Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Help

It's not often you get parenting tips from the movies. In fact, tinseltown produces copious examples of what NOT to do. But when I saw The Help this year, I got a great idea. (2 second review: loved the book, loved the movie)

I'd read the book the year before and vaguely remembered how maid Aibileen had loved and encouraged little Mae Mobley, whom her mother mostly ignored. But it wasn't until I saw the movie that the idea made an impression. In difficult times, Aibileen pulled her neglected charge close and whispered, "You is smart, you is kind, you is important," and the little girl repeated the words back to her. Brilliant! I thought. This would be huge with my kids. I trotted right home and tried it.

Before I got two words out, my oldest rolled his eyes, and made a b-line for the door. My middle child crossed her eyes, then made choking noises. But I struck gold with my youngest. When I pulled him in and told him I had a secret, his eyes got wide and he offered an ear. As I whispered, "You are kind, you are smart, you are important" his smile got wider and he said, "Wait mommy! Say it again." I repeated it and after each word he affirmed, "I am!" So now this is "our thing." Every night after song and prayer, I lean in and whisper the words in his ear. The best part is his confident, "I am!"
Thanks Aibileen...

Now that's comforting...

Comfort Foods for no-good, terrible, rotten, bad hair, is that a zit on my chin? my-kids-hate-me days...
1) A whole order of Training Table cheese fries with dipping sauce
2) Noble Romans bread sticks with spicy cheese
3) A carton of Ding Dongs
4) A half gallon of burnt almond fudge ice cream
5) An entire box of See's dark chocolate...nuts and chews

What do you eat when life comes raining down?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

help from on high...

This past weekend I burned a wire between here and heaven. I spent a lot of time on my knees because I am not a calm mom. Nope. Not my thang. This doesn't exactly help with peace and harmony around the house. I've been doing much better, but in moments of stress I still yell more than I'd like. I figured a heavenly assist would be useful. Well...evidently, the praying helped! At 9:00 p.m. Sunday evening, my pajama clad daughter came out of her room crying. She held up a blue piece of paper for my perusal. Fantasy book report due the next morning. She hadn't read the book.

At this moment the heaven's parted. My head didn't spin around on my neck. Steam didn't shoot out of my ears or other orifices. And I didn't yell! I shrugged my shoulders and said, "Guess you'll turn it in late." Of course my daughter, being related, got stubborn and decided to do the book report anyway. She stayed up late and read the book. She drew scenes from her book and covered a box with her drawings. The next morning she filled out the summary sheet and actually made it to school on time. She did her presentation and got a 98%. The biggest miracle? She did it all without a single meltdown.

...praying works!