April 11, 2009

The Imperfectionist

We left my in-laws' house after an early Easter celebration. My wonderful Mother-in-law cooked a perfect meal and my children would only eat bread and large knifings of butter. And then cried for ice cream and popsicles.

Every single time we go over there, they do not eat. They just whine and beg to get down and when's dessert? and whine whine whine.

Do they ever eat?

Yes- at home! at restaurants! at school! at my parents' house! THEY EAT! I PROMISE YOU.

But here, where we would like to appear somewhat like good parents? As they scuffle and hit each other at the nice dining table? With cloth napkins and gold napkin rings. They turn into little people I do not know and my heart goes into a panic that OH MY GOSH WHAT IF THIS IS WHAT THEY ARE REALLY LIKE?

What if these ARE the children I've created. What if this IS the behavior that I've instilled in them with my awesome parenting skillz? What if this is IT?

What if there are no take-backs?

OMG.


We get home, arms full of leftovers, and at dinner time the kids eat. They eat the very things they refused to eat at Grandma and Grandpa's.

They sit and talk respectfully to each other. There is no whining here. They are happy! And I almost grab my Flip as proof to show the in-laws.

Well, Gray still stomps and pouts and demands A FORK! for his ice cream instead of a spoon.

(Of course I rewarded their awful actions today with ice cream- what kind of Mother do you think I am?)

*Nervous laugh*

Please don't answer that.

*****************************************************************************

I wrote the above and then shuffled the kids off to get ready for bed. They washed their faces and brushed their teeth after only one asking.

I beat the world 8 castle of Super Mario Bros. on the DS for them and earned the title of Bestest Mommy and Mario Player Ever. They made Ivy laugh. We talked about Easter and what it means...

In their own words:

Like how I wasn't good at Grandma's today? And wanted that chocolate popsicle?

Like how I cried? And we were a little bad?

God gave his only son for us, because we aren't good sometimes. He's the only perfect one. We aren't.

My heart beats fast and I am so proud of these children. They aren't perfect. And neither am I.


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45 comments:

  1. Precious story! Thanks for sharing. :)

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  2. Oh, thank you for sharing this. I am so much less than perfect, and I always hold my favorite bloggers up to be perfect mommies, so it's so nice to hear when you have struggles, too. :)

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  3. Kids will be kids. You are doing a great job, so don't think it's you. Maybe it's more fun to play than eat at grandma's house.

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  4. You're a great mom! Kids are notorious for acting completely differently around their grandparents. I knew when I was little that if my mom tried to make me do something (like behave) that I didn't want to do, Grandmama would step in and tell her to leave me be. And I used it to my advantage!

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  5. Whooooo!! Deep words from little kids... Makes your heart flutter.

    Happy Easter. And don't worry: my kids never eat at parties, either. EVER.

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  6. Happy Easter to your lovely family!

    (And you know the rule about kids when you're out and about, visiting at someone's home, on the phone, on the computer or talking to someone at the door... they turn into different little people. Then they turn back. It's magic!!)

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  7. The SAME thing happens to me, and only with the in-laws. I really think they sense my anxiousness when we're with them (my anxiousness that they won't sit nicely and eat). And they're more than happy to oblige and make my predictions accurate.

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  8. Thanks for sharing this story. I know I went through times like this when my kids were little. It just happens and it's not your parenting. Happy Easter to you and your beautiful family.

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  9. Kids are sort of quirky. All of 'em. And you know, the whole idea that it's more fun to play than eat at Grandmom's? Might be some truth to that. But even if they spend that time standing on their heads and acting like monkeys, you're doing a good job. Because kids will always be true kids sometimes and one day will grow up. And that's a day I'm not in a hurry to see.

    Good job Mama... your kids are great :) (And super cute!)

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  10. This is beautiful, Steph, love it!

    Happy Easter to you and yours.

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  11. oh and so I read this and got to the end and it took my breath away....yes, your boys are right. Only Jesus is perfect. WOW. (you do have mad mom skillz if they've got that down)

    And for the record, we've had many a melt-down/not eating/ random pant-wetting/holy terror moments...mostly with family and out in public. The show is always better with an audience!!!

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  12. Yes, kids will be kids...and BOYS will be BOYS! But gosh, your day sounds a lot like my day...although, I'm only wrestling with one to eat and sit still and don't throw. The other one is still able to plead baby!

    Thanks for letting us see the imperfections and the trueness of your boys words!

    Happy Easter!

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  13. Teaching them right is way more important than making them eat. You are officially a winner in this situation. I said so.

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  14. What a lovely Easter lesson...straight from the mouths of babes. Happy Easter!

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  15. I so rock the World 8 castle too! Don't you just love the looks of awe and admiration they give you? :o)

    Happy Easter!

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  16. I hear you about the eating thing -- we just returned from a meal where there were tons of delicious things that my kids normally eat. But they ate nothing (but cake) and now we are home and they are snacking on cereal. Oh, and they have each consumed about ten thousand jelly beans that their grandma gave them!

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  17. And how boring would it be if everything were perfect ALL the time??

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  18. I'd guess it's precisely because there are fancy napkins and a proper dinner that they can't sit still. My kids have a hard time in those situations too.

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  19. My and I were just talking about this... At my mom's she is great. As soon as we get around my dad she turns into a different child. I thought about getting out the video camera too:). The only thing we could think of is that she sees my mom a lot more and that maybe she's acting out trying to get my dads attention. Idk maybe it's just an excuse... Who knows they sure are unpredictable:-).

    But I'm sure it's not our parenting skills.....right?

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  20. Opps that should have started with "My husband and I". This is my first comment done from my iPhone... love love love my phone, but a little tricky typing in the dark while the car is moving (and no I'm not driving).

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  21. Beautiful post Steph. If there was a thumbs up button I would totally have clicked it! And for the record, we all know what an awesome Mama you are. No worries.

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  22. This is a great touching story Steph! :-)

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  23. What a great post! Glad to hear mine isn't the only one who likes to test the boundaries at other people's houses. We went to my mom's and my 8 year old took an hour to eat her lunch. I love the end....what a fantastic reminder!

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  24. As usual, so beautiful!

    I know exactly what you mean. My kids act the same way at my in-laws' house. I feel really insecure because they must think that I'm the worst mother that walked around.

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  25. I really needed to read this today. I'm so glad you wrote it!

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  26. I am so blessed to read your blog! This is amazing and so are you! Hey I forgot to even ask my kids to brush their teeth tonight of all nights!! Happy Easter!

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  27. I love how kids act a certain way with certain people. But such is life I guess.

    I beat every level and finally got every star on Super Mario Bro's on DS...but it did take me almost a year of trying LOL. But come on I am a mom and I don't have hour's of endless time :)

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  28. Tonight for our dinner that was at home with just the 5 of us, my 2 year old, refused to eat. He had maybe 2 bites of corn.

    I actually said out loud to him..
    "I am so glad we aren't at your great-grandma's house, she'd go on and on about how you don't eat and are wasting away....poor child, she'd say, your mommy needs to make sure you eat."

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  29. I love your blog, I found it by way of a link from another blog. Do you mind if I ask you how you made your link back to your page? I am new to blogging and trying to make a link or button the same as my blog background or similiar and have no idea how.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thank you. btw i love your blog!

    Michelle

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  30. beautiful Easter story...we all are imperfect...

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  31. this is one of my favorite posts you have written (that i have read)! thank you!

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  32. So true thanks for sharing this post with us Steph!!!

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  33. My kids always act like feral animals at my in-laws and I don't know if they're worse than usual or if I'm just more aware of their behaviour....
    Lovely post!

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  34. Awe Steph, that was so wonderful to read today. Thanks.

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  35. No better day than to talk about sins than on the day they were all forgiven, right? :) What an authentic learning experience. Now there's a story about Easter that will stick.
    Thank you for sharing this.

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  36. Oh, what a great reminder, Steph. It sounds like you are raising some wonderful children. And my hubby beat something on Mario for my husband yesterday while I was sick and unlocked a world that kept my son quiet all day :) He earned the world's best hubby AND dad prize while I was sick.

    PS- So sorry to hear your tummy is sick. Hopefully that slushie can keep you hydrated. Glad I didn't have you over here or I would have felt incredibly guilty!

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  37. I think kids sense when we want them to be on their best behaviour and they do the opposite.

    This used to happen to is every time my MIL came to visit. I would be so distraut and think "what happened to my children?"

    You are right, they are not perfect and neither are we.

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  38. Sounds like an wonderful, "imperfect" day to me! ; )

    Happy Easter!

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  39. So in spite of the whining and the fasting and the arguing, it looks like you've got the big stuff covered. You're a rockin' Mama. :)

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  40. Clearly you are getting the most important things right. And perhaps they sense a bit of that pressure/tension to really be on their best behavior and they act out against it. Kids are pretty tricky sometimes.

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  41. With my heart beating faster, my lips stretched wide in a smile and my arm raised high, I proudly admit---I am not perfect either. What a relief! And what joy to know that someday, I will be...and that day won't happen on this side of heaven, but it will happen and it will be for His glory and until then, I need to do my heart...try my best...and give God my all.

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  42. I can so relate! The exception is mine eat well, behave, etc. while we're out, but at home...another story altogether! I guess I'd rather have it that way than the alternative, though!

    As much as they make me want to pull my hair out, though, I so love their little quirks. I just hope that they love mine too! :)

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  43. LOVED this post. Your words are so moving...and so true. I'm glad that I'm not the only "imperfectionist" mama.

    The scenarios that you described sound soooo familiar. Especially the "giving ice cream to my naughty child" part. I'll insert a {nervous laugh} right here too...

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