When we first started having kids, people were very free with the commentary. I am so blissfully grateful that we seem to have more of a shield now, and so much community support. If you are one of those people who has thanked us after church for raising well behaved kids, or one of those teachers who has told the children they have a beautiful family, we thank you. That support kept us going when we had so many little ones. Now, as they kids get a bit bigger, we are able to relax so much more into enjoying our family.
|My potty training boot camp members circa 2005|
Some of the comments we heard all the time were, "Oh just wait! Until they are all potty training, have homework, are preteens, eat you out of house and home" and of course the list goes on. The idea being if we just wait something catastrophic was going to happen! Of course this made young mama me defensive not weary. I thought I will meet these things head on! I will potty train all three (at the time we had a five year old, a four year year old and three Annie, John-Luke and Mickey, who were all two years old for a few months and new baby Nate) in a week! I will get the videos, I will toss the diapers and we will prevail! And we did, it was actually a funny week with naked babies running everywhere, I was deliriously in denial with my non toxic vinegar spray and a baby in the sling. But we did it and I thought, whew this did not cave in the family, "what's next?"
|One my favorite "Just you wait!" comments "Just you wait until you have all those kids in boots, your house will be disaster" Can't say it was always perfect but vinegar spray really gets mud off tile and wood in a swipe.|
Well, here are the pre teens. I admit they are not for the faint of heart. But our oldest seems to bust down the walls of the next phase of development with practiced flourish. I mean did he ever need deodorant and start eating more overnight, yowza. In come the requests for PJ 13 movies, OK scratch that, in come the requests for R movies. But the upside is it is really fun to have a kid to hang out with to watch some of those flicks from the 80's again. Men in Black the second time around was awesome. Now is it appropriate for our whole gang? No. And is it tricky to have different needs in different age groups? Yes. But we look at it as an emerging peer group. Kids we will go to the movies with, hang out with on a friday night and talk to.
I will never be accused of attempting to be my kids best buddy, I just don't seem to be hardwired that way and neither is Sheff. But we have known all along we have to raise up this family with values and interests so we can enjoy their company for life!
|You can't travel with that many kids! You are crazy! |
Well, lets leave the crazy up for debate but traveling has been a family highlight for our gang.
Each stage has a "Just you wait!" factor, and I fully admit some are really difficult. By the end of the preteen years I fully expect we will take a door off its hinges and have a talking back jar, BUT I want to meet each challenge head on. Meet each challenge with the hope our family can weather the storm and look back with laughter on roadblocks we maneuvered vinegar spray in hand.
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