Saturday, April 14, 2007
This and That...
It's been an interesting week. My dear father is continuing to have some health problems, including a touch of pneumonia. We've been spending a lot of time at doctor's offices lately. As far as some potential long term problems go, we've gotten some encouraging news. But, his short-term illnesses still need some attention. The doctor particularly encouraged him to rest this weekend, and he has been doing some of that. However, resting is not my darling father's long suit; he loves to be out and going! He's 87, but I sometimes think he can run circles around me. Until recently, he was the oldest exerciser at his local YMCA.
This morning, he woke up with a symptom that needed to be checked out today At the same time, I had scheduled an appointment to have our piano tuned (It's been at least four years since we had our piano attended to!). And, then, after the tuning, I was to go on to a wedding shower for a girl who not only attends our church, but who is marrying a boy my children have known since they were six and seven years old. His parents are dear friends of ours. I was supposed to bring a dish. My daughter was helping to coordinate the shower, and it was a treat to see her there.
DH -- my hero -- encouraged me to go to the shower and took care of both my dad and the piano tuning. DH thought it would be good for me to go, and he was right.
After the hectic morning, I felt the need to crash, as I've been fighting off a little spring asthma. After that, I was excited about planting begonias in the planters on my front porch, as well as setting out some lettuce plants and a tomato plant that I've been holding inside until the weather is right. I also planted some packets of flower seeds. Something told me that I was pushing it to do some planting today, even though we are at our last frost date for our area. Well, wouldn't you know it? The forecast calls for rain mixed with SNOW! The temperature's not supposed to go below freezing, though, and the snow's not supposed to stick. We'll see how it goes. At least lettuce is a cool weather plant.
In the late afternoon and evening, I was able to tend to the bathrooms, a little bit of laundry, and clean the wooden floor in my kitchen. I decided to get down on all floors rather than to use the big, special mop for the wooden floor cleaner.
I made some chicken stew and dumplings, and I called it my "Get well stew". I threw it together with what I had on hand.
While I was at the bridal shower, I was chatting with a young mom. Something she said reminded me of a useful bit of advice I learned when I was a mom of toddlers. I can't remember if I already shared this on this blog or not. But, this advice helped me when my children were beginning walkers and talkers:
Toddlers can't remember a lot of dos and don'ts. Yet, this is a time when you must begin to establish a heart of obedience and respect in your child. So, it's best to start out with one or two rules and teach them consistently. If you try to establish too many limits at one time, you will overwhelm and frustrate your child. And, you will find it hard to be consistent. Consistency is such a vital key to discipline that you do not want to sacrifice one rule enforced consistently for 10 rules enforced half-heartedly. As your child grows, you can add more instructions as he or she can grasp them.
Since you don't want to overwhelm a toddler with a lot of don'ts, it's good to establish one very positive command in your little one's heart. Patiently training your child to come to your side whenever you say, "Come to Mama". A child can start learning this as soon as he or she can walk and as soon as he or she can understand simple sentences. Each child develops at his or her own pace, so observe your child carefully to see when he or she can understand this command.
The phrase "Come to Mama" may save your child's life. For example, let's say you are visiting a friend, and you are not in your normal home environment. You look away for a second, and when you look back, you see that your little one is quickly heading for danger. Perhaps, those little legs are propelling your child rapidly towards a busy road, a rushing creek, or an unknown dog. Of course, you will get up immediately and go after your child, to remove him or her from harm's way. But, at the same time, you say, "Come to Mama!" This can bring your child safely back to your side, provided that you have been applying this rule consistently.
This same rule can also save you lots of steps. Again, let's say that you are visiting a friend. Your child is attracted by a beautiful, but valuable object, and the child wanders off to explore what it is. Again, saying "Come to Mama," should motivate your child to come back to you.
Begin teaching this to your child by saying the words, while gently going over and bringing your child to your side. Once the child has learned the concept, you may need to impose some reasonabale discipline if he or she disobeys. Always, give your child a great big smile and a hug whenever he responds to the command.