Do people ever get parenting exactly right? I'd sure like to hear from someone who arrived at the perfect parenting style, never did anything they regretted, and their kids ended up great.
I've never heard of anyone like that, and frankly, there probably isn't anyone. If I'm wrong about this, let me know! I don't even like the way Joseph and Mary parented. Scandalous??? I don't think it was fair that they griped Jesus out for staying behind at the temple.
I have been truly enjoying parenting the boys even though days and moments come and go where I feel like I just did everything wrong. The boys have grown and learned so much! We have gotten to the part of our parenting where we can seriously relax the rules a bit. They now have a good foundation of what's simply not acceptable and they rarely step over the limits into atrociousness. They have general disobedience, yes, but none of it lately has been heart-stoppingly shocking. The worst thing they have done lately is lie and.... Joey hit Bam-Bam today. He did get in trouble for that, because that simply is not ok.
But on the whole, they've been great, and there have lately been several days where we got to the end of the day and I said, "Wait a minute..... no one got in trouble today!" We can now allow them to do so much more than we could previously, because we can trust them. I actually sat Christopher down in the service today, left him there, and came back later. He had sat quietly the whole time with his hands folded in his lap, just like he was supposed to. Good for him!
That said, they still have a ways to go. We are concentrating on learning different things now. For example, if I tell Bam-Bam to actually eat a bite instead of putting one cereal flake on his spoon, he might respond with a whine... "Yes Mommy" like he thinks I'm going to chop his legs off or something. He's learning he has to respond with a respectful, cheerful voice. We're trying to teach Joey to shut his eyes during prayers and not play with his chin.
None of these are huge things, and I'm so thankful that the Lord has let us get to the point where we can work on normal things instead of, don't cry when you can't see Mommy. That is such a foster care thing to have to work on, and I'm glad Bam-Bam is no longer so afraid that he cries if he can't see me for a minute.
I can't tell you how helpful it is for me to be able to stay home with our boys. The poor children who go to the early childhood school where Tim subbed the other day... they get yelled at by the aides all day and then they go home, not knowing anything about proper behavior to get yelled at by their parents. What happened to teaching kids what they actually need to know?
I'm still not in a hurry to plunge our boys into school work. We've worked on some things here and there, but I would truthfully MUCH rather they be able to come when I call them with a happy attitude, listen in church, tell me the gospel, and give hugs with abandon. I also get practically giddy when I realize that my Joey isn't afraid of Stella anymore. Getting Dumb Faith was the absolute right thing to do, and giving him the job of feeding/watering the dogs was good, too. (Yes, I do supervise while he is out there with our murdering cutthroat beast.)
Joey and Christopher are both growing up. Perhaps we'll have one of them baptized soon? There's a baptism coming up, and if Christopher can satisfy us that he knows the gospel, we'll dunk him. (I know the baptism debate, but we're not entering it at this juncture in our lives.) He does really well articulating the gospel now, but we'd like him to be sure of a few more things, like the resurrection (he doesn't know the word) and the word punishment (he doesn't know that word, either, even though he knows that if Jesus hadn't died, he would go into the fire). He does love the Lord, though, and he shows it to us every day. We're so excited about his faith, and he is too.
The boys are also excited about Ilse's debut. I need to go up to the hospital with them for a tour so they will know where I will be, and we are going to have them spend the night at Kim's for a test run sometime soon.
Life is so pleasant and happy; we're very thankful for God's provision for us and gifts to us. He is a good God.