Days 2017

Days 2017

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Questionable Morning

I've been trying hard to be a gentler, kinder version of myself.  As in, not being a drill-sergeant parent.  This is easier said than done, so as we approach General Conference, where we get two days of counsel from the wisest, kindest men, (apostles of the Kindest Man who ever was) I decided I am going to listen for ideas on how to do this.  I especially want to be a kinder parent while at the same time teaching my children to be agents, not victims.  (Responsible.)

Anyway, yesterday having formulated my question for conference, I was at the library with the kids so Cooper could pick up a book report book.  (Who am I kidding? we are at the library every few days, book report or not.)  I came across a book by Wendy Nelson, wife of Elder Nelson, about asking great questions.  Aha!  Just what I had been thinking about:  trying to come up with a great question for conference.  So I got it and so far the book is great, but what I mostly have gotten out of it is that I need to ask questions much more often as a parent, not just tell the kids what they need to do.  Supposedly, not only will this help me be gentler and less drill-sergeant, it will ALSO help the kids to think and act for themselves. 

I decided to do a little experiment.  Since I had come to this realization this morning, when the kids were still sleeping, I decided to see if I could get them through the before-school rush-hour by ASKING questions gently and kindly, without sarcasm or anger, (and not just pointed questions like, "Will you PLEASE eat your breakfast!!") instead of TELLING as often as possible.  This took some fast-thinking, and I didn't entirely succeed in coming up with a question at every point of communication, (and some of those questions were definitely "leading the witness") but I did pretty good.

For example:
Instead of berating Macy for not being dressed yet, I asked her what she was going to wear today.

Instead of casting alarm about how late it was getting, I asked Cooper if he thought he could get dressed and have breakfast in time to make it to school for his field trip.  (And I remained calm.)

Instead of demanding that Boston come upstairs and eat his breakfast, I sat on his bed and asked him if he was going to have one of the few remaining blueberry muffins.  (Okay, I may have exaggerated a bit about the number of remaining muffins, but it lit a fire under him alright.)

"If you can't finish your muffin, do you have room for a cheese stick?"
"Which cup is yours?"  (This actually worked.  He didn't answer but found his cup and drained it.)
"Do you know where your bike helmet is?"
"Are you going to be able to leave with the other kids?  Do you have time?"
"Do you think you could manage chewing on this at the same time as you are tying your shoes?"
"What pretty should we put in your hair today?"

I also noticed that I sort of perked up when someone asked me a question, since I had been so intentional about my words and questions.  Unfortunately, the question was, "Why do I have to eat breakfast?"  Oh well, he got an answer, and he asked for it!!

They all got out the door on time, fully clothed and fed, helmets on, and I felt like mom of the year.

This has been a fun and busy month.  We had parties and picnics, house and landscaping projects, three birthdays along with several football games (flag and watching BYU) and also Leslie's marching band performances.

Last month at the Utah County fair.  Luke loved this little choo-choo ride.  I loved the lack of crowds (and I admit, I tried the deep fried cheesecake.  eh.)

Boston turned 10.  His birthday was kind of rushed and unorganized because Mark got really sick with some kind of way high fever/flu so we couldn't do much, also because both boys had football games.  He's blowing out his candles here in his uniform, ready to go.  Although he did get a few presents, he was most excited about a robotics club course at school that we agreed to partially pay for.
I liked it when Boston had his blue shorts and Cooper his green laces and gloves so I could pick them out from the rest of the melee.  (I have very few pictures.  It was kind of pointless with so much action in such a tangle of uniforms.)  Boston played for the Cowboys and Cooper was a Pirate.  Boston preferred defense and had a lot of "pulls" (downs and sacks) also an interception or two, Cooper preferred offense and made many touchdowns, usually playing wide receiver, also had a lot of pulls. 
These two are unstoppable.  I could tell that they have both had a lot of practice, with each other and also with friends at recess.  Cooper is a football maniac as it is (practices every waking moment and I am so not kidding, refuses to discuss an alternate career path other than playing for BYU--good thing he'll be tall, etc.), so it was very fun to watch him play, and Boston (although claiming to like baseball better--I think that may have something to do with number of wins) seemed much more fluid and confident and aggressive in this sport, probably just from practice with Cooper.  

Luke playing with Boston and his friend Ben while it was their turn to be on the sidelines.  (Only 8 of 12 on the field at a time, so each player rotated out.)
Lookin' good, but I think we're going to go with golf or baseball with this one.  Mom is going to plead heart condition.  It probably won't work, I've argued with Cooper 'til I'm blue in the face that he's just going to get hurt playing football, and he tells me, "I've had so many surgeries mom!  I don't care about Pain!  Grrr!"  He told his horrified plastic surgeon (who did his nose job) the same thing.  Oh well.  Let live. 
 Speaking of, here's Cooper's latest.  Happened when Boston was procrastinating sweeping off the patio and was swinging the broomstick around in a circle instead.  Leslie and I were at the General Women's Broadcast, and when I came home to an empty house with the bathwater still in the tub and Luke's shoes in the middle of the floor, I thought something might be up...  He gets them out on Saturday.  Has it slowed down the football 24/7?  Of course not.
I like this one of Boston.  Number 2.
Boston waiting for the kick.
Boston in huddle.  His coach reminded me of cross between a pirate and Santa Claus--he had quite the laugh.  We wish they could have had more wins (and more than two plays), but I was proud of Boston's good attitude and that he played hard every game.

Forgot to get more pics of Cooper.  Here he is watching the kick--number 10.  Some of the kids on both teams were pretty good and will be at the same schools as my boys, so it will be fun to see if they all end up playing high school football together.  Boston and Landon can block for Cooper and Ben, etc.
Mark doesn't intentionally tease and embarrass me very often, so I had to protest by taking a picture with my phone.  I was a bit chilly during Cooper's last night game, and Mark went out to the car to move it and to see if he could find me something to wear.  He came back with one of those foil emergency blankets and proceeded to open the package and unwrap it and swaddle me in it, much to the curiousity of the crowd.  (Why is that lady dressed like a fast food hot dog?)  I kept telling him to stop and even threw Cooper's football at him, but he just laughed harder.  If you are wondering, it was sorta comfortable.  Just loud and crackly.  I think I distracted the ref.

I'm fuming on the inside.  Kate Bassett, I thought of you and Bishop Bassett's popcorn popper wife heater invention!  I really truly loved going to all of my boys' games, and although it may have had something to do with sitting down for more than five minutes without interruption, I thought it was great fun.
When Mark was so sick I took him to the doctor for the first time since we've been married.  We kept Luke happy by taking his picture.  Several times.  The little ham.

The kids have had a great time with the big piles of dirt in the empty lot next to us.  I'll be happy when the dirt is gone.
When Mark was recovered, we had crepes one Sunday.  Macy got a little frightful with the Nutella.
Although it's fuzzy, this picture makes me laugh.  Macy had gone through a bunch of boxes of Leslie's old clothes that are now her size.  Usually so fashion conscious, this was her plan of what to wear to school the next day.  (It also happened to be hat day.)  An old pilled up pajama top with the buttons not even done up straight.  Over a black tank top.
And Luke turned 3. When I asked him what kind of cake he wanted, he said, "Round."  He later told me he wanted "orange".  Well, they didn't have any orange cupcake papers, so he got footballs instead.  I remember that when I turned four I told my mom I wanted a Green Fly speck cake.  So I got one.  (Fly speck=poppy seed.)  

Luke so enjoyed the candles and the singing that he insisted, "Let's do it again!!"  So, we did.  He also insisted all week that for his birthday we were going to "the waterfall", so Mark came home early so we could hike to the Grotto waterfall again with Grandpa and Grandma Day.  The leaves were beautiful--pink and red.  (And I didn't take any pictures.  If you're curious, it's the same hike we went on in my last entry.)  It was a great birthday activity.

We were all excited for Luke to get this Big Wheel.  He has outgrown the Beep beep.  Mark says some of his earliest memories are of riding down a big hill on a Big Wheel when they still lived in Cincinnatti.  I remember my brothers being little terrors on these--and did Darcy have a purple one at some point?
He also asked if he could do some deoderant.  Usually I tell him no, but what the heck.  It was his birthday. 

I thought his new Leader of the Pack shirt was particularly appropriate.  Vroom Vroom!
We ended up changing his shirt when he choked on his picnic lunch and puked all over it while we were waiting for Leslie to get her braces off.  Of course you puke on your new birthday shirt.  Couldn't have planned it better.  He also really liked this new playdoh steamroller toy and has played with it every day since.
This Saturday was crazy with Father's and sons campout, Cooper's semifinals football game (he was late getting back, only played half the game, and they lost by one.  Drat!) I hurried a little too quick back home (got my first spding ticket here--right behind our house--so lame!) so I could chaperone Leslie's marching band competition.  Missed that bus so I drove, but it worked out well because we didn't have to stay for the whole thing.  Mostly I stood around in the hot and helped move props.  They did a great job on their performance.  Here is a short clip I took of one of the movements--I didn't know if I'd have enough memory on my phone to film the whole thing (plus I forgot until it was half over anyway...)  This is from ground level as I was crouching under the bleachers with the other parents waiting to cart away the props.  Leslie is one of two flutes--the taller one.  I tried to center the camera on her when I could pick her out.  During the last bit she is kind of behind the gong.  And yes, she does bust a few moves on this, pretty fun to watch.  Sorry you aren't getting the from the bleachers up above full view.

1 comment:

The Haynes Herd said...

you guys are busy! Love all the pictures. I'm not going to tell Jax and bridger your boys are football players. They'd be too jealous. I like your question method. I'm going to try it in the morning... wish me luck. Maybe it will bring down the decibel level in our morning routine :)