Friday, August 14, 2009

Remembering to teach...

I realized something this week and it was a hard lesson.

Sweet Cate wanted my attention. And she wanted it right then! I was in the middle of thanking a sweet friend who had brought dinner to us and looked at Cate and told her she was being naughty interrupting Mommy while I talked. My three-year-old was embarrassed, yelled at me that she couldn't talk about this right now and stormed to her room.

My friend giggled. But my heart had a moment -- I began to wonder if I had ever TAUGHT this three-year-old how to appropriately get Mommy's attention when I am talking to another grown-up. I know I taught her big kids. I remember working on that. Was it possible that I had completely neglected this with my angel baby?

Uh. Yea. It's not only possible, it's probable.

As the fourth child. Almost nine years younger. She gets the benefit of lots of adoration. Lots of attention. An eager audience for all of her performances. And a mommy who assumes she has taught her more than perhaps she actually has.

After my friend left, I went to see Cate -- still pouting in her room. I told her she had to learn the appropriate (Cate likes fancy words!) way to get Mommy's attention. So we went and got Uncle Lenny and began to act-out two grown-ups talking and what Cate should do. She loved our little drama! She had fun and giggled and thought it was all so much fun. And guess what? The rest of the week, she has remembered.

Oh, don't think she gets it right every time...but one glance from me (in mid-conversation) and she says, "Oh, I mean, excuse me, Mommy" and then waits for me to find a stopping point where I can give her my attention. (And one look from her and I remember that it is my job to reinforce her appropriate behavior by NOT making her wait indefinitely for a turn!)

Now, I'm left wondering what else I have assumed she knows. So if you're looking for me, I'll be poring over my parenting books, trying to ensure I've covered all the basics!

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

Oh, the blessing of Mommy hood!

Benjamin continues to get stronger every day! He has been able to cut his daytime pain meds down to only Motrin! Please keep praying!!