Friday, December 3, 2010

My Job as Mom

On one of our morning drives I stopped by the grocery store to stock up on sale items. With receipt in hand I asked the girls to help carry the bags so that the grocery cart could stay in the store. At that moment one girl was instantly busy talking and pointing to something in the store-- it looked as if she had not heard me. If I had to guess, I would say she chose not to. Of course I mentioned my observation-- of course I had it all wrong.

Since money is tight for this district, there is no busing available unless you pay for it. We bought bus passes for the younger three boys but are not ready to send our older kids on city buses at 6:40 in the morning-- so I drive them. As I drove up to the school-- bless my girls' hearts-- they thanked me for letting them go bowling with a church youth group last night. "You're very welcome, but next time I won't let you go if I first hear about it from someone else. If you want to go somewhere or do something please don't have someone else ask me for you." Julia had her friend's mother (who happens to be my good friend too) call and invite the girls before Julia mentioned it to me. Not cool-- and I had to remind them of it.

The day quickly passed by with Jonny's eye appointment and Sveta's IEP. This new eye doctor explained how Jonny's right eye shuts down every time it drifts outward which is every time he adjusts his eyes from looking far away to close up. As a result he does not have very good depth perception. He suggested that Jonny go back to bifocals and weekly patching-- oh fun. The bifocal part is no big deal-- we ordered his new flex frame glasses today-- but Jonny is not thrilled with the idea of having to patch again. But what child is??

As for Sveta's IEP, I must say that I was impressed with the team--- All good folk trying to do the best they can with the resources they have. They had nothing but nice things to say about my daughter (all of them for that matter) which was wonderful to hear. Sveta is at a solid second-- maybe third in some areas--grade level and making progress every day which is fine when you look at the grade she is in, but if you look at her age that means she is at least five years behind. After hearing this, I am more undecided than ever about whether I should and could home school her. Like with Alex, I wonder whether I am the best person to educate Sveta because of all the neat learning tricks a special ed teacher does-- definitley not my forte. As Sveta's teacher explained to me the way she was teaching Sveta how to do algebraic equations, I'll admit I was impressed.

By the end of the meeting, one of the teachers felt that she knew me well enough to comment that I would probably not like the book that Anastasia had picked up from the library. I couldn't wait to see what this book on teen pregnancy looked like. When Anastasia showed it to me, I had to smile. Yes, the book was about a 15 year old girl who had a baby but the cartoon pictures of a girl with her doll made me realize how innocent Anastasia was in choosing this book. It was nice that she didn't question me when I told her not to look at the book. Too bad another curious daughter already had her nose buried in it. When will I learn that as soon as something is made off limits it suddenly becomes an item of intense interest? A better question is, when will my daughter learn that my saying something is off limits actually means that it is off limits?

Raising girls-- teenage girls is certainly no easy job. Often times right in the midst of it I find myself frustrated-- shaking my head. "What were they thinking?" Like the time the plumber just last week pulled a huge hairball out of the shower drain (you were right Mom) even after me repeatedly telling them to throw their hair away in the trash.

Yet, I love, love love my job as Mom nonetheless.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to begin a new 550 piece puzzle with my girls and sip hot cocoa with a spritz of whipped cream. What better way to spend a Friday night?


  1. Here's a visual that may help you with your girls. Picture a hot stove. You warn your daughter that the stove is hot. How they respond to that warning will help you know what to expect in general. One of my daughters would walk into another room to totally avoid even the heat of the stove. Another one would get close enough to feel the heat but not close enough to get burned. The third daughter would walk right up to the stove, put her hand on it, get burned, look at her burned hand, then do it again to see if the stove was still hot!!

    (just a visual of how they took my advice, not real life!) In real life, the third daughter rarely took my advice. She was determined to make her own mistakes. And it hurt to watch her be so stubborn.

    I share, not to discourage you, but to simply illustrate that some kids are bound and determined to make sure that stove is hot on their own. The good news is that daughter always knew we loved her unconditionally and now as an adult on her own, she finally admits I was right!!!

  2. Sounds like a perfect way to spend a Friday night to me!!!

  3. I know how hard patching can be, especially if you're a young, active boy. I used to work with a pediatric ophthalmologist and one of the many tricks mothers used was "You can ONLY play video games if you're patching." I know other parents tried the "pirate" trick and had other family members participate in a pirate party.

    Hopefully you can be diligent about it because he'll thank you much later down the road when he will be able to understand that you're doing this for him because you love him.

    Good luck with patching!

  4. Oh, I didn't realise that bussing to school isn't free where you live, and I do take your point about city buses at an early hour. At least it is possible to pick up groceries in that "dead" time and get that chore out of the way.

    I only have one daughter but her teenage years weren't easy and I admire your fortitude in bringing up so many lovely girls! All I can say is that my daughter is now in her twenties, has turned out well and those sometimes difficult times are a distant memory.

    As to the subject of home schooling my advice echoes another poster which would be to wait and reassess at the end of the school year. Your whole family must be exhausted/stressed/ or in some way affected by the move and, as someone who has moved a lot, things will be so much clearer next summer.

  5. Hi My older children would go on activities with the church youth group but we received notice ahead of time so we could pick and choice what activitiy my children could go on some of the activities were quite pricey and some times out of town.The Ukraine church youth group goes bowling a lot. On each youth activity there is the youth minister or a adult youth assistant who attends each youth group activitiy and the church generally pays for the activity.In Erie the local bus company offers discounts on bus passes for students. I found it cheaper buying the passes thab paying the daily bus rates. Have a Blessed Day Pat

  6. I am curious as to why you wouldn't let your daughter read the teen pregnancy book. I highly doubt it's a book that celebrates it. Chances are, it would freak your girls out and help reinforce your desires for them to remain virgins until their wedding day. Just a thought. Love your blog!

  7. My son's eye was having this trouble and our eye doctor had a video game where they wore 3d glasses and he played every day for quite some time. It did fix the problem. We never had to patch. If you want me to get it out and give you the name let me know.

  8. Good to read you sorting through all of your roles as a mother. I am in the same place, I guess arent we all? Its been a year of many transitions and I dont seem to be handling them well EVERY day. I am hoping as time goes on we will get more used to our new normal. THe homeschooling question is looming here too.

  9. I'd love to think that the teen pregnancy book would just be a "discourager". That is probably true for girls who have high self-esteem, and plenty of options. For girls who don't know who they are and long to be can have the opposite impact. My daughter stumbled on "Fifteen and Pregnant" or whatever the proper title of that program is, and since then you can tell she is trying to figure out how she could manage to be in that position. Fortunately, it will require a lot of evasive action....and I do hope she's matured by then. But, for some girls planting an idea can be catastrophic - as Ruth said above, some children will touch the hot stove just because their attention is drawn to it!

    I loved this post. May try this myself.

  10. Check out Melody Carlson's (Christian author who writes for teen girls) Anything But Normal. It's about a nice Christian girl who finds herself pregnant and her journey as she tells her parents, faces judgment from Christian friends who remind her that she took a purity pledge, and faces the boy.

    Kaleb sees an eye specialist Dec 20 and may have to wear a patch.


I find your comments so inspiring! Thanks for visiting our family blog, and sharing your thoughts.