Monday, July 25, 2005

Lost in translation


So Chloe has decided she wants to be potty trained. One morning a couple of weeks ago I had let her run around without a diaper for a while because she had a rash. When I tried to put a diaper back on she wouldn't let me and said she wants to wear panties and be "potty twained."

Sounds good to me! I have no problems with that. For the rest of that day she wore panties and went potty on the potty....not one accident! I was so excited every time she went to the bathroom, and she was just so cute with her little shy smile when she was trying to go. She loved that I was making a big deal out of everything.

Well, after a few days, she was still doing really well--very few accidents, telling me when she needed to go, staying dry even in public--could it be any easier? Wow!

Well, one day I was in the bathroom with her and she went. I said, "Yay! Chloe" and she said, "Cwap." I said "What did you say?" and she repeated, "Cwap. Cwap, mommy!" I couldn't figure out why she was saying a naughty word (although I was thinking she probably learned it from me) and told her we don't say that word and not to say it anymore. Well, every time she went potty she kept saying it, and I kept telling her that we don't say that and to please not say it. She just looked at me really funny and kept saying it.

Until the other day. I realized what she was really saying and I realized why she always looked so confused when I told her not to say that word. She was saying "Clap." Yep. All she wanted was for Mommy to clap for her because she went potty. Can you imagine how low I felt? Here I was telling her I couldn't clap for her because that wasn't a nice word? Once I got it and I clapped my heart out for her, you should have seen her face beam. So proud of herself....and Mommy so proud of her, too.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Hard day.

The last couple days have been really hard. Sometimes I just really hate my calling...it is a little more than I can handle and I don't feel equipped. Don't get me wrong, though. I always feel the help of the Lord and I know I would have already given up a long time ago if it weren't for that help.

In this capacity, I see sides of people's lives that nobody else has the opportunity to see. I know things about people's marriages that I would rather not know. My eyes have been opened to the poverty, both temporal and spiritual, that people experience. I see many people at their very lowest moments. I am here to help them and in so doing it is just a natural byproduct to see their lives in such detail.

Last night I saw something that I hope I will never have to see again. I can't stop thinking about it. It has probably been the biggest challenge I have faced yet as RS President. I have had 2 sisters tell me they were going to commit suicide, I have seen more divorces and separations than I ever thought possible, I have dealt with a sister who cuts herself, I have seen medical issues and trials of health, I have had people yell at me over the phone to tell me I should be released because I am not "doing what my Heavenly Father wants me to do, " I have had a sister be arrested....but until yesterday I have never had to deal with death.

While I was at swimming lessons I got a phone call from Bishop to call him immediately because a family in the ward had lost their daughter. I called him back and found out that the police had called Bishop and needed him to come with them to notify the parents of their daughter's death. Apparently she had been staying with her grandparents and the grandmother left her in the car. We live in Arizona and that poor little girl had no chance. Bishop said he would go with the police and then would call me over.

When I arrived, this sister had known for less than an hour that she would never again see her daughter on this earth. Devastated is an understatement. The paramedics were treating her for hyperventilation and she was throwing up. She is 33 weeks pregnant now and there are deep concerns that this emotional trauma will cause that baby to come early. I honestly did not know what I could do, or even what I should do. What do you do in this situation? I finally just went and held her for a good fifteen minutes and just cried with her. I can't imagine....how do you deal with this? How do you find it in your heart to forgive the person you trusted with your child? How could this happen?

It is just hard for me to have the responsibility to be the one to see this poor mommy right then. We all hear of people who are affected by death somehow...sometimes it even happens to our friends or neighbors. But to be there while the police were still there monitoring the situation...to see the raw emotion....that is something I don't think I will ever be able to forget. We usually see these people when they are a bit more put together and have had time to process the situation. Not that it is easier, but they are ready to face the world.

Man...we just never know when something is going to happen. I came home and just hugged my girls and I didn't want to let them go. Ever.

Today I have felt guilty for being happy and having so much. I am truly blessed. But how can I be so happy when others are suffering so much? I know the answer, so you don't have to tell me...but I have felt a little humbled that my problems are relatively small when I consider what other people have to deal with. In fact...they are miniscule.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Parenting is a comedy show...

Do you ever just want to laugh in your children's faces when they are actually needing discipline instead? I have been blessed with two beautiful little girls who need to spend quite a bit of time in "time-out" and who also crack me up when they are mad or out of control. It is often all I can do to keep a straight face while I put them in time-out....then I have to go in the other room and burst out laughing!

Some recent gems from Neves comedy central:

Bria: Can I have another cookie?
Mom: No. You have already had too many sweets today and you have to eat something good for you.
Bria: {Bursts into dramatic tears and runs from the room}
Mom: {Already laughing at this reaction}
Bria: {Comes back into room a few minutes later, not much calmer than she was when she left. Gives me the dirtiest look can muster, and says} Mommy! You RUINED my feelings!
Mom: {Laughs in her face...couldn't control myself this time.}

Bria: Mom! Chloe hit me!
Mom: Chloe, did you hit Bria? {fully expecting a denial based on past experiences}
Chloe: {Gives me a very stinky face} Two times!
Mom: {Puts Chloe in time out and goes to bedroom to laugh.}

Some background on this next one....I often use the toilet as the time-out chair...it's pretty boring in there so it's hard to be distracted from thinking about the actions that landed them there in the first place.

Mom: Bria, do you need to go potty?
Bria: NO! {dancing and holding herself} I don't have to!!
Mom: I think you do....please go potty.
Bria: No, I'm NOT going to go potty! I don't want to!
Mom: I'll give you a choice then...you can go sit on the toilet and go potty or you can go sit on the toilet in time-out.
Bria: {Bursts into her signature drama queen tears} That's not a choice! That's a MATCH!
Mom: {Puts Bria on the toilet and leaves the bathroom laughing}

I know, these are really mostly "you had to be there" and "you have to know them" kind of moments. But I never thought that parenting could be so funny. Sometimes I feel bad laughing at what is apparently the most distressing moment of my child's life, but they are just too funny! And laughing at them is probably better than yelling....right?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Vacuuming woes

I would like to vacuum my house every day. It certainly needs it! But for some reason this is a virtual impossiblity. I can do my dishes daily, I can do a load of laundry daily, I can make beds daily and everything else that needs to get done on a daily basis. But not vacuuming.

Here's why....by the time I have one room picked up and ready to vacuum the kids have messed up another room, or worse, the phone rings. Then, while I am on the phone dealing with something *usually Relief Society related* the girls mess up the previously cleaned room. This process has been known to happen at my house several times a day. And the vacuuming never gets done. Seriously, I'm down to twice a week if I'm lucky...and that's only if I send Joel out of the house with the kids or lock them in the bathroom.

I've tried to have it all cleaned up and ready to vacuum at night after the girls are in bed, so I can vacuum first thing in the morning. But it never works. In the morning, there are just too many other demands and vacuuming falls by the wayside.

So, if you come to my house and notice crumbs and who knows what else all over my carpet, I apologize in advance. I'm trying. Maybe getting the vacuuming done each day will be my goal for next week...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A little at a time

I am often frustrated at my lack of perfection. I have so many goals and dreams and ideas of what I want to be and how to do it. Because of this, I often get really discouraged, because I am not Superwoman! (Or ElastiGirl...which is what Bria has taken to calling me lately.) I just can't do it all, and sometimes I am more concerned about the things I didn't do than I am the things I did do.

I have a friend who writes her to do list for the day, and at the end of the day writes a completely different list of what she actually did. Maybe I should start doing that, because even if I don't do everything on my daily list, I do some of it. And a lot of other stuff that never even makes it to the list....stuff that is way more important, like kissing owies and changing diapers and cuddling and reading with the kids.

I also have decided to make just one small goal each week....something that's easy for me to do. The hope is that I will have made it into a habit by the end of the week and so when I'm focusing on another small goal, the first will still be in place. I also hope this will help me to feel more productive and less disorganized.

My goal for this week is to read to the kids every single day. So far, I've done it four days in a row. It makes me feel a little better about myself as a mom. Besides, I love reading to them, I just haven't made the time necessary for it recently.

A little at a time, one small goal each week, perfection attained by next year! (At least I'll be closer, right?)

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Just one more thought

I'll make this short. I'm sick of thinking about this subject, but I have one more thing to say...

It is much easier just to serve than it is to actually teach self-reliance. It's much easier to hand someone five dollars than it is to sit down with them and teach them how to budget. It is much easier to clean someone's house for them than it is to teach them how to keep up and how to do it. It is much easier to give a man a fish than it is to take the time to teach him how to fish for himself.

Here's how I know: I can make Bria's bed in less than a minute. Getting her to do it herself, and showing her how to do it correctly takes almost a full half hour every day. And that's not even including all of the complaining and whining I have to listen to before we get down to the task at hand. And then there's all of the dilly-dallying and getting sidetracked involved. I'd much rather take the minute and be done with it, but I don't feel like I can do that with a clear conscience.

Yet another example that the right things are often the hard things. Gotta do those darn hard things in order to experience growth.