Eating in Fear No More

We recently moved.

And, by recently, I mean last summer.

What I really mean is, we bought some new furniture pieces and rugs to go with the new house style.

What I more honestly mean is that my children eat like wild hogs after a 10 day fast.

These days, I eat most meals in fear. Mostly, that macaroni and cheese will end up strewn across my newish rug. It’s not my fault that a cream based color scheme worked best. Nor is it my fault that even Annie’s Mac-n-cheese still uses a yellow bordering-on-neon-orange in their cheese sauce.

And if it’s a dinner with any sort of red sauce involved?

(((shudders)))

Dinnertime now consists of a steady stream of reminders to use a napkin, wipe something up, or not hold your pizza cheese-side-down. Not to mention the constant refrain of “Lean in. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL CLEANLINESS, lean in!”

These offspring of mine are probably the messiest eaters I know. And I know lots of messy eaters. I’m eyeing you, Ahab.

Please tell me that I am not the only one for whom dinnertime is a major source of frustration? Clean up often consists of locating apple sauce from far corners of the house, deciphering the cause of the red Florida-shaped stain, or determining the original source of the stick.

Once I found a splattered patch of applesauce on a piece of furniture that wasn’t even in the same room as where we eat most of our meals, though, that was it! At that point, I knew it was time to enforce some rules. Applesauce on the TV? Unacceptable!

There’s nothing like new furniture to force my parenting hand.

In an effort to get through these dinner times with as little whining (or wine) as possible, I instituted a new dining policy. This sounds fancy. And fun. Like something you’d see posted above the entrance to a restaurant at Disney World. Right? (It was a hard sell for the sweetkids, too.)

No matter, I was forging ahead with my dining dictums, anyway. Yes indeedy.

Once we covered the new “no eating on the couches until you’re 21” rule (and, who are we kidding? By then, hopefully, they will have moved out. And they can ruin their own dang couches!) we moved on to the Big Three. Unlike This Is Us, these did not refer to sibling characters that I long to see develop and grow. They do, however, refer to the top three eating offenses.

 

  1. If you spill it, you clean it. I’m the only one allowed to cry about it.
  2. When you finish it, you clear it. Bonus points for clearing everyone else’s, too.
  3. If you break it, you buy it. Making a mental note to check piggy banks to make sure they can actually afford to “buy” anything.

As you can imagine, there were many cries of, “But, they are just accidents” and, “What if it’s just a mistake spill”?

No matter. Hope wells inside of me that someday soon, I will eat in fear no more.

With my children.

Without spinach being found anywhere other than between my teeth.

Or, you know…they’ll move out.

Whichever.

 

Peaceful Mode

We are not a huge video gaming family.  We own a WiiU and, as I’ve stated before, Sweetboy and Sweetman mostly enjoy making fun of me when I crash during my epic failed attempts at Mario Kart.

Once in a while, I do show my mad skillz by beating the pants off of everyone in Just Dance. Even the little one.  I have no shame.  Whoever is playing, I’m in it to win it.

I’m gracious and loving that way.

Anyhoo, as my sweet children were sitting at the kitchen table eating cinnamon rolls the other morning, I kept hearing “Where are you?  I can’t see you! Oh, there you are!” being slung back and forth.

They were sitting one foot away from each other on side-by-side stools.

This intrigued me.

“Um, what are you guys doing?” I asked.  It’s a mother’s job to get to the bottom of these things.

“Playing mime craft, of course.” Sweetgirl offered, in her most sassy tone.

“MINE craft!” Sweetboy corrected.

“Yeah, MINE craft!” Sweetgirl repeated.

Knowing nothing of this game, I asked for a little rundown on it.

What followed was one of those amazing conversations where you ask a simple question and get all sorts of extra information that you never wanted or needed. Or, had time for.

We really should have been getting ourselves dressed and ready to leave the house.

Instead, I got a Masters level explanation about Minecraft with an undergrad rendition of the social dynamics thrown in by the six-year-old.

And then, this question: “Do you want to play with us, Mommy?”

I’ve never actually witnessed time standing still, but I think I came pretty close in that moment.

I had a choice to make: carry on with preparations to leave the house to do Totally Unimportant Things, or stay and snuggle in and learn how to play a game that had my children giggling and interacting with each other.

It’s not even fair to call it a choice, really.

God saw fit to give me this quirky boy and sassy girl for a time.  I want to make the most of it.

After playing this Minecraft for a good half hour, I can’t claim to really enjoy it, (it’s basically a form of virtual Legos and my brain just can’t seem to go there without wanting to pull 54 hairs out of my head). But, I can claim to enjoy the time I get to spend doing something my children love, with them.

Spending time that they asked me to spend with them!

That is a phenomena that I’m sure will go away sooner than later.

So, if you need me, I’ll be tucked into the couch in “Peaceful Mode”. Probably, with a kid on either side. Very probably, trying to figure out how to take away one of the fifteen ducks that keep getting added.

Peacefully, of course.

minecraft

A Valuable Commodity

This question has grabbed me by the tail and flung me around more than a few times this month:  “Spend some time with me, please?”

My children.

My husband.

My God.

My.

Lord!

In this time of Lent for some and Purim and Passover for others, I find myself forgetting to remember.

Remembering the Good that came from His willingness to spend time. Here. On earth. For us.

It’s all about the time spent.  Remembering the beauty of the relationship. Not the things done.

And, my sweet children are good at this; remembering to spend time. I can easily take a page from their life book.

“Play a game with me, Mama.”  “Read this book to me, Mama.”  “Let’s bake cookies together, Mama.”

baking_cookies

It can sound like an endless string of requests barging into my me-time moments.  If, I forget to remember what a gift this precious time with these loved ones is.

Jesus understood this.

How many times, Lord, will I have to read of how quickly time will go by and how they will grow up and go forth?  Or how All The Time I thought I had with my husband is cut short unexpectedly?  Or how, in the blink of an eye, one can hear news that will hasten their arrival to the Gates of Glory?

And I will be left wondering, “What happened to All The Time?”.

I don’t want to be left wondering.

Because, that me-time isn’t near as fulfilling as time spent ushering in memories, and soaking up His Word, and showing them how much I love them.

With my time.

It’s the most valuable commodity I have right now.

Lord, teach me to use it well.

Five Minute Friday: Home

It’s free write time! I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday this snowy morning.  Click the button below to be able to see all of the many-colored thoughts on “Home” that are shared today.

5-minute-friday-1

HOME

Go…

Once again, I am left chuckling to myself over the choice of word for our free write, today.

slippers

Here I sit, in my pajamas, on a cold snowy Friday morning, with my  Sweetkids tucked around me on the couch.  We’ve just devoured far more chocolate chip pancakes than anyone should be allowed to. (You’ll be happy to know that no batter was spewed on this particular morning!)

And I’m reveling in it.

These precious stolen snow days at home, when both children still want to be stuck at home with their mother?  They are becoming fewer and farther between.  The ones that do come are coveted.  Is it okay to covet a snow day for the purpose of enjoying carefree time with your children?  I surely hope so.

We pray for those who must still travel to work today.  And for the grocery stores and hospitals and police and fire units that all remain open and available for those who need them.  We get to do laundry together, and choose our meals together, and snuggle together.

And I have missed this.

Life has been hectic lately.

We’ve all needed a day to relish in the comfort of home’s embrace.  With each other.

Oh, yes indeedy!