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. . . hygiene?! Bah!! . . .

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Chats with Miles

*Author’s Note:  “Chats with Miles” is a series of posts I’m sharing, in order to capture the funny and interesting things Miles and my girls have said over the past couple of years (which I had originally recorded as Facebook posts, mostly), into this neat little nook for them to be able to look back on.

 

Have you ever wondered if your child knew the significance of good hygiene?  Have you ever thought that maybe their habits and ability to remain clean could be improved?  I mean, despite constantly telling them to wash their hands, brush their teeth, and make sure their hair gets clean (or at least wet) in their baths, do you ever actually feel confident that your child is able to get themselves clean without your supervision and/or help?

Well, I’m here to tell you, you’re NOT ALONE!!  I think I speak for most of us (well, most of us slacker parents, anyway), when I say that we are actually HAPPY when one of the following gets done:

 

  • My child uses actual soap to wash their hands.
  • My child brushes their teeth for longer than 4 seconds.
  • My child opts to take a bath without being prompted.

 

You see, when these things happen in my home, I am genuinely pleased!  It wasn’t always so though . . . I used to have much higher standards.  I used to think that my children’s hygiene should mirror my own . . . why I wanted to delude myself into thinking that I could have myself and three children all impeccably clean at any one point in this life together, I don’t know, but I used to think it was possible.  And it was during one of these days of naivety that the following conversation ensued.

This is taken from February 25, 2013 . . .

Me: (to one of my girls)  Go get in the bath.

*Girl Child:  Why??

Me:  Because you missed it yesterday . . .

*Girl Child:  (sighs)  Mom, I’m not a princess . . . I don’t have to take a bath  E V E R Y D A Y !!

(*note: some names have been changed in the account above to protect the identities of those involved.)

 

It was around this time that I realized something had to change, or I was going to go bloody mad!  So, it was then that my standards started to decline.  Since, I had wrongfully believed my children should not only be clean everyday, but also want to be clean, it is somewhat understandable why I was dismayed to find that one of my children thought bathing everyday should be relegated to the super elite . . . Royalty, even.

This was a SHOCKING revelation that I never knew I had coming.

So, I had to throw the baby out with the bathwater, when it came to my prudish views of hygiene (ya know, just bathing . . . or at least getting wet and sitting in a tepid bath for 20 minutes . . . daily).  Those days are gone, and I have regained my sanity.

Nowadays, I’m much more realistic in my expectations.  Proper Baths are only necessary in a very few select situations, which I have outlined below:

  • Prior to church (at least twice per month…every Sunday would just be too much to ask).

  • Definitely before attending any Major Holiday Get Together.

  • Before taking family pictures.

  • After playing in the mud.

Other than these, I’m pretty lenient when it comes to their hygiene.  Now, this method is not for everyone.  This method has admittedly left my children without as many hugs and affection at the end of the day.  I have a stronger than average sense of smell, after all, and I can’t be expected to drop my standards in every situation.  So, if my kids want hugs and kisses, they know they have to be at least somewhat clean.

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Neither will I hold their hands in public after the use of public restrooms, even at the risk of them running into the street, because I will not be tainted by their un-hygienic ways.  I just can’t do it.  So, you see it is possible to lower your expectations and still maintain a formidable sense of hygiene yourself, as a respectable member of society, by simply distancing yourself from those individuals you have spawned whose hygienic behaviors are mostly primitive, at best.

Ok, Fine . . . Not everything in this post is entirely true.

 

But, I will be leaving you to guess which parts are true and which are not . . . that keeps the fun going.  I will say, though, that I do in fact hug and kiss my children regardless of how thick a layer of dirt is on their faces, so they don’t really go wanting for affection . . .  I DO  love them more than being clean.  I have to remind myself of that often, not so often now that they are getting older, but a WHOLE LOT when they were little . . . LOL!

Anyway, if you have some little ones that are not as interested in being hygienic, not to fear . . . they will grow out of it (or so, I hope).  In the meantime, we get to practice our level of tolerance.

 

*Peace Out Y’all*

~ Julie ~

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. . . my way or the highway, buster . . .

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Oftentimes, we as parents, insist on our children (teens and pre-teens, especially) doing things “our way or the highway.”  But why?  They are the living, breathing examples of God’s relationship with us.

Obviously, as their parents, we have a responsibility to guide them and teach them the important things about life.  Right from wrong.  Respect.  Love.  Obedience.  And, most importantly, the Love of God.  But, beyond these things, don’t we want our children to think for themselves?  To know who they are in Christ and with God without us having to tell them?

As I was reading today, I came across the story of Jesus as a 12 year old boy.  And, I guess I find it interesting that of the very little we know of His childhood, that this account, in particular, is shared with us.

Reading from Luke 2: 41-52, we see that every year Jesus’ parents Mary and Joseph would go to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival in order to celebrate.   After the celebration was over, his parents traveled a full day’s journey before realizing their son was not with them (traveling with a large group of family and friends made it easy to assume He was walking with his friends or whatever).

They went back to Jerusalem searching for their son for an additional 3 days before finding him in the temple.  When they found him, He was listening to the teachers of the law and asking intelligent questions of them.  Clearly they were upset when they found him, his mother said:

 “Son, why have You treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for You.” – Luke 2: 48

To which Jesus responded:

“Why were you searching for Me? ” He asked them. “Didn’t you know that I had to be in My Father’s house? ”Luke 2: 49

Jesus stayed behind and caused his parents not only a 3-4 day delay on getting back home, but also the panic that comes with losing a child.  And yet, we are told Jesus was perfect.  He was obedient in every way.  But, clearly He still had the capacity to cause his parents grief and distress.

You see, He was here for a purpose (as we all are), but that purpose was not aligning with his parents’ plans at that time.  It is interesting, because as parents, we often think we know what’s best for our children . . . absolutely or without question.  But, we don’t . . . always.  Each person was given a purpose when we were sent to Earth, that’s including our children.

So, why are we given this account from Jesus’ childhood which paints a picture of Jesus willfully staying behind in the temple (to be in His father’s house, granted)?  If not disobedience, this surely shows a child who doesn’t seem to be quite “perfect” by the modern parental standard.

https://i0.wp.com/boourns.dynu.net/pics/11678884722452445sy7.pngAnd to quote an infamous source, Sir Tophamm Hatt from the  children’s TV series, Thomas the Train (Kill me now, please, for referencing it), Jesus caused “confusion and delay” for his parents, (which is an unforgivable sin on the show).- NOT to mention: HEARTACHE, GRIEF, and worst of all: FEAR.

Their little boy – the promised one- the Messiah- was missing for 3 DAYS!! 

Upon finally finding Him- they ask their son WHY he has done this to them, they tell him how worried they were, and then they get His response.

It was not, “I’m sorry I scared you,” (typical for that age, lol), it was not, “I lost track of time, I got lost,” etc.  But essentially, “What?  Didn’t you expect me to be here?”  Needless to say, they didn’t quite understand their son’s logic.  It says He left with them, and he continued to grow in wisdom and stature, he listened to His parents in everything, and that He was well-liked by all.

What does all of this mean?  What does it show us?  I’m not really sure, to be honest- but, maybe, just maybe . . . it is showing us that EVEN when our children inspire fear, doubt, and anxiety within us- EVERYTHING can STILL be OKAY.

We can worry, worry, worry our lives away, especially when it comes to our kids, but what will it profit us?

God left them in our hands to protect and care for them . . . and probably also to teach us.  We have to remember that they are still in God’s hands too.  They were in God’s hands FIRST, and it is into God’s hands they will finally be entrusted.

You see, they are really only in our hands for a very short time (in relation to their whole lives), and we are constantly drilled about what we “need” to teach them, how we need to guide them, what will and will not scar them for life.  Then we are told, that if we don’t do it right, we might just ruin them and then subsequently the world we are releasing them into.

BUT- What IF? 

What if the reason we are given such a limited time with them in our care is so that WE may be the ones taught a thing or two about life.  I know I have.  In this life, I have learned the absolute MOST from being  a wife, and especially from being a Mother.

No, we mustn’t just throw our children aimlessly into the world.  But, neither should we pretend we are All-Knowing – last I checked- there was only ONE who fit that description.

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And for Crying out LOUD . . . as a society can we please just stop doing a few things:

1.  STOP re-arranging, pre-arranging, and otherwise arranging our children’s destinies.  By forcing them into activities and/or educational opportunities meant to “set them up” for life.  (Whose life?)

2.  Can we please STOP belittling/ shaming/ undermining our children’s beliefs, passions, and spiritual “knowers?” (esp in the name of “helping” them)

3.  Can we please STOP micromanaging every aspect of their lives? and ours too for that matter?

https://i1.wp.com/simonmainwaring.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/start.jpgAnd, finally . . . Can we please START listening to them?  Start putting them ahead of our agendas, and realizing they have purpose and insight too?

Look, to be honest, I struggle with this.  I know I don’t have it all figured out, and yet I demand absolute obedience without question at times that I probably don’t need to.  But each day, we have to move forward – each day, I have to learn from the day before.  This is one of the things I’m learning.

I need to stop expecting perfection from my imperfect children, from my imperfect spouse- from my imperfect self.

Christ WAS perfect and STILL managed to cause his parents grief- all for being who He was meant to be.  Did His parents punish him for that extra bit of grief, confusion, and delay?  We are not told – probably not, if I had to guess – but, what we are told, is that He was LOVED.

I guess that’s the ONE thing we ALL need most – LOVE.  Let’s work together to spread it around.  Be Blessed My Friends!

Peace out.

*Julie*

** Para ver estos versos en español haga clic en los siguientes enlaces: San Lucas 2: 41-52, San Lucas 2: 48, y San Lucas 2: 49

… unusual turn of events …

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So, I Got this CRAZY idea to use candy as an event, around which, we would take family photos for Christmas pics this year!  Where did I get such an inspired revelation? …The Internet…of course!

The idea was simple enough…surprise the little people with a beautiful bouquet of candy, and then just watch as the excitement unfolds..oh, and capture it all on camera!!  AWESOME!!!  I thought, with anticipation and excitement!

Only…

… it didn’t have …

… … the “desired” effect … …

… … … Quite the OPPOSITE, in fact … … …

… … … … Something, rather, Unusual happened instead … … … …

… … … … … They got all QUIET, and sat Gently, and ate their candy nicely… … …

TRUE STORY

Here is some proof:

After the Initial Shock, and “run” on the candy tray…here is how they sat for the remainder of this portion of shots:

This was SHOCKING to me, to say the least!  I mean…all I had to do to get my sweeties to sit still and be quiet for more than a minute… was to seat them at a tray of goodies…    WHO KNEW?!?!

Oh, how I wish I could share more of this fun day with you, and perhaps I will at a later date; but, I have already “Leaked” too much info about my “surprise” Christmas cards…lol!

Well, there’s a nifty fact about me:  I have a hard time keeping surprises secret for very long ; )   Oh, well, I tried for like… a week…doesn’t that count for something? *snickers*

Anyway, the moral of the story is:

FEED YOUR CHILDREN CANDY OUT OF MASON JARS, and watch them be SWEET LITTLE ANGELS!

**WARNING** 

These comments have NOT been approved by the FDA!  The Author of this blog shall Not take any responsibility for adverse “affects,” and will not be held liable for any other outcome.

If, However, you enjoy a similar experience, the Author of this blog, shall take ENTIRE responsibility and all of the credit, as well!  In fact, if you use this method, and your results are indeed satisfactory, the author of this blog, requests that you “cite” your source, please!

…hahaha…just kidding…

But, seriously…Go Have FUN with YOUR Kids!

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