What takes you away?

I love the little misinterpretations that Daniel makes at age three. The funny thing is, though, I can usually understand and appreciate his logic.  Here are some examples:

  1. A Wookin’ Fru: Also known as: A kaleidoscope. When you use a kaleidoscope, what are you doing with it? You’re lookin’ through it … or if you’re three and some letters are hard to say, you might be wookin’ fru it. Hence, a Wookin’ Fru.
  2. Noke Round-and-Round: Last week, he caught wise and stopped saying this beloved phrase that he has used for almost two years. It truly made me sad. I tried convincing him that he had it right before, but he wouldn’t have it. You see, Daniel LOVES milk – which he pronounced “noke” until last week. He also likes it warm. So what do we do? We put it in the microwave … where it goes “round and round” on the turn table. Warm Milk = Noke Round-and-Round.
  3. Crankin’: “Mommy! David is crankin’ at me!” This one makes me smile every time. When David is grunting or yelling out of anger – or ‘crankiness’ – Daniel tattles that David is, in fact, “crankin’.” We have come to love and use this term. It’s the perfect description when someone clearly has a bad attitude. i.e. -‘Oh, no worries, they’re just crankin’. ‘Oh, quit your crankin’.” “Now, there is no reason to crank over that.” …the list goes on.

Well, today,

… I was crankin’.

I spent most of my morning in a hurry up and wait mode. It wasn’t the end of the world, and it really wasn’t that big of a deal. But I had this attitude that the world needed to stop turning because I wasn’t on task.

I had a house to clean, kids to dress, groceries to get, flowers to plant, a blog post to write, a belly to feed, dinner to prepare, a party to get ready for {… breathe in…} all while I was just supposed to be taking it easy so I could finally get over this sinus infection.

My kids were acting normal, but I was cranky.

I hate when I get that way.

Sometimes, I feel like I make the biggest deals out of small things. And who takes the brunt of my crankin’? Chris and the kids. Ugh.

Chris is at work – so this time, he missed out (much to his disappointment, I’m sure.) But the kids, well, they  got their share of my ugliness.

So before they went down for their naps, we took a little time to get out some paint and a little white airplane.

I sat at the kid’s little table and held that little plane while Daniel painted it blue and David stole the art supplies.

photo (11)

Their happy attitudes immediately following our aviary work of art reminded me how much our families need us. Not our leftovers, but us.

Because I was lost in a my-schedule-is-not-going-my-way fit. So Crank was left taking care of the kids.

But those kids? They need Mom. And that husband? He needs ‘Babe.’

Not Crank.

What takes you way? What gets you back?

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12 thoughts on “What takes you away?

  1. I needed this today! Crank was totally taking care of my kids this morning. Like you, I stopped and got on the floor and played with them until nap time. I sometimes can get so caught up in the “to-do’s” that my kids get the left-overs. I have to constantly remind myself that they don’t care that the house isn’t spotless, they just want me and my time. On days where I have special time with them, our family is so much happier and the Crank is NOT missed.

  2. Many years a go I had the same scenario. I was preparing for company, with two little girls underfoot. When Jim came home from work, I “cranked” at him and said my excuse was I had only had a grilled cheese sandwich all day and I was grumpy. We still call being grumpy a “grilled cheese” at our house. We all laughed about it then and my mood changed in a second. Isn’t humor a great remedy at times!

  3. I’m right there with you!!! I’m always struggling with attempting to catch up on the house clutter, groceries, bills, work, grading, reports, meals, pets,…….. (keep up or get ahead is just a dream of mine) I work full time as a teacher and love my job, but I TRULY am loving my time off for the summer. However, my 3 little ones like to hinder my attempt at some semblance of cleanliness because they love nothing more than emptying one box or drawer after another to play “pet shop” or dress up or teacher…. and my 1 year old thinks the most fun thing to do in the world is empty drawers and cabinets in the kitchen and spread her wares all over the house! And lately, she is a perpetual “crank” throwing the most dramatic temper tantrums I’ve ever seen! But, when I sit to watch my kids play in the back yard (not try to mow or weed but actually watch or join in), I’m taken back. It goes by way too fast, but every day I am so thankful that God chose me to parent these amazing three, mess making, temper tantrum throwing, imaginative, creative, thoughtful, precious little girls.

  4. So very true Bre’anna…and if we could only realize how quickly those opportunities to stop and spend moments with our families pass by! They won’t remember all of those little things we think have to be done today, but they Will remember that we spent that day with them!

  5. Little things that must get done right now. Especially when I’m finished at the end of a long day of teaching. My son wanted to go out to dinner for a fundraiser for orchestra. I told him I didn’t have time there was a meeting and I HAD to make dinner and then there was getting everybody ready for bed, and the list went on. He looked at me and said we could go out for dinner, raise money for orchestra, and then come home. It would put putting everyone going to bed a few minutes late. He convinced me. I didn’t have to cook dinner and all that goes on with it afterwards. On the end he was looking forward to being with his friends, I got to visit with friends, and giving mom a night off, which I appreciated. It was a much nicer evening coming home and getting ready for bed, and everyone was able to take care of themselves, because they could. I could just relax and be mommy.

  6. Our family are “Duggar Freaks” – meaning, we record “19 Kids and Counting” and sit down as a family with our 6 and 4 year old little Girls every Wednesday evening to watch (I have a Ladies’ Bible Study every Tues. evening, or believe me — we’d be right there watching it ‘live’ as it airs on Tuesdays). Those sweet kids melt our hearts and Michelle and Jim Bob’s parenting styles and ‘way of life’ keep us hopeful of the good still in this world. Plus, we get some GREAT ideas watching the Duggars and how they make it all work, at times seemingly effortless with 21+ people in their home at any given time. In a word, they “inspire” us!

    So, just a couple of weeks ago we were watching the latest episode and in this episode Jim Bob and Michelle were sitting at the dining room table attempting to pour their energy into their latest book, trying to get it off to the editors within a strict deadline. The usual family stuff was going on about their feet (and sides, and heads, and well, you know…19 kids!) and the cameraman leaned in to Michelle and asked, “How do you handle the distractions of the kids and still manage to sit down with Jim Bob to write a book?” Without missing a beat — She sweetly and swiftly replied…”Oh, it’s not the kids that are the distraction, it’s writing this book…our kids are our job…” OMG, I got a reality slap in the face when she said that b/c I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been working on a Bible study or doing something seemingly important in the office or at the computer and said, “Mommy’s working right now — give me 15 minutes and I’ll read you that book (or play that game with you, or cook that dish with you, or whatever) and thought “if they’d just stop distracting me and interrupting me I could get ‘my stuff’ done!”

    WOW!!! They ARE my “stuff” and it’s whatever I’m doing in the office or at the computer that’s the REAL distraction – thank you, Michelle for pointing this out! I loved, Loved, LOVED her answer and will not soon forget it!!

    And Bre’anna – thank you for your willingness to always be REAL! Your honesty is refreshing and it allows me to peer into my own “crank” with brutal transparency and call a “spade” a “spade”. 😉

  7. Bre’anna, You have a ton going on your life! I would say that I would have handled what you have on your plate with a lot of anxiety and stress!:(

    I love how you realized what you were doing and then changed your attitude and spent some bonding time with Daniel. He is such a cutie!

    I think being a parent is one of the hardest jobs, but the most rewarding. I love Elizabeth, but finding a schedule for both of us can be so difficult.

    Keep up the good work and if you ever need a hand just holler!

  8. How easy it is to get lost in the “crank”…being an “almost-single-mom” of 3 (though adorable) wild girls I completely understand! But we like to dance at our house, and a little booty shake does all 4 of us good when we’re “crankin” 😉

  9. WOW, I was so feeling the same way yesterday. There are just those days when you wonder who you are. thank God he always gets us back on track!

  10. My never ending “To Do” List always seems to take me away from what matters the most… My sweet little 3 yr old saying “Mommy, can you please sit down here and play trains with me for just 10 minutes?” Isn’t it amazing how God can speak to you through a 3 yr old?! Like my 3 yr old, I think God really just wants my time and not all my completed tasks of the day! He wants me to just sit, and be still and be in the moment with him! …Love your blogs Bre’anna!

  11. FYI… I read this in a blog this week and it’s good info for mommies on the verge of “crankin” this summer! Enjoy!

    Sanity Saver #1: Take care of mom. What are you doing to keep your emotional fuel tank refueled? If you don’t work outside the home, your school-age kids are now with you 24/7. Create a moms night out once a week with a friend, or trade “days off” with another mom whose kids are close in age to your kids.

    If you are working full-time, it takes a lot more effort in the summer to make sure the kids are cared for and getting to their summer activities. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself in order to really be able to take care of your family.

    Sanity Saver #2: Create a routine.
    It’s hard to go from the tight routine of school to absolutely no routine in the summer. While it’s important to not schedule every minute, a loose routine can give structure to summer days. Maybe Monday is swimming day, Tuesday library day, Wednesday friend day, Thursday house and laundry day, and Friday free day. A schedule can guide planning and give some sense of security to our kids.

    Sanity Saver #3: Set boundaries.
    Kids are more likely to stay within boundaries if they actually know what those boundaries are. How much television is ok? How long on video games? Simply requiring the kids to use the kitchen timer to self-monitor their video games or computer time can be helpful. If they forget to the set the timer, they lose the video games/computer time for the rest of the day.

    Sanity Saver #4: Give opportunities.
    Summer is a great time for kids to learn new skills like cooking, gardening, or laundry. Take the time to teach them how to do a new skill and then give them ample opportunity to practice. If you have junior high or high school age children, they can be in charge of one meal a week. Grade-schoolers can learn to do laundry and be in charge of a couple of loads a week. This gives kids ownership and a sense of pride about contributing to the family. It also teaches them lifelong skills.” -Jill Savage from Hearts at Home Ministries

  12. I love it! The kids are left with the crank! In my face, Wow, doesn’t this happen when you are doing so many “good” things!

    Great entertainment and therapy for the soul, too! I am sending this right away to my kids with wee kids. They will relate so well!

    Thanks for your candid thoughts with God that you share with us.

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