Train up a child

I don't care if my child ends up being a straight A student (it'd be nice, but it doesn't really matter). I don't care if he knows how to read before he gets to first grade. I don't care if he even knows all of his colors. All of that will come and will be what it is.

Playing and building character is exhausting. I'm exhausted.

That's all there is to it. When you are working to create a life of exploration through play, and art, and books it's exhausting. But what might be really getting to me is staying strong to always follow through with the consequences I've outlined. It's simply exhausting.

I know, I know, joy in the journey. I find that a lot of the time. I smile at my cute naked kids in the tub playing and splashing together. And I grin check to check as I can induce laughter from tickles. And I'm tickled by the cute things a toddler can say.

But the truth is I am hoping there is some payback for my hard work. Some payback for being patient and disciplining my child for dumping his breakfast bowl and over-priced goat milk on to the floor again for the the umpteenth time. Some payback for keeping my cool when I'm getting kicked and whined at just because I'm hauling off a child to change a poopy diaper (trust me kid, I don't want to be changing it either!) I am just praying that all of my diligence and repetition:

"Use your words"
"Tell my why you're upset"
"Are you mad because . . . ?"
"Mommy doesn't respond to whining, how do you ask nicely?"
"Say thank you"
"We don't [hit, throw that at, dump it on, feed that to, step on] sister"
"That was wrong, because you ignored what mommy asked"
"Uh, oh. Jeremy's not listening"

I am hoping all this will have its payback. That it will somehow yield a respectful and responsible child, who uses his manners, and can communicate his feelings in healthy ways, and is obedient to his parents.

I am praying that each little moment of repetition, each moment of patience, each moment of consistency will somehow and in some way pay off. Please may this be like my piggy bank and with each moment I diligently deposit let there be a return in my investment.

Yet I fear. I fear, Am I doing this the right way? Am I expecting too much? Too little? Have I been inconsistent? Is this one my fault because I kept him up too late/didn't feed him soon enough? Haven't been giving enough attention? 


So I pray. I pray in the morning. I pray in my heart. And I pray in the moment.

Please, God, please help me know how to teach my children obedience. If they can learn to be obedient to their earthly parents, maybe, just maybe, they can learn to be obedient to Thee as well. If they can respect others then perhaps they can respect things grander than themselves . . . respect things of grandeur -- sacred things and noble things. Things of God and Country. 

So I pray a mother's prayer. I pray that teaching to not throw a cereal bowl and spoon or step on books is more, so much more, than just that.


  1. I think we need to hang out more. Because I've only heard you say 4 of those.

    1. Yes let's hang out more! If not more of these phrases you've probably heard me count! I swear I'm always counting too. 10 more seconds at the drinking fountain, come here by the time I count to 5, time out for 1 minute, mommy's turn brushing for 10 seconds then Jeremy's turn.