Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Love Lanuguages

Supposedly, there are 5 love language (you can get a book by Gary Chapman that says so.) They can change periodically throughout a lifetime. Infants are all about touching, but children move into their own as they take on their own personalities.

1) Word and Affirmations
2) Loving Touches
3) Gifts
4) Acts of Servitude
5) Quality Time

After last weeks post, you can probably guess mine.  Acts of Servitude followed not too closely behind by words and affirmations.

My kids have learned to shower me with nice compliments and happy words.  My husband is good at that too.

None of them are good at loving me with actions.  I have to beg the children to clean up their toys sometimes.  I can ask for help on a chore and all 3 will jump to and do an excellent job, but not a single one of them thinks to do something on their own.  It's not their fault and here's why:

My husband's primary love language is touching.  It might be a man thing.  He just wants to touch and hug and just have his hands on my shoulder or back or something.  I don't know what his secondary one may be cause I can't get past the touching.  

Sugar follows in his footsteps.  She will curl up on my lap or just want to be 3 inches closer then she needs to be.

Ginger's primarily a quality time person.  She wants to play games or read or do almost anything with me.  (Here is where I manage to get her to do some chores!)  He secondary is touching though.  I am surrounded by touchers and people who don't notice my personal space.

I am a mother to a 3 and 5 yr old.  It hasn't been too long in motherhood time when I had a tiny person attached to me permanently.  My 3 year old is still not quite out of the carry me stage.   My very LAST love language is touch.  I want my space and not to have 3 heads in my lap while I am reading.  I will probably grow out of this as my kids grow up. But for now it is the bottom of my list and so it is the one I model the least.  

Since the rest of my family seems to have Acts of Servitude on the bottom of their lists, they find it difficult to show love in this way as well.  It's just how things are.  But I am working on changing that, at least in the youngest 2.  The husband will have to change himself.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Helping Hands

Last week we had a bitter cold, windy day in Texas.  It was 47 degrees when I went to pick up Sugar, but the wind made it brutal.

As Ginger and I were bundled up trying not to let the wind touch our bare bits, we walked by a mom.  She is a friend, but I'd like to think that doesn't matter to the story. Anyway, she was having trouble putting her baby and the bulky pumpkin seat into her SUV because she couldn't open her door all the way.  My first instinct was to help out.  Yes, it is cold and windy and my 5 year old should be my first priority, but I always stop and help when I can.  We passed the cute, bundled up baby boy over his brother all the way across the backseat of the SUV.  Less than 3 minutes and she's on her way instead of having to wait for the other mom to load up and drive away.

She later thanked me as if I had done something amazing.  Maybe, in this day and age, I had, but I never considered an alternative.  It is pure instinct for me to stop and help if it's needed.  Don't get me wrong, I will not help if I feel I am being taken advantage of, well, not for long anyway.

I want my girls to be the same way.  My husband is not.  He's not mean about it, he probably doesn't even realize he's overlooking something.  It's just not in his personality to be a servant.

Servitude is tattooed on my face.  If I see someone, anyone in need and it is within my power to help, I will.  No question.  I pass by a man on the side of the road with his hood up, I want to stop.  What could I possibly do, that he can't?  Nothing, but my first instinct is to stop.  Then my safety thoughts click in.  Man, Car.  I'm a woman, 100 pounds lighter, 2 kids in the car. Yes, I drive on by him.  I won't risk my kid's safety to the unknown.  But driving by is fighting my instincts, it's hard for me to do.

I want my kids to be helpful.  I want them to notice when someone could use a helping hand or a smile or just a few simple words.  I want my kids to think of others before themselves if it is within their power to do so.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Smart Cookies

We are a secular homeschool family.  Meaning, I am not doing it for religious reasons, so don't get afraid I might offend your sensibilities with my version of godliness.

My husband (public school) and I (private school) chose to homeschool 100% based on our oldest daughters desire to learn and her being too young to start school.  Gingerbread was learning to read at 3.  Considering the fact that Kinder is where most kids learn to read, we felt she'd be bored.

Ginger just finished her first semester of homeschool kindergarten.  Which looks almost nothing like kinder on paper.

She is 1 lesson shy of finishing 1st grade math.
She reads at a 3rd grade reading level but still prefers books with more pictures than words.
She writes all of her letters legibly and only gets a few numbers backwards.
She is 18 of 24 in her first level of spelling.

We recently finished our first 'semester' of Co-op.  (Homeschool families learning together as a group.) I HATED it.  Ginger was the oldest child at 5 and I didn't feel she was engaged in learning anything.  The main objective for Ginger and Sugar was to finish their stations as quick as possible and go play with the toys.

I don't want our education to be... hurry through school so I can do something fun.  I want school to be the fun part.  And in almost every aspect of our homeschool it is this way.  Ginger begs for school some days.  But Co-op was not a good fit for us.  Co-op was not school, co-op was busy work.  I don't know about you guys, but I did not like busy work in school.

I was on the fence about continuing Co-op, but reserved my spot because things were changing for the better.  Until our recently fixation, anyway.  Co-op has become drama. Like I said, my kid was  the oldest, she should be in Kinder.  Most of the children will be kinder age next fall.  So I really don't get the current situation.  The hard-core homeschoolers vs the homeschooling for now. Personally, I'm a take it at my child's pace.  If she ever wants to try school, then we will discuss it, as a family.

But I absolutely will NOT tolerate discrimination.  Race, religion, color, education style.  I don't care as long as you are a nice person and try your best in a given situation.

So, now I am back on the fence about this Co-op.  I do not want my children to learn that some people don't deserve to be a part of a group because of x, y or z.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Cookies

See the spicy in the eyes.  They were up to something that day, but they were so cute I can't remember what. I just took their picture and moved on with my day.

That is the happy amnesia of parenting.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Tiny People Cookies

I am a believer that my children are a reflection of me, good or bad. I created every flaw and every triumph.

Everything I have done, whether it was active or passive has made this beautiful cookie dough. My job is to roll it out and mold it into delicious cookies. Each of my children started out with the same ingredients. I chose an excellent base when I picked my husband. He compliments me in many ways, yet we still introduce our own subtle flavors, sometimes they even compete with each other for an added bonus. My children also each brought to the table their own secret ingredient, whether I like it or not, I have to incorporate it.

My oldest is my gingerbread. She's a great cookie, but can have a bit of spice to her. It is my job to bring it to the best complimentary flavor.

My youngest is my sugar cookie. She's very quiet and sweet, but can be a bit bland and let other people flavor her. My job is to show her that she can be excellent all on her own.

It may take me a long time to roll it and shape it and get the chunks out. I may try adding an ingredient only to find it doesn't go with their secret flavor and have to take it out again. I am a baker and I like my cookies. I will do everything in my power to make them the most excellent cookies I could have created.

Consider yourselves my critics and sous chefs, my baking students, my inspiration. You are all a part of this kitchen, whether you clean up after my messes or bring me a new ingredient or cookie cutter to try. Just like every thing I do or don't do influences my children, you all influence me.

Thank you for being a part of this metaphor. I will show you my successes and my failures. I am not a five star baker yet, but I have hopes. And if I totally flop, at least you will know what not to do.