Last month while we were on vacation, Emma really started talking. It was no longer a noise here and there. It was all the time. We were in a hotel our first night before we made our way to Savannah and JR stubbed his toe and screamed, “ouch!” Emma looked at him and didn’t miss a beat. “Ouch, ouch, ouch” she said while giggling. Wow, it’s wild how quickly she can pick up a word and once she repeats it, it’s forever engrained in her mind. The other day we were working with Emma on words again and she was sitting on the couch with me letting Allie lick her toes. Allie finished and went to the ottoman, but apparently, Emma was not done. She reached for Allie and as usual, she whispered, “what’s that?” I told her, “that’s Allie” as I have done 20+ times. This time, however, it clicked. She lunged and screamed, “Allie!” This lasted all night and went into the next morning. I’m sure Allie was about to loose her mind but it was precious. She KNEW Allie was Allie, and it only took me saying it to her once in that setting for it to be a well known and understood word. Which has led me to my main point for today. We have to be VERY careful about what we are saying in front of Emma. We are working on eliminating certain words (ie: crap) from our vocabulary and handling ourselves in situations where we react quickly (ie: JR stubbing his toe). It’s HARD. Before Emma, we could say and do whatever and not think of the consequences too much. Now saying that, JR and I weren’t running around screaming and yelling like crazy people, but we definitely didn’t have a “baby filter”. Here are some things we are working on as we model for Emma. After all, garbage in, garbage out. If she hears it, she will say it. We want her to say things that are pleasing to not only our ears, but to God’s.
It’s changed how we fight. Well, it’s changing it. When it’s just the two of you, it’s easy to act a certain way and then ask for forgiveness the next day. When you have a baby, they take everything in and begin copying. If we scream, yell, throw things, are ugly to each other, etc, Emma will soon pick up this same behavior. If we make rude comments to one another, she will eventually begin doing the same. And how can we punish her? I can’t stand the “do as I say, not as I do” parenting. I think it’s an awful method to follow. If you want your kids to act a certain way, you should model it for them. It bad company corrupts good character, don’t you think it would do the same for your kids? We are working really hard on talking to each other in a kind way, even when we’re mad. We’re working on sticking it out and talking it out even when we’re upset. We’re working on forgiving immediately and realizing the same forgiveness Christ gave us is what we need to give each other. Now I say we’re working on this because it’s not easy. I am stubborn and JR is trying to live with a stubborn woman. We are working on this daily and could use your prayers as we reach our goal. And the best part of this is it’s not just for Emma’s sake. It’s for ours, too. We love each other more than words can say and when we treat one another how GOD wants us to, it will make our marriage 100 times better. Amen!
It’s changing how we react. I overreact. JR under reacts. In fact, the other day JR tried to tell me that his theory is to under promise and over deliver that way people are always happy with him. I think he’s still working on that one. For example, I panic when I see a moth. I hate moths. Please don’t try to tell me how they just fly around and don’t hurt anything. JR has tried this approach with me and it doesn’t work. There is no amount of therapy that can help me get past this. It’s just an issue I have. The other day we had a HUGE moth on our back porch and I seriously almost threw up. I couldn’t move. It stayed there for a few days to torment me. Yuck! Anyways, I over react BIG TIME when I see them in the house. They fly at me and I go nuts. And I do this in front of my child. Right now, she thinks it’s funny. She doesn’t understand why mommy is screaming and dancing all over the place but soon enough she will and then for no reason other than watching me, SHE will be scared of moths. I don’t want to teach her that. If she’s going to be scared of something let it be because she chose to be, not because I made her that way. So starting today I am working on getting over my moth phobia. Pray for me. I think this may be harder than fighting better with my husband. I love him. I hate moths. I will also add here that my overreacting doesn’t stop at moths, it really is about a lot of things. Emma is a calm child, like her daddy, and I want her to stay that way. I want to be like them. I am working daily on teaching her to be like HIM in this regard but I’m also working on teaching me to be that way, too.
It’s changing how we behave. JR and I are notoriously known for being late everywhere we go. I grew up with a momma that was late everywhere and it drove me nuts. I would seriously lose my mind over it. Then, when I turned 16, I was able to start driving and guess what? I was late everywhere I went, too. What happened? Apparently it runs in the family. When I married JR, I realized the combination of the two of us made things even worse. When you added my 5 minutes and JR’s 5 minutes, we soon became 10 minutes late. I do it regularly but it drives me bonkers. I get so bent out of shape over it that you’d think I was on time everywhere I went. The reason for it is this- I want to be someone people can rely on. Sure, I commit to things and always show up, but I don’t want to always be the LATE person getting there. I want them to know if I say I’ll be somewhere, that I will truly be there. Here’s where JR’s statement earlier comes into play- I overpromise and under deliver in this area. I want to think that I can get ready faster or somehow skip through time, when in reality, I know how much time things take. If someone wants me somewhere at 6 and I know I can’t be there until 6:15, that’s what I need to say. I also need to realize that I cannot do everything I want to do in 5 extra minutes. A lot of times I will finish up at home or at work and be ready to head somewhere and have 5 minutes left before I need to officially leave. Wow! 5 whole minutes! With that time, I think I’m able to make the bed, clean the dishes, fold the laundry, take the dog out, make breakfast, straighten the house, and kiss my child goodbye. Seriously? Those 5 extra minutes always turn into 10. Or 15. And then, I’m late. So this is an area I need to work on as well as JR. So next time you see me late somewhere, remind me to stop trying to be superwoman. I want Emma to be a reliable person and stick strong to her commitments. It says a lot about a person. I want to model for her why it’s important and then follow through with it.
These are the areas we need to work on and improve. In what areas are you working on modeling better for your kids?