Monday, June 27, 2011

Don't over think it

"Get off your brother." 
10 times
"Stop hitting."  
15 times
5 times
"Get down, that's not a jungle gym."     
4 times
"You are all going to have to take a nap."
8 times
"Be nice."   
20 times
"I don't know."    
50 times
572,345 times

I started counting yesterday.  Counting how many times I said certain phrases.  Pretty interesting results.  As I reflect on the results I wonder why do I even say "jungle gym?"  I don't think the kids know what I am talking about.  And I think "be nice" loses its effect when I yell it through gritted teeth and clenched jaws.

Digging a little deeper I realize that I need to quit saying "no" so much.  When Peyton was 2 years old I stopped working full-time.  I had never really raised my voice or had to discipline him much.  But the longer I stayed home with him, that changed.  At one point I was saying "no" so much and raising my voice I realized I would've requested to have me fired if it was a day care.  I vowed to change and as you can tell by my informal study above, I hold true to my vows.

Another thing that struck me with this counting exercise was how many times I say "I don't know."  I don't claim to know a lot, but 50 seems high even for me.  I believe it has to do more with what types of questions and how many a mother gets in any given day.  Yesterday while dealing with a situation with one of the kids I hear this...."where's my water bottle?," "what time is it?," why are their clouds?," "does Jesus have a dad?" and "why do we have eyebrows?"  All in a matter of 2 minutes.  I think I yelled "be nice, I don't know and stop hitting" in response.  See how the numbers may be off?

In the middle of all that, there are the moments when we do have important talks and connections.  Talks about faith, values and how the world works.  And sometimes I do have a few answers.

I may not know a lot, but I do know about food, especially sweet food.  They all seem to be catching on to that.

And in the words of the great Tina Fey, don't over think it!

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