Right now, I am enjoying sitting with my two little ones on the couch. Seth is reading books, and Brina is contentedly playing with his ear. If I had my camera with me, I would take a picture, but I don't, and if I went to get it, I would break the spell. So I'll stay here and write a post. I write this one to my shame.
Let me tell you how the morning started. We came downstairs. I got a load of laundry going. Then I told Seth to feed the dog. Simple enough I thought--1 cup of dry dog food, and he knows where the dog bowl is. I was outside tending my gardens when Seth came out with the cup of dog food. I watched him. At first, he started throwing the food to Bruce one piece at a time. I told him to just give it all to the dog.
So he poured half of it in the food bowl. Then in sheer, boyish orneriness, he laughed and poured the rest of it in Bruce's water bowl. I flew off the handle. No, not ranting and raving, but close to it. My words were not kind. "Seth, why can't you just do things the right way and be responsible when we give you a job to do?" I felt very justified in saying that too . . . until I came back in and read Kami's book review on Kids Without Chaos by Marlene Evans. No, I have never read the book, but Kami quoted from it on her blog, a day in the life of a missionary wife and God used it to set me straight. The quote:
"Teaching is a transfer of knowledge that changes behavior. Teaching comes by patiently explaining, showing, allowing the child to try; explaining again, showing again, allowing the child to try again; explaining once again, showing once again, allowing the child to try once again, and repeating this process until the child has learned and knows the joy of victory."
God spoke to my heart, "Have you taught him how to feed the dog or do you just expect him to know how to do it?" I expected him to know how to do it or at least be able to figure it out. Believe me, he is smart enough to figure it out, but that boyishness always seems to get in the way. I expected him to think and act like an adult, like I would if I were given that job to do. But I realized that I had not done my job in teaching him and training him how to do it.
I knew an apology was in order. I told Seth it was NOT right for Mommy to get mad, and he very sweetly forgave me. (You notice children usually have no trouble at all with forgiveness?) Then I taught him how to feed the dog, and he really got into it. Now it was fun! I told him exactly how I wanted it done, and had him practice several times. It humbled me to watch him very meticulously do it exactly the way I taught him to do it. He wants to please me.
So I learned something today, something I've heard before, something I should have known, but something God took the time to very gently teach me again.
By the way, Seth makes me think of this verse every day of his life. "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." (I Corinthians 13:11) This verse so perfectly describes Seth right now. I hope it also describes him when he becomes a man. Part of me doesn't want to have to wait that long, and yet part of me wants to keep him a child forever.
* Jambalaya, baked beans, and homemade rolls. Oh, and lunch? Hubby wants fried onion rings! And breakfast was omelets.