Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tough Calls

Dear Ian,

This will most likely not be a funny post.  It won't chronicle the cute things you say and do, and it won't highlight the adorable art you create, although I am woefully and ridiculously behind on that.  When I eventually print these letters, this post will probably be one that you will skip over until you are older and maybe even a parent yourself.  I'm ok with that; I am most certain you wont agree with me on the things I am going to post within this letter for a LONG time.  But, I am doing it because I know that when you are grown and realize that a strong foundation creates a strong person, this letter will show you how much of a struggle it was for your Daddy and me to make the decisions we make today. 

Today I found this picture on the internet that I posted to my Facebook page (will you even have Facebook in your time?)  It reminded me of what's going on in our house as of late and how we're trying to raise you to be a good kid.  In order to do that, though, sometimes us Moms and Dads have to do things that make you kids and us parents both grumpy.  Anyway, the picture...
I am pretty sure I've mentioned it before, but you and I are at a crossroads in our relationship.  You want to go left, I want you to go right, and unfortunately it's causing us to have a little tension in our day to day dealings with each other.  I'm here to tell you though, Darling Son, it's not going to get better for a while.  Not until you realize that Mommy and Daddy know best and that our rules exist to keep you safe and keep us sane.  And since I know you wont reach this realization until you probably move out on your own, we're in this for the long haul. 

Just for the record, let me just get out there that the word "no" is not my favorite.  I know you will disagree, especially now and even more so when you're a teenager, I'm sure.  Believe me, I would love to indulge your every little whim just to see you smile.  BUT!  What would that do for you?  What would you learn from me handing things to you without earning them or without a reason?  Sadly, not much.  See, Son, it's my job to make sure you are properly equipped to leave this house.  Right now that means that you walk out the door with a lunch, clean undies and a jacket if need be.  Later on, it means that you need to be able to confidently and competently navigate the real world, and the last time I checked, the real world did not work like what I just mentioned.  Lots of people are going to tell you "no".  Your boss, your teachers, your friends, your girlfriends (they dang sure better, anyway) will all one day lower this one-syllable boom, and you better be ready for it.  A child who has been denied his "Vitamin N," to borrow a phrase from my favorite child-rearing expert John Rosemond, will have his precious little world rocked by this first dose.  Better to get said first dose at a young age rather than at 20.  Those repercussions are going to be ugly, that's for sure. 

All this said, I am doing my danged-est to practice what I preach and believe.  And tonight I broke your heart.  Every night, your bedtime routine consists of bath, tooth-brushing, hair-combing, book-reading and then prayers and bed time.  I look forward to book time all night, and lately we've been getting into longer books, and I LOVE the extra snuggle time I get because of it.  It makes my whole day to have clean-smelling you climb up on my lap, relax and read with me.  And I'm happy to say that you enjoy book time, too.  But tonight, after getting your jammies on, you dilly-dallied your way through brushing your teeth and combing your hair.  I told you twice that if we didn't get a move on that we would not have time for books, and then... there it was:  me, bending a bit.  I realized that I was waffling, and to get you to take me at my word, I needed to follow through.  I had to deny the both of us something that we both really love.  I REALLY didn't want to do it.  All I wanted to do was snuggle up with you on your bed and read, but then what would happen tomorrow night?  How long would it take us to get through our bed time routine tomorrow?!  You were so upset, and in my heart, so was I.  I'm sure you didn't see it that way, but I really was sad that I was going to miss out on what we both wanted so badly.  You climbed into bed, still crying a little and told me that tomorrow you will brush your teeth super fast.  Lesson learned?  Maybe.  Tomorrow will tell.  I will have to stick to my guns to make sure, but that's my job, and I take it seriously for your sake. 

I hope that you know deep down in your heart that your Daddy and I would do absolutely anything for you.  That being said, your Daddy and I are not going to do everything for you.  There's a major difference there, and it's our responsibility to know that difference and keep it alive.  You have such potential, and to let that founder and stagnate just because we let you become over-indulged and spoiled would be a crime.  A little Vitamin N with a few manners tossed in there on the side will help you go a long way in life.  And when you're a grown-up successful person, you can tell people that it's all because your parents told you "No."

We love you so much,
Mommy and Daddy
Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Gospel According to Ian

Dear Ian,

One of my favorite parts of your school is the fact that it's faith-based through the Episcopal Church of the Advent, and part of your curriculum is a weekly chapel special area.  At first I wasn't sure how you were going to do with this; your most recent visit to church was Easter, and you clapped after every hymn, and since our church is so close to campus, you felt the need to do the FSU war chant every so often.  Usually when the congregation was quiet.  (Daddy and I decided then and there that maybe we would wait on church until you were a bit older.)  Anyway.  Chapel is led by Miss Christene in the actual sanctuary of the church, and like my class, your class sits on the floor right at the steps of the altar.  Miss Christene sings a song and then tells a story about God or Jesus and teaches you a lesson.  Believe it or not, at the tender age of two years and 4-ish months, you are "getting it."  Granted, these lessons are filtered through your little brain, but you are paying attention and actually retaining and remembering the stories.  Now, whether or not they actually match up with Biblical text is up for debate... 

For example:

A few weeks ago, Miss Christene taught the parable of the man who built his house on the rock versus the man who built his house on the sand.  According to the Bible, the man who built his house on the rock remained safe and dry when the rains came down, while the man who built his house on the sand had his house washed away.  Here's the conversation you and I had about this story in the car on the way home that day...
Mommy: What did you learn about in chapel today, Bear?
Ian: The man build his house on the rock, and the man build his house on sand.  The rain comes and the sand WOOSH away (with dramatic arm movements, by the way.)
Mommy:  It did!  Wow!  What happened to the man on the rock?
Ian:  (silent for a bit.)  His house ok, but Mommy, rocks is slipp-lery. 
I don't know if you're allowed to question to question the Bible when you're only two years old, Ian.

Here's another good one:  Miss Christene again taught a parable, but this time it was the parable of the lost sheep.  She brought in a stuffed sheep that she hid to demonstrate the point, and at the right time, someone got to find the sheep.  Yup, it was you.  Your recap of this lesson:
Ian: The man had a lot of sheep, but he losed one.
Mommy: Oh no!  What happened.
Ian:  He found it.
Mommy: That's good.  Who helped him find it?  (I expect to hear "God")
Ian:  Me.  It by Carson.

I have come to absolutely LOVE Thursday afternoons when I get to hear your first take on your chapel lesson.  Since you are in a two day/ three day class, you get to do the special areas twice, and by Friday, you usually have the concepts down, so they are more correct and factual.  But these Ian Interpretations just make my whole Thursday, and I so look forward to them. 

Today is Tuesday, so I have two more days for my Ian-based Religious Education Class, and I can't wait.  I wonder what you're going to learn and come up with next.

I love you,

 Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Toddler Life #20

You know you are the parent of a toddler when...

... you're so busy doing the day to day toddler stuff that you forget to write down all the things that run through your head to post in your little man's blog.  Ok, so maybe that's just me.  But that's what's happenin' right now, and I promise here and now to get back on track and be better about posting.