This past Sunday I went to retrieve my boys from Primary only to hear an incredibly ugly noise coming from the classroom Al and Goose are in...fake wailing at it's finest:/
The source- my son:/
The cause- Goose was completely at ends, utterly sorrowful, and on the edge of death because...he got one piece of licorice instead of the two he wanted:/
The result- I got his licorice and he went home with Dad and straight to bed while I tied up a few responsibilities at church. Their teacher caught me as I left because in his despair Goose had left his drawing in the classroom. I thanked her (for the paper and for having to deal with my son's poor behavior), we chatted, and then I walked home with Al and Jonz. As I set down all my stuff at home I noticed what was written on Goose's paper. "I am grateful for..." followed by a drawing of robots. I then realized that my son had participated in the class lesson on gratitude and promptly threw a fit at the end because he only got one piece of licorice:/
Can you hear my head hitting the wall in failure?
I don't know how to deal with this. My children feel entitled. Why? I don't know! Sort of. I know they don't get anything by whining and they often get exactly the opposite of what they want when they whine. I know that the more they pester me for something, the less I actually give it to them. Gifts are only given on birthdays and holidays. But I also know that we live in very priviliged times and circumstances. We have easy access to countless wonderful things. Part of me wants to cut out any and all treats, play dates, movies, delicious food, fun outings, and anything that my children enjoy on a regular basis for the next three months. Maybe then they'd finally understand the concept of gratitude that I keep talking about...there's got to be a less dramatic way of doing this, but not much less because they aren't anywhere near understanding in current conditions.
And so today I've decided that I'm grateful for this situation. I am grateful to have children in a day and age when luxuries come easily. I am grateful for what we can give them. I am grateful that I learned from my parents that I can't expect to get what I want just because I want it. That there's work and cost and consequence to consider before most blessings are achieved and/or granted. I am grateful for this challenge to teach them gratitude and that I have these future men under my care who will (if I can manage, which I often doubt...) be among the few that grow up knowing that no one owes them anything.
Wish me success, please. And sanity:)
In other, successful news- my eldest called up to me from the back of the van on the way home tonight, "Mom, when it's your birthday I'm going to do the dishes and laundry so you don't have to. Cuz it's your birthday." Then he asked me how to spell "birthday" and "here" and tried to sneak what I now suspect is my birthday card past me into the house. Then he wished me "good sleep and sweet dreams" after I turned out the lights at bedtime.
They can drive me half crazy with how much I teach that goes in one ear and out the other. But every once in a while there's a gem like this that reminds me that persistence is working, that they'll turn out great, and that my children are amazing souls.
I sure love my boys:)
What are you thankful for today?
P.S. I know the :/ symbol technically means "confused," but I use it to illustrate my slightly tilted head, raised eyebrow, and one-side-of-my-mouth-pulled-back look...You know, the "are you kidding me?" look, the "that is utterly ridiculous" look, the "seriously, folks?" look...maybe I'll take a picture to illustrate one of these days:)