Thursday, June 13, 2013

Inner voice

I came across this quote the other day that pretty much describes the way I wish to parent, my own little mantra to keep me on track and not lose sight of my objective as a caring and conscientious presence in my children's lives.

"The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice." --Peggy O'Mara

I have this taped on my desk, and it has served as a nice reminder of how I wish to treat my boys with respect and compassion and help fuel their own self-confidence within themselves. But above all, to just know and feel the overflowing love we so freely dole out in our household. The constant proclamations of I love you and bear hugs and millions of daily kisses, even if they're achieved by chasing and pinning and stealing, the recipient squealing for escape.

When I lose focus and resort to yelling more and growing impatient too quickly, I find myself holding tight to this quote, an anchor tethering me to the type of parenting I strive to embody.


This has been one of those weeks where I didn't have to try very hard, everything just seemed to fall into place. I attribute it to the fact that summer decided to shower us with some sunshine for a change. And we surely took advantage of every last ray of it as we possibly could, starting with a project I've been dying to do for weeks. My husband even threatened to toss out a vital prop several times while we waited for the right weather conditions. You see, we had to replace the screen door on the deck, and it seemed like such a waste to just throw away the old one. Why not have some fun with it before the garbage man takes it away? I rolled out a big piece of paper on the driveway, laid the screen door over top of it, squirted some paint and told the boys to have fun. Almost immediately Ashton was covered in paint. Spencer, always hesitant to get dirty, took a bit longer to thoroughly get into it, but even he couldn't resist the temptation to use his body as a canvass. 

I really hadn't thought past the execution of the project to figure out how to clean up the mess afterwards. It dawned on me to utilize the great outdoors instead of traipsing the paint into my house. I hooked up the sprinkler Spencer had been nagging me to use since we bought it weeks ago, and instructed the boys to run through the spraying, spinning water. But they only circled the perimeter of the water, too scared to venture in far enough for the water to actually clean them. Even after I picked up Ashton and dragged Spencer along behind me through the icy cold water, they still didn't discover the joy that is the sprinkler. Instead I hauled a crying Ashton, deathly afraid of the thing, and a shivering Spencer into the house and hosed them down in the bath.

We did, however, try the sprinkler again another day. I'm determined to trick them into liking it. How can you not love the great summer past time that is the sprinkler? Instead of turning the water on full blast, I only turned the valve a smidgen, just enough for water to spray a small manageable fountain of water at their feet. For whatever reason, this was tolerable, and they filled bottles, buckets, shovels full of water and dumped them into the water table. They'd lap up water with their tongues, drinking the ice cold hose water. And just when they were comfortable in their play, I'd sneak away and suddenly crank up the water, the sprinkler sprouting from a small spray to the gigantic spurring sprinkler monster. Squealing, the boys fled the scene as if their lives depended on it, like a bear was close on their heels and they needed to run to safety. 

In full summer glory, we broke out the kiddie pool this week, too. The boys enjoyed their first dip of the season, even if their little teeth chattered because it is probably still a tad too chilly for such an occasion. 

Also, this week, we went on a field trip with a bunch of other moms and babes to a small zoo. This is a destination we try to squeeze in every summer because it is the perfect size for a day trip. We followed the kids around as they climbed onto fences to peer at the animals and grab fist fulls of wood chips and grass to force feed the farm animals before realizing it was well past lunch time, a true signal of quitting time.


Out of the Mouth of Spencer, Edition 2.

The set-up: Spencer is studiously staring at me one afternoon as I hook a strapless bra around my waist and then scoot it up my tank top.

Spencer:  Mommy, maybe you need more.

Me:  More what?

Spencer:  Maybe you almost need more for your boobs.

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