Category Archives: Kids

The Library

The library has changed.

Oh, there are still lots of books and frumpy librarians, but it’s not the same. Gone are the reverent whispers of book-lovers. Gone are the muffled sounds of volumes being shelved. Gone is the quiet.

Rustling papers and turning pages have been replaced by the tapping of computer keyboards. Sacred silence between the stacks has been replaced by cell phones ringing and loud conversations. Children’s story time has disappeared and a library visit is now an opportunity for kids to run and shriek while their parents shout at them from across the room.

I came to the library to write. Should be a good place to concentrate, you’d think. Perhaps it is. When it’s closed.

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The Toddler Rules

Being the grandmother of eight – several of whom are toddlers – I regularly receive the play-by-plays of their escapades. I can sympathize with their parents. Sort of. I just can’t help but smile and think to myself, “Haha! It’s payback time!”

This article in today’s Huffington Post is for all the moms and dads with toddlers.

The Toddler Code of Conduct: 20 Rules Toddlers Live By

By: April McCormick
After observing my toddler, and talking with other parents of toddlers, I am convinced that toddlers have the following Code of Conduct hardwired into their DNA.

1. You are the family alarm clock. It is your job to wake up at the ass-crack of dawn every day.

2. ALWAYS crap your pants AFTER leaving the house. Your best bet is to clench those cheeks together until you have left your street, and then EXPLODE!!! To achieve Legend status, do this when your parent is in a huge hurry to get somewhere very important.

3. Do not be content doing anything for more than two minutes. You have to constantly keep moving. NEVER SLOW DOWN!

4. If you are not interested in being picked up, get as low to the ground as possible. Think dead weight. Feel free to flail and cry for added difficulty.

5. If someone tries to take something from you, teach them a lesson by first throwing it, then jumping up and down while making your best “oh you are going to be REALLY sorry,” face, then falling to the floor and starting to spaz out, screaming and crying extra loud if you are in public.

6. If you do not like the food that is served to you, throw it on the ground in disgust, then at your parent, then at the cat/dog. For extra credit smash the remaining food into your hair and clothes. When you are given something to drink immediately dump it in your lap.

7. Whenever possible terrorize the family pets so they know who is in charge.

8. NEVER EVER let your parent get the house clean. EVER! Once something is picked up off the floor, put something in its place. A good rule of thumb is dumping out the cat/dog food daily. Feel free to snack on it as well.

9. You are in control of your sleep schedule. If you do not want to go to sleep, then don’t, and if someone really wants you to go to sleep, then definitely do not do it. Do your best to get so tired that you become an evil miserable crying mess. That will show them!

10. Always do your best to be in the way, including but not limited to: playing at your parents’ feet while they are cooking, cleaning, fixing something, talking on the phone, getting ready for work, or doing anything that looks remotely important.

11. Take ALL of your toys out of the toy box before playing with any of them. This goes for books, too — rip all of them off the shelf before reading one. Your job is to make a huge mess. Hint: To keep things interesting, never ever play with the same toy or book for more than one minute.

12. Under no circumstance will you make diaper changes or potty training an easy venture. If poop does not get everywhere then you have failed.

13. Every time you leave the park throw a fit big enough to make it look like you are being kidnapped. If you are lucky, this will buy you five more minutes on the slide.

14. The minute you learn to walk, refuse to be held. Insist on walking EVERYWHERE!

15. The minute you learn to talk, DO NOT STOP! Do not be discouraged if you are not understood — talk away anyway. It is not your fault if people are too stupid to understand you.

16. EVERYTHING in this world belongs to you. Feel free to touch it, take it, hide it, throw it, smash it, break it and completely ruin it. HINT: ALL of the telephones in the house belong to you — store them in the toilet.

17. Your mantra is, “Catch me if you can you silly fool.”

18. “No!” means, Good job! Keep doing that!

19. NEVER EVER do anything the first time you are asked.

20. And last — the most important code of toddler conduct — for every five minutes you spend terrorizing your parent(s), sibling(s) and/or pet(s), provide one minute of pure sweet lovin’ to ensure complete forgiveness.

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It’s a Girl!

I haven’t posted anything for a while, not because there was a lack of blog-worthy material, but just because life got so darn busy. That’s it. No excuses.

Now for the BIG NEWS . . .

We have a brand new granddaughter in our family! Little Adelaide Margaret was born at home last week, with daddy and the midwife in attendance. She weighed in at 8lb 4oz and is #8 in the birth order of our “grands”. She’s perfect and beautiful and is a very special little girl after six boys in a row. Her almost-12-year-0ld cousin Emily is thrilled to finally have another female in the mix, and I have no doubt that Em and Addy will be great pals, despite the age difference. Look out, boys!

I could go on and on at this point, sermonizing about the miracle of life. Seems fitting, right? But all of us in this family are simply thankful to our Heavenly Father for Adelaide’s safe arrival, for a healthy mommy, and for the blessing this little one is to us.

That’s all.

 

 

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Memories

Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to reconnect with a number of long-time friends, remote family members and acquaintances from way back. It’s been so much fun catching up! But something became very evident during the many conversations that took place.

Not everyone remembers like I do.

It was even kind of embarrassing in some cases; bringing up something funny from the past and laughing my guts out only to see that the other person had no idea what I was talking about.

Events that are burned into my memory from thirty, forty, and even fifty years ago have been forgotten by the people who were there with me. How is it that I can see these things happening like it was yesterday, and others have no recollection at all? I don’t get it. Or maybe I do.

Honestly, it’s not that I was born with an amazing memory – I simply purposed from a very early age to remember. It was a conscious effort, even as a young child. I don’t know why I deemed it so important, because I certainly wouldn’t have understood the implications of that decision. I just knew I needed to do it.

I recall telling myself, “Remember this day, remember this conversation, remember how you felt when it happened.”

I do remember. And I still say it to my kids and grandchildren. Because I want them to remember, too.

Now if only I could remember where I put my car keys . . .

 

 

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When Kids Rule the Roost

Yesterday, we accompanied an inspector to our new home and embarked upon a four-hour look-in-every-nook-and-cranny investigation to ensure the building is sound and that everything works the way it’s supposed to work. The house passed with flying colors and we are happy.

Although it felt kind of weird to be snooping around in a home that another family still occupies, we were respectful of their space as we did what needed to be done while trying to imagine what it would look like with our own stuff there. I took lots of pictures. And now I have six weeks to think about it.

But it is interesting what you can glean about a family’s priorities and lifestyle by spending a few hours in their home. Here’s what I observed:

1. This family has four large flat-screen TVs, each connected to its own DVD player and to the satellite dish outside. Okay, so they like to watch TV in nearly every room of the house.

2. Someone has a large Hardy Boys book collection, which they obviously still read. There was one on the edge of the bathtub.

3. They are techie geeks like me – 3 running computers in the office.

4. They don’t like to cook. The pantry was full of easy-to-prepare packaged stuff. Plus, the oven was pretty clean – a tell-tale sign.

5. They have a cat, as evidenced by two scratching posts. The cat also likes to perch on the TOP of the kitchen cabinets. I would have never thought of that until I noticed some stray cat hairs hanging over the edge up there. Dear Husband got up on the counter to look and confirmed my suspicions. Paw prints. Ew. Not a cat lover. Nope, not at all.

There are more details I could share, but the one that drew my attention immediately was how this couple’s three-year-old son rules the roost.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a home that is as kid-proofed as this one. Child safety locks on every single cupboard, closet door and cabinet. Rubber bumper glued around edge of the hearth on the stone fireplace (not sure how we’re going to get that off). All electrical outlets were covered. Nothing at all breakable within reach of little hands. All good things, in and of themselves. But collectively, it would appear that the child might be having the run of the house with minimal parental guidance.

This little boy is also not lacking for playthings in any way. Nearly every room had a multitude of toys – we detected a strong Sesame Street theme – and almost the entire basement was a dedicated play space. We had to pick our way through the toys strewn over 1,000 square feet of floor. What can one kid possibly do with all that stuff?

Call me judgmental if you want. I’m just telling like I see it.

That child is ruling the roost.

I have no doubt that these parents love their son. They are showering him with every imaginable toy, convenience, and safety measure. But along with all of that, I really, really hope they are teaching him responsibility (yes, a three-year-old can learn), respect for his things and the property of others, and that he won’t get everything he wants. I hope his parents are teaching him how to properly respond to their instruction, to obey them when they speak, and to honor those in authority.

Above all, I pray that these parents are teaching their child to love the Lord. I didn’t see any indication that this was a Christian home, but I pray that if the parents are not following Jesus, they will connect with people who are. Soon.

Parenting is hard. I know this, believe me. We raised four children – all adults now – and the parenting hasn’t stopped. I imagine it never will. Our constant reliance on God and His Word has seen us through the bumps and valleys and dry places, and He has been there with us in the midst of joy and celebrations and laughter.

I don’t know how parents can do it without Him.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)

 

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Plundering the Ovaries of Dead Baby Girls

This article appeared on my cousin’s Facebook today. I am sickened and repulsed. As my cousin so clearly stated: “OK, so there are really no limits left – Come, LORD JESUS, COME!”

Plundering the ovaries of dead baby girls: Coming soon?

by  – April 2, 2013, 6:01 pm ET

There’s been some buzz this week about a scientific discovery that can help the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process: for about ten years, doctors apparently have had the ability to harvest the eggs of aborted baby girls and use them to aid women who have difficulty conceiving. But the story resurfaced this week, affording the opportunity to talk more about the disconcerting practice.

IVF is already riddled with moral conundrums, not the least of which is the “selective reduction” abortions that often follow an overly successful IVF procedure (where a woman aborts one or more of multiple babies she has unwittingly conceived). There is also the problem of fertilized human zygotes (aka little humans) who are not selected for implantation being simply discarded without a second thought as to their intrinsic value as humans.

fetus baby

It comes as little surprise, for a procedure that is wont to constantly and consistently put the desires and preferences of parents before the humanity of their children, that the newest contribution to IVF science involves ravaging the bodies of murdered babies for their spoils.

That’s right, people: dead baby girls who have been the victims of abortion are now being utilized for their eggs. The Daily Mail (U.K.) had the presence of mind to call this ravaging of tiny ovaries what it really is: plunder: 

Scientists are ready to plunder the ovaries of aborted babies for eggs to use in IVF treatment.

The article goes on to acknowledge that the consequences of such a procedure are of macabre proportions. Consider the implications of conceiving children from the eggs of mothers who were never even born. The Daily Mail sums it up well, saying:

They raise the nightmare prospect of a child whose biological mother has never been born. The news, from a scientific conference in Madrid, was greeted with widespread revulsion at how far science is testing ethical frontiers.

It’s comforting to know that widespread revulsion has been the reaction to this procedure. But the fact is, it is not out of step with other commonplace practices surrounding IVF, such as the selective reduction abortions and the discarding of fertilized eggs mentioned earlier. If taking babies’ lives weren’t enough for the pro-abortion community, now we may be ravaging them in a utilitarian quest for gain that overlooks everything human about preborn human beings.

Help to spread awareness about the abortion-related practices of IVF. If you have a friend or relative who is considering the practice, alert him or her of this new technology and other ways in which innocent human life may be compromised by the procedure.

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How To Do Family

We have a big family. Our four children are grown up and adding to the numbers on an almost annual basis, so our original 6 is now 15 and I’m sure there will be more. We spend a lot of time together and we actually like each other. But we’re not perfect. Far from it. We’ve simply learned how to do family.

People often ask me how that happened.

I don’t know. Well, I do know, but it’s not a magic formula and it was (still is) a lot of hard work. Here’s what we did:

1. Always, ALWAYS keep open communication, right from the start. All of our children, at one time or another, tried to close themselves off from us, but isolation was not an option in our family. We encouraged them talk about what was going on in their lives, even when they didn’t want to. We knew they didn’t tell us everything and we didn’t expect them to, but the point was to make sure they knew that they could. Sometimes it was parent/kid dates. Or a notebook that got passed between mother and daughter when the subject was sensitive. Or just a simple after school conversation. The open communication still happens today. Voluntarily.

2. Have fun together. We indulged in many Family Adventures. These were activities – usually free – that all of us enjoyed. Playgrounds (when the kids were little), picnics, museums, long drives to see if we could get lost, hikes, movie nights, inviting another family to join us. Everybody was always up for a Family Adventure.

3. Go to church together. Church attendance was non-negotiable for our kids. I can’t stress enough the importance of  worshiping as a family. It creates a unity that doesn’t come any other way. There came a time with each of our children when they didn’t want to go to church anymore – around age 13-15 – but our rule was that as long as they lived in our house, they had to abide by the rules of the house. And the rule was that everybody goes to church. No exceptions. Today, all of them are active in the churches they attend with their own families.

4. Pray for and with your family. I don’t even want to think about where our kids would be today if they’d had no prayer covering. I know that God saved them from a lot of heartache, physical danger and bad situations that could have sent them down the wrong path, and I am so thankful for His protection. He has kept us a strong family unit.

5. Love your kids unconditionally. No matter what they say or do. When they get married, love and accept their mates the same way. I’ve said many times that I love my in-law children just as if they had been born into our family. Really.

We’re not a model family. We haven’t escaped hard times. And we do argue periodically.

But when all is said and done, we are there for each other.

And that’s family.

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