Paul’s garden is underway and producing more jalapeño peppers than we can keep up with. His new favorite appetizer, introduced to us by a neighbor, is stuff jalapeños wrapped in bacon. As a result, we end up burning our mouths off as we challenge ourselves by eating these peppers. We find having glasses of milk nearby helps soften the after-burn, though it’s certainly not a miracle worker.
Yesterday morning, I tried to put a lid on my coffee mug and ended up spilling the entire two cups all over my legs and feet. I screamed because it was so hot, and the Youngest Ginger ran to get the milk. If I didn’t stop him, he would have dumped the milk on me!
Here is the ginger-lesson-of-the-day: Hot does not equal spicy.
Friends of ours hosted a last-day-of-school ice cream social for the neighborhood kids and friends. Ginger4 filled his bowl, ate it quickly and went back for more. When I told him he needed to ask permission before helping himself to another bowl, he said he didn’t need to ask permission– he already knew what I would say. I asked him what I’d say, and he responded, “No, absolutely not.” He concluded he didn’t like the predicted response and took matters into his own hands.
Lately I have been feeling pretty confident that I was exiting “Survival Mode” and moving into a more comfortable approach to parenting, so today I decided a new tactic was worth exploring: gentleness. In every reminder, I used the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit. (It had to be Him since there is very little about me that is gentle). When the kids would ask me a question, I’d respond nicely, calmly, almost in a whisper. When it came time to get Ginger4 ready for preschool, he looked at me in wonderment, amazed I hadn’t yelled at him that we were running late or reminded him that he can’t find his shoes because he failed to put them away the night before. He came to me with a concerned look and asked me if I was feeling okay. Then he yelled at me because we were late to school. Oh, the irony! I suppose all my screaming does this survivalist some good from time to time.
Paul found this when he emptied Ginger2’s lunchbox yesterday. She stores her “treasures” in a side pocket so I don’t find them and throw them away. This heart bottle opener, she says, was a special present from a friend from school. I wonder what they’re doing at lunchtime?!!!😜
Thank you to Jessica Fuhrman Sorosiak and her community of blogging friends at textingthetruth.com for asking me to share a little about my life as a mother to four funny gingers.
In one of our finer parenting moments, Paul answered a phone call as the Middle Gingers antagonized one another in the backseat of the car. Crying ensued, frustrations mounted, and Paul did what dads sometimes do– he pulled the car into an empty church parking lot to instill a healthy bit of fear about what will happen next. A lot of shushing and finally he was able to finish his conversation. As he hung up the phone, we all waited quietly for the direction Paul’s parenting would take us. What he said next caught us all by surprise… “I’m over this! From here on out, if someone antagonizes you, you have my permission to unleash on him/her.” I gasped, holding back the laughter (and wondering if the kids even know what “unleash” means). The Littlest Ginger innocently leans forward in his seat and asks, “What does ‘I’m over this mean’? Because if it means you don’t love us anymore, that isn’t what God would want.” While the gingers may have missed the point on Paul’s sarcastic suggestion on ways to resolve conflict (or not), Ginger4 struggled on a different level. His commentary made us all forget the tension and realigned us with the basic truth about God and parenting– love wins.
(On the list of things I never thought I’d hear)…
Ginger4 to Ginger3 : “Can you stop doing the Hokey Pokey and help me find the remote??!”