Discipline and Observation

I never found scolding a child enjoyable; but discipline is as much a necessity as bathing. If Wife and I ever fell behind, we would have a huge mess on our hands.

And so, Wife found herself scolding #1 because she had let #7 (the baby for now) get too close to the stairs. After the rebuking, #1 felt properly chastened and Wife was properly satisfied with the results.A favorite pastime

Then, the wide, gleeful eyes of #4 poked around the doorjamb. She slid into the room bobbing like a vulture and grinning like the Cheshire Cat. Her hazel eyes looked between her sister and mother attempting to uncover the recent happenings in the same way an archeologist reasons out a past civilization. “What’d she do mom?” was her jovial inquiry.

Wife, who was not enjoying her motherly duties as disciplinarian, found the joy that #4 got out of the misconduct of #1, absolutely irritating. She stood up quickly, which brought on a wave of contractions, and told #4 that it was none of her business, while clutching at her pregnant abdomen.

#4 did not dally after she had been reproached, nor was she gone long. Since one of her favorite pastimes seems to the observations of her siblings’ reprimands, another one must be informing on their ill behavior, whether real or imagined.

When she came back to her mother, it was to inform her that #5 was hitting #6.

“Did you see him hit your brother?” Wife asked with exasperation.

“Um, no, but he is crying… so he got hit,” was her explanation.Bumping the Table

“If you didn’t see it how do you know? Go, show me!” And Wife waddled after #4 to a false alarm. #6 had walked into the table; #1 and #2 were comforting him. When Wife rounded into #4 she cringed as she blurted out the term of general defense, “I didn’t know!”

Ready to Catch the Prize

Wife is now nine months pregnant. She’s almost at the finish line. Any day now we will meet the new baby, #8. The excitement is building like that of a child waiting to take a final swing at the piñata. The prize is so close, almost out.

Watch your step!

Watch your step!

Wife is looking forward to be able to see her toes again. She has wondered if they have changed at all during the growth of the baby. Of course toes are not the only ones lost under the expanse of her belly. The children’s toys might as well be buried landmines to her feet. The explosions caused by those toys can be most devastating to both Wife and whosever the toy might belong to. Wife has nearly stopped entering their rooms due the hazards that her pregnant belly hides.

She is also tired of losing children beneath her childbearing ledge. #7 has become almost as much of a nuisance as the toys are. He’s like a footstool rushing forward to head her off and trip her up. Wife in turn resorts to her dancing years with a kind of skip-waddle-hop to avoid the onslaught.

No matter where I go, they're always half a step in front of me

No matter where I go, they’re always half a step in front of me

#6 performed his hiding with a more head-on-approach. While Wife was distracted at the refrigerator he slipped under her with the stealth of a cat. However his plot was soon discovered when Wife opened the fridge door and it became familiar with #6’s forehead. Yes, the children will also be glad to see their mother loose her pregnant belly.

I do look at Wife at times and think to myself that she really does resemble a piñata. Swaying to and fro, an enormous prize bundled up inside, a line of children waiting expectantly; except all the beating is done on the inside. The very prize is working his way out into waiting arms. We can’t wait to catch him.

No, Means No, Means No, Means No!

It is considered polite when at an amusement park, and the ride shuts down, to inform the people behind you that the ride is inoperable and there is no further reason to stand in an unmoving line. I also consider this a good rule of thumb for any line one might be waiting in. My children however seem to have a hard time with that idea.

Here’s an example; as I am minding my own business I am approached by #1. “Daddy, daddy, can we watch a movie? I can turn on the TV.”

The day was fine out and I inform the little girl that I want them to play outside. She left me only a bit dejected.play outside

But in no time I am approached by #2. “Hey… can we watch Netflix?”

“No, I want you kids to go outside right now,” I answered.

#2 skipped away as if watching a film wasn’t her idea in the first place.

As I returned to my task I spied #3 peering around the doorjamb suspiciously. “What do you want little one?”

She mumbled something inaudible.

“What was that?”

More mumbling.

“Speak up, little girl.”

Her mumbling got quieter.

“Can’t hear you!”

#3 takes a deep, irritated breath, and I still could not hear her.

“I don’t know what you want, but go play outside,” I finally exclaimed.

Suddenly, I could hear her whining something about “only wanting to see a movie.”

While shaking my head, I turned back to my chore, and hear the loud steps of #4 approaching. I turned on her like a bear. “Are you going to ask me to watch a movie?” Her jaw dropped as if the words were physically yanked out of her mouth. “Out! Go outside with your sisters!” I shouted with my arm pointing in the wrong direction.beautiful day to play outside

As #4 hurried out of the room, #5 trotted in as if on queue. I stared at him unbelieving that he had not heard me speaking to his sister, and on hearing his request I was amazed to find that he had not been listening to our conversation.

Well, perhaps I should have been more patient, but five in a row would strain the patience of a saint. And like a poor overworked amusement park employee, tired of being asked if the ride was open while a “closed” sign hung behind him, I threw everyone outside and slammed the door, hoping against hope that I might finish what I was doing. And again like an amusement park employee, I could not remember what that was.

Feeding an Army

Tea Party at Grandma'sIt has been said that when Wife cooks dinner for our family it must be like cooking for an army. Well, that’s not quite true. The children are still quite young and their portions are limited, as well as their attention spans.

Wife also does not cater to special wants. Though, most of the children have not yet figured that out. They still persist in complaining about the food before them, which is a dangerous prospect. Complaining about their meal could give them no meal at all. Wife hands out portions to each child according to what she judges the child will eat. Second helpings are allowed, but Lord help whatever child does not finish their seconds, it might have been better to have complained about the food.downloaded  June11-2013 1732

Table manners, or discipline, are at times to be wanted. The other day #6, covered in barbeque sauce, leapt off the bench, for no apparent reason, and ran for all he was worth into a pile of clean laundry across the room. Wife and I were the only ones to notice. All the other children were engrossed in their own conversations of doings. #4 was pointing out the stake and corn on her plate to #3 saying, “See, we’re eating corn beef.”

When the children grow bigger (especially the boys) Wife will indeed be feeding an army. Hopefully a discipline like the military will also come with age. But until then, it is more like feeding a band of guerrilla fighters. They’re always willing to complain, always ready to flee, and more than capable of leaving a disaster wherever they go.

Poolside Wonders

Fun in the SunMy parents wisely installed a pool at their house to insure that their children would always be within a close proximity, at least during half of the year. Even if their children don’t want to come over, their grandchildren would, if only to swim. And so I find myself almost drug by my children into my parents’ pool quite often.

This last weekend my mother broke out the barbeque. She ran the barbeque because my father was busy installing the new door she wanted. She also enticed my children over which in turn looped me into helping my father and brothers with the door. The truth be told, I did very little.

The most help I lent to the project was to chase my children away from the construction and back into the pool. It felt like herding ducks back and forth. They all seemed to scatter when I approached and I had to catch them one at a time and toss them back into the water. Yet, their curiosity kept pulling them back to the sound of hammers and nails.

Thankfully the door was finished about the same time as the hotdogs. Children, sopping wet, waited in line for hotdogs right off the grill. As they munched their meal, they formed up another line to inspect the new door. Once they had approved it, they found their own places on the deck to eat.

In the relative calm, my mother was picking up loose tools to help put them away. When she came across a cup filled with nails she inquired where it should be put. My youngest brother responded, “Don’t worry about it mom. Those are bad nails.”

My mother set the paper cup down on a chair to toss into the trash later. My children heard something about “bad nails” that drew their interest. They again formed their own line to peer into the cup one at a time to see what “bad nails” looked like. After satisfying their curiosity they again set down to finish their meal.

It never ceases to amaze me how children can at times be so civilized, yet, be so disordered at other times. And people wonder why I am already turning gray.Relaxing at the Pool

To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate

Here’s something that is a little controversial, vaccines. I have heard and read all kinds of opinions on the matter; from those who staunchly believe all children should receive every vaccine known to man at the very moment the child exits the birth canal, to those who are convinced that vaccination was the cause of their child’s autism. With this wide array of conflicting opinions, I thought I might as well add my own just so that you and everyone else could get even more confused.

The never ending wait... at the Doctor's office.

The never ending wait… at the Doctor’s office.

We did in fact vaccinate the first six children. With the way the pediatrician talked about it, if we did not immunize the children bad things would certainly happen (like polio or the start of the zombie apocalypse). After dealing with that I believe that pediatricians must get paid a bonus per shot, because of the way they push immunizations onto unsuspecting parents. I began to feel like I was dealing with a used car salesman, rather than a doctor. I’ve known some pediatricians who will not even become the primary doctor of a child, if you do not first get the child vaccinated. Not all pediatricians do that of course, but they are always harder to find.

Now, every time one of my children got their shots (it sounds like we are talking about dogs doesn’t it?) the child would get a slight fever. The doctors always said that was to be expected, and we never questioned it. So we would deal with the three or four feverish children for a week or so because it had to be done.

Then something happened in our family. Two of my sisters went into the medical field. Now understand, my mother did not vaccinate myself or any of my eight siblings; so as you can imagine, when my sisters started working at the hospitals, they had to get all the vaccines required. After they did, an incredible happened; neither of them got sick, no sniffles, no fever, no nothing.

So… here’s our count, six out of six children (all under two years old) got feverish every time they got their shots. Two out of two sisters get every vaccine under the sun and got nothing.

I am starting to believe that vaccines are really designed for adults and are only pushed onto infants because they cannot run away. Needless to say, #7 is without vaccinations. So far there has been no apocalypse…

At the birth of #7... dad is telling the nurses, "Please no shots!"

At the birth of #7… dad is telling the nurses, “Please no shots!”

 

Post from Wife: Happy Father’s Day!

Our Father in Heaven, I thank you for my Daddy. He was there to  raise me, protect me, and guide me all through my childhood and even into motherhood. He played a major role in guiding me to the father of my children. His example of sacrifice and faithfulness caused me to search for a man with the same virtues. I am also thankful for the father who raised my husband, and helped to mold him into the man he is today. Thank you Father of all Creation, for placing me where I am with these generous men who strive to provide for their families in all aspects of life.

In honor of this Father’s Day, I wish to share with you all, the joyous moments of each of our children’s births, making my husband a father each time.

Daddy with #1

Birth of #1 and my husband as a father.

Daddy with #2 (and #1)

Father of 2.

Daddy with #3

Naps with #3

Daddy with #4

Proud Daddy with #4.

Daddy with #5 (and 1st son!)

Finally a SON! #5

Daddy with #6

#6 rocking with his Daddy.

Daddy with #7

A very tired pair… Napping with #7.

Reality and Children?

It never ceases to amaze me just how differently children see the world. As if our eyes evolve over the ten or so years into something close to reality. Either what they see doesn’t exist, or what you want them to see, they can’t; as though we see in color while they see in ultraviolet.

We can be looking at the exact same cage at the zoo and my little ones just can’t find the gorillas, but they see the blue jay up in the tree or they freak-out at the spider in the bars. Any parent knows what I’m writing about, or if not you will in good time.BIG SPIDER

Here’s another, #2 just got a puppy, and the puppy and his poop are her responsibility. Now when I found puppy poop in the front room I gently informed her to “CLEAN IT UP!!!!” Then for some reason the flustered child was unable to locate said poop. After what seemed to me a reasonable time of pointing it out, I nearly had to put her nose in it.

And it’s the same when they clean their rooms. “Mommy, it’s clean!”

Wife doesn’t even have to poke her head in. “No it’s not! Look, there’re toys there and there, and what about all the dirty laundry? Do you see it?”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

At times like that I even wonder if we are speaking the same language.

However, I do see something in their eyes that makes me remember magic. When I’m holding the baby and he is looking into empty space with amazement and wonder written all over his face and my mother says, “Oh, he’s looking at the angels.” I speculate if he really is.

When the #4 is tracing out with her eyes the lines in rocks, I am curious if she can see something in the granite that eludes me.

When I see all the children huddled up on a bolder watching the same sunset they have seen all their lives, I wonder what I am missing.

Too often I think we adults are sucked into “reality” and loose out on the beautiful world God gave us. I find my mind crowded with taxes, phone bills, credit card bills, and grocery bills. I get so caught up in the rat-race I almost forget the green leaves, the blue skies, and deep waters. But God has blessed me, for always before my eyes are the ever present smiles of my children, and in my ears is their never ending laughter.

We all seem to loose reality now again. Sometimes me, and sometime my children.puppy food

Work and Repercussions

I stood in shocked silence as the scene played out before me. Don’t worry, no one was hurt or damaged. Instead I witnessed #3 brought to tears as #1 performed the chore of #3.

It all started when Wife and I were in our bedroom conversing. I foolishly began to lead the conversation. In only a couple of sentences I had Wife gagging on some idea that apparently did not agree with her pregnant state.

She called out for #3 to bring her a glass of water… as she felt my water from last night was unsuitable for the purpose.

Unknown to Wife, #3 had her head in the sink brushing her teeth. #1, observing her sister was occupied, jumped into action and got the water for her mother.

Now that was when the problem started. #3 caught her sister half way. “AAAA! I wooor ga do dat!” she mumbled through a thick froth of toothpaste and the toothbrush still in her mouth.

“I’ve got it,” replied #1. “I’ve got it!” thrusting out her right hand to ward off her oncoming sister.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” shouted #3 grasping for the glass while at the same time carefully avoided dripping the white froth that circled her mouth. She knew she would be in trouble with her mother if she dripped toothpaste on the carpet.

“Honey, I didn’t know you were brushing your teeth,” Wife piped in. “Go finish brushing. She’s already brought it to me.”

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” #3 stomped back to the bathroom in a flurry of blonde hair. A couple of rooms over I heard the bathroom door slam and bounce back open (the latch is broken.)

When things just don't go you way

When things just don’t go you way

I had no idea what to do. Before me was a child who was absolutely offended that someone else did her work. It is true that Wife and I have attempted to instill a good work ethic in our children. We only want them to perform any task they undertake to the best possible outcome of their abilities. I suppose that this outburst is a proof that at least #3 has taken our lessons to heart.

I mean, I knew we were good, but I had no idea we were that good.Belly Love

Walking on Four Legs

What walks on four legs, then walks on two legs, and finally walks on three legs?

The answer, as everyone well knows, is a man.

I open with this whimsical riddle because my children find the transition between legs very frustrating. We can always tell when a child is about to crawl due to its disagreeable temper. And again, right before the child starts to walk (or run, in some cases).Crawling Away

#7 is going through the change right now. Though he crawls all over the place like a weasel, his pent up frustration bursts forth when he finds himself left behind by his siblings. You see, he understands just how the world rotates… around him. But he also seems to understand that he can’t keep up with the world and its rotations. Thus his outrage is made known.

From a more practical standpoint, the next step our little boy will take will be… a step. But until then, he is still asserting his authority of gravity. By that I mean he demands to be held by his mother or sisters at any opportunity to prove without a doubt that gravity has no hold on him. We haven’t yet told him, but when the new baby comes gravity will in turn begin to assert itself.Just Can't Walk

They have all been like that, fussy until they can crawl, and fussy until they can walk. After they can walk, they find less important things to fuss over. Possessing the slew of children that we do, we have a good idea of what to expect.

On a side note, #7 is quite nearly crab-walking against the couch. He can at least work his way into arms reach of his mother. For all you young parents out there, do not leave your baby to crab-walk on top of the couch, as it ends the baby often does not.