Friday, October 16, 2009

My Children Think...

Now, I know what you're doing. You're wiping your brow and exhaling "Whew!" at that title. Relieved to know that they do what might not come across as obvious with most children--especially those of the teenaged variety.

My purpose here is not so much to relieve your concerns about their cognitive abilities as it is to share a little of what they think--things that I'm learning about myself as I try to look through their eyes.

My children think:

*That I can take pain away with a kiss.
*That I can create a song on a whim about any subject.
Just ask them about the "Macaroni and Cheese" song--a true Hess family classic.
*That I can teach a toddler to stop using diapers with a bag of M&Ms.
*That I can stop any baby from crying just by holding him/her.
*That I can spend very little and come home with bags and bags of groceries.
*That I am a straight A student--HAHA don't I wish!
*That I "rule the universe."
Very funny story behind this one....

We'd had a tough time with bedtime for quite a while with T. I was very tired of it and knew something had to be done to end it once and for all. A was sick at the time (they share a room), and had to have some sleep, so I knew I had to move T somewhere else. I moved him to the laundry room on a crib mattress. I was nervous to do this because I knew T's history with climbing and getting bottles of things and spilling them all over the floor. If he was to be in the laundry room, the light had to be off and the door shut, so he wouldn't be able to see bottles to spill. I hated doing this, so it lasted about two minutes, and I sent him back to his room to see if he could be quiet. He went right back to his monkey business, so I had to think of another place.

I explained to him that the only place for him was the backyard. This was early September, and the weather was still warm and beautiful. As I took him out there, G carried the mattress for me. I got to thinking just how beautiful the stars were and wondered if I might sleep out there that night too--honestly just a passing thought, but I did think it. As we went out, G looked at me quite concerned saying, "Mom, you're not really going to do this, are you?" I was surprised that G didn't know me better than that; actually, I guess he must; that's why he asked.

I quietly whispered to G, "Give him five minutes, and he'll be begging to come back in to sleep."

We laid out the mattress on the deck and covered it with his blankets and pillow. It looked quite comfy. As we did this, we started with the warnings of the wildlife that might come around--racoons, spiders and slugs. He could be as loud as he wanted out there to scare them away. I then told him that we'd be right inside if he needed us but this was the only option he had if A was going to get the sleep he needed.

T didn't even get all the way up the steps to the mattress before he came running to me. He threw his arms around my waist and cried, "Please Mom, I don't want to sleep out here. The racoons'll get me!"

I sat down with him and hugged him. I said, "T, I would love to have you go inside to sleep; I don't want you to sleep outside, but it's the only place you can make the noise you want to, and A really needs his sleep tonight."

He said, "I'll be quiet."

"Are you sure? Can you do it? If you can't, what'll have to happen?"

"I'll have to sleep with the racoons."

"Yes, and neither of us want that to happen, huh?"


"So, can you do it?"


"Okay, let's go try it."

T joyfully grabbed his pillow, headed into the house, and up the stairs. As we climbed the stairs behind him, G leaned over to me and whispered, "When I grow up, I want to be like my mom 'cuz she rules the universe."

We heard no further sounds from T that night.

*That I can get any stain out of any item of clothing.
*That I sing like an angel.

The only reason I list these things is because none of them are true, but they are to seven people in my house. Nothing is, but the believing makes it so; isn't there a quote like this? It seems that I spend a lot of time brow-beating myself for the things I can't do. I guess I need to look at life through my kids' eyes a bit more often to see what I can.

I read a blog this afternoon entitled Cranberry Corner (I'm sorry, but I don't know why I can't link to it). At the very end of one of her posts, she wrote "Mothers are so powerful." As I read that, I started thinking about all the things my kids think I can do. I rarely think of myself as a powerful being. That's why I thought of this list. It's a short one, but now that I see that they think I can do so many things. I'm going to start searching for my motherly powers. This should only empower me more....I hope.


Unknown said...

ha ha ha-- I bet that racoon story will be told for generations to come. A Hess Family Legend!

Tonya said...

LOVE the raccoon story! How did you get to be such a genius? Julie, you really are such an amazing Mom. I love your posts. They always end up giving me something to think about and ideas to try with my kiddos. I would say you are pretty close to ruling the universe:0)

Anonymous said...

i love that Raccoon story!!!

perfect solution to a noisy kid situation :) i love it!!!!

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