
We know we can't change her feelings, but we can help her choose
how to express them.

We don't want her to form the 
Habit of Unhappiness.

She isn't melancholy by nature (although a few of those live here) and Mark and I think a kid can have real feelings, and still express them in appropriate ways. Sulking has never made 
The Top Ten Appropriate Responses 
on any of our lists.

One of our jobs as parents is to put the 
around what is deemed appropriate in words, thoughts and deeds.
We all know that societies make some of that framework. (For instance, some things that are acceptable in the USA just aren't acceptable in other countries, and vice versa.) Each family's personality will also dictate what those fences look like. Each new individual added to a family  brings changes to that dynamic.

ie, My family accepts sarcasm (without an ugly undertone) as funny.
Yours may not. 
Mark and I as parents frequently entertain the child's point of view in a situation, then make whatever decision we need made,
while another parent might hear the same words as disrespect.
You might desire a child to "let it all out" when they are emotional,
while we attempt to train them that emotions are a real part of how God made us,
and He has given us choices on how we express them.

The core values need to be character-building based on the Bible, 
but the "flavor" of our homes shouldn't all be the same. 
(I might consider our house to be Lemon Meringue Pie: A substantial base with a bit of tartness, topped with sweet nothingness. Mmmm. Makes me want to go bake one up.)
Maylin's laundry day. She washed, rinsed, wrung out and hung doll clothes. No assistance needed.

Another conversation from today was also related to making
good fences for my kids.
Maylin is one of eight tenacious kids that I've raised.
They all dig their heels in at some point, so poor Maylin gets
the Momma-Who's-Already-Done-That
We're not sure when she'll figure out that I've seen most of the things kids pull. 
If my kids haven't done it, then I've probably seen yours do it.
Anyway, all I have to do most days, with most kids, is just last 
One Minute Longer 
than they do. 

Dig your heels in~~I'm wearing stilettos.
Grit your teeth~~I bought me a mouth guard.
Stare a vicious hole through me~~My vision is shot and I haven't gotten glasses yet.

When the conflict comes down to their will versus my request, I just have to outlast 'em.
And not by much. 
It does take energy, and purpose, and intentional parenting, but
They are worth it.
I am building the behavior-fence when the limits I set are the limits.

Some of you have run 26.2 miles...
Some of you have beaten cancer, or other life-threatening illnesses...
Some of you have survived incredible personal set-backs...
Some of you have built businesses from nothing...
Some of you have remained married through tough stuff...

You have the chutzpah to take on the 4 year old, or the 14 year old.
You just need someone to holla',
You, Go, Girl!
(unless, of course, you're not...then, I'll yell, You, in the dirty T-shirt, You, Go!!)
I personally think the Holy Spirit will be yelling with me.
Justin's 21st Birthday

My friend Karin posted this Facebook status recently:
Yesterday isn't today. Today isn't forever.

I liked the reminder that this phase (whatever it may be) is just a phase, and we'll get through it.
I want to do today well, because it won't be forever.

(right? I mean, she can't "limp-noodle" me when she's President, can she?)

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