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Mommyhood

Stop Saying “No”

November 6, 2015
Happy Birthday Parley

My iphone version of Parley’s 4 year-old photos. I couldn’t resist the darling pumpkins and the bale of hay on the front porch. It’s cheesy, but dang, it’s cute.

This morning has been pretty normal. After scraping myself out of bed (which daylight savings has made significantly less enjoyable – thank you babies) I dragged my feet to the kitchen to pour a couple bowls of mom’s finest gourmet Apple Zingers. Or whatever the big bag brand calls their repackaged version of Apple Jacks. Cold cereal has been a life saver lately. The kids are actually eating it. Which makes the mornings about 10 bazillion times easier on my slow, blimp of a pregnant body.

Parley watched a movie while Pax got ready for work and Vi shuffled around in a heavy diaper. I confess, I dread mornings sometimes and have even stayed up late trying to get “just one more thing” done because mornings whoop my butt.
But it’s a beautiful part of the day. The kids are so alive and their eyes, however freshly awokenΒ they may look, manage to make me envious of their brightness and energy. I groan and growl back when they skip into the little crevice beside my bed asking for buttered toast with powdered sugar. Thinking about all of this has me checking myself. I need to have a better attitude.

Parley sure did a solid job of reminding me what life is about today while I labored (because bending over to pick up the books has become laborious) to tidy the living room. He sat on his beanbag watching me pick up this and that.

“Mom, will you play legos with me?” I’m sure I grunted or sighed or some really dumb thing to do when your sweet 4 year old asks for some of your time.

“Maybe, Par. Let me finish tidying up the living room and then we’ll talk about what we’re going to do.”

“You just don’t play with me that often.”

That stopped me dead in my tracks. My heart sunk. Now, I have been trying really hard to be more present for both of my kids, but he is absolutely right. Building the same lego car for the tenth time in four days is not an ideal way for me to spend my time. Don’t get me wrong, I love legos and the creativity that they foster, but Parley hasn’t quite caught onto this part of their purpose yet. But I don’t have this opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom and really soak up this precious time with my babies so that I can have the most beautiful home, with the best dressed kids who are eating the most delicious dinners. I am here to nurture and to love my children and my husband. I am here because God has given me thisΒ time.Β 

I don’t ever want my kids to look back at their childhood wishing they had been able to get mommy to play with them more. Yesterday, we tried something new with the masking tape obstacle course. It was like the narrow hall in our humble house was designed for this activity. I loved watching Parley and Vi experience it. I loved feeling their energy and enthusiasm. And most importantly, they loved it. They loved doing something new and the fact that I was sitting there watching them. Later in the evening, we read a couple Beatrix Potter stories on the couch, all cuddled up. It brings me great satisfaction that Parley enjoys these stories so much, because they are classic with beautiful illustrations and language. I spent time yesterday with my babies. And it made the day all the better.

And you can bet that I played with the legos with Parley today. I built him the helicopter which he played with gleefully when it was finished. He even shared the little car with Vi. All was right in the world as we sat on the rug in the living room together. I learned my lesson today and hopefully I can remember before Parley has to remind me too many times that he needs time with me.

I recently read an article about making the most of the time with your children. One of the tips I remember the most was to try to say “yes” more often than not. It stuck with me, because I really am a “no” mommy. I catch myself wondering after telling Parley he can’t do/have something why I said “no” in the first place. There are times when you have to teach your child or protect them by telling them “no”, but I need to do a better job of recognizing the difference between those and the trivial parts of a preschooler’s day.

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