Early, early this morning Dennis woke me up to tell me that he had to change his pull-up because it got really big. Hoping for at least one more hour of sleep, I tucked Dennis into the extra bed we have in our room. When it was time to get up, I went to wake Alex first by crawling into bed with him since Dennis was asleep in our room. Alex was so nice and cozy as I gently tickled him awake. First thing he asked was if I would make him some eggs for breakfast. That of course turned into almost every kid wanting fried eggs. The kids that had already eaten a bowl of cereal tried to hide their disappointment. Knowing that the way to a few of my kids' heart is through their stomach, I offered them fried eggs too.
You would have thought I made them banana cream pie, or gave them an extravagant gift by how thankful they were. "Mom, you are the best egg frier!"
Who knew fried eggs would be such a big hit?
The other day during snack time, one of the girls put on a big kettle of water for instant oatmeal packets. While most of the kids waited patiently for the hot water to finish boiling, in walks one of the girls who had just finished her schoolwork. She rips open a packet and goes over to the faucet to fill her bowl with water and then proceeds to stick it in the microwave as everyone who is patiently waiting for the kettle to finish boiling watches her in disbelief-- as if she is a princess and doesn't have to wait.
As she begins to microwave her oatmeal, I ask her why she isn't waiting for the hot water like everyone else.
Immediately she says that she didn't know that the hot water was being heated on the stove and that she hadn't really seen everyone else waiting. Obviously this was dishonest and I called her out on it. Why was it so hard for her to admit that she was impatient to the point of lying about it? I asked her to imagine everyone trying to heat their oatmeal one at a time in the two microwaves.
Sure this wasn't a huge deal, but it is times like these where you can teach big lessons and help instill values of patience and honesty. A few years ago, I probably wouldn't have said anything for fear of conflict but now I realize that these little moments make the biggest impact for building up a child's moral warehouse.
Today was one of those days where I could have potentially been called a liar by my kids. After learning about slavery and prejudice against African-Americans over the last few weeks, I tried to think of a movie they could watch that would help them understand the oppression a little better. I thought "The Color Purple" would be an okay movie with its rating of PG-13. I had kept putting off watching the movie until today when the kids got their work done by lunch. We were all set to watch it when I felt that I should look up the parental ratings online. After reading the reviews, I realized that this was not something I wanted my kids watching no matter how realistic it portrayed the life of African-Americans in the 1930s. And so I broke the news, and I was asked why I changed my mind. I told them that parents are entitled to change their minds once in a while and this was one of those times. I told them that I had watched the tv version a long time ago and didn't remember all the violence it had. I apologized for changing my mind but quickly offered a substitute movie which they all enjoyed very much!