Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Ball

Some kids have a pacifier, others a cuddly blanket. For others it's a raggedy stuffed animal or doll that they can't live without. But for Jesse Bear it's a ball - a half-chewed clear bouncy ball to be exact. He takes it with him EVERYWHERE! It's the perfect size to fit inside his little hand and he is rarely found without it. He sleeps with it, eats with it, bathes with it, plays outside with it and...Yep! Rides his bike with it! As can be expected, the ball's size and elastic properties pose some interesting challenges. He loses it several times a day, but so far between Curious George and I, we've been able to help him find it. Cross your fingers that it will stay that way!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What I've learned from my Kids

Sometimes I wonder if we are given children more to teach them or more for them to teach us. I'm sure it's probably a bit of both, but I think for myself it seems like they teach me a lot more important lessons than I teach them.

One of the lessons that I've learned is about forgiving. Having two very energetic boys in our house, it is to be expected that there are a lot of bumps, bruises, tears and hurt feelings. The same with any family. Of course since Curious George is three years older, stronger and a bit more lively than Jesse Bear he is usually the perpetrator of much of the damage. I've struggled and struggled with how to deal with him in these setting and have gone around in circles trying to come up with ideas. It's been difficult to say the least. I want very much to teach Curious George to get along with other people and especially his brother. I admit it makes me angry when he hurts JB and the mother bear in me wants to protect my injured child and punish the perpetrator. There have been a few precious times when I've waited instead of doing that and have seen greater lessons being taught than those I could teach. Jesse Bear will often come up and say "Sorry" to Curious George and kiss and hug him even though he was the victim. It softens C.G. so that he will say sorry back. I've wondered if I should still punish C.G. in those instances and I usually decide not to. That simple "sorry" from Jesse Bear helps C.G. recognize that he did something wrong and feel sorry about it. Then J.B. forgives, so I should forgive. That's what the Savior would do.

I'm learning that children can often work out their difficulties on their own in a much better way than we can if we jump in. I think as adults we often want justice and to make things right. We especially want that as parents for our injured children. There is a natural instinct that makes us want to jump in and fix it - to put on the bandaid, kiss it better and punish the perpetrator for his crimes. Children are so much better than us at forgiving. They do it naturally. And they forget and move on while we tend to carry the grudge with us like a load of bricks. I've decided that I would much rather teach children about being Christ-like than about justice. If our Heavenly Father put us in a "time-out" every time we made a mistake, most of us would spend most of our lives in "time-outs". Insead all that he requires is true repentance - where we recognize our mistake, confess it, try to make it right and ask for forgiveness. When we've done that, He forgives us completely and forgets that we've even made the mistake. We start again fresh as if we hadn't even made the mistake. Since He is the perfect parent, we can learn a lot by following that example. And our children can help us, it seems so often that they already know.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Duck Duck....

Yes we still have the duck and she is growing! She is the sweetest little duck that set foot on this planet. She's extremely tame - almost scarily so. Every morning Brandon goes out to the car to go to work and she comes over and drops her head down for him to pet her. He gives her chopped up tomatoes and apples and she is in heaven. She'll run away when she is chased, but if you stoop down she'll come right up to you. She must have a bit of the migrating instinct. The other day a guy a few blocks down the street knocked on our door at 7:30 a.m. and said she was under the trailer parked in front of his house! We went and rescued her and since then we've been a bit more careful to lock her up when the weather changes. She also has had a few encounters with some dogs around the neighborhood - she even ended up a dog's mouth once - luckily the neighbor rescued her! I think she's got 9 lives.

She's been the perfect pet for Curious George right now. He loves to pick her up and carry her around like a baby doll. He helped her develop her flying skills. He'd put her on this big rock near our house and run away and she'd fly after him. It was funny to watch. Every morning he goes out and gets her and stands in front of our house watching all the school kids go to school. He carries her around and many of them stop and point or talk to him. They all think it is "cool." Another neighbor told me that she saw him standing there holding his duck and waving her little foot at all the cars that pass. She said it was hilarious!

The "duck visitors" still come over. They play with C.G. after school and they all have a blast. I think C.G. has promised each one of them a duckling when they hatch. I'm not sure how that will work, but miracles do happen!