Sunday, October 25, 2009

Little Mamas

Here is Maddie holding a very newborn Eden... in the first picture, Eden is a few days old, and in the second, she is in my recovery room (yes, they provide a rocking chair!) with Eden at a few hours of age.

Parenting in one word is humbling. The person who believes themselves to have it all together... to be organized, to be capable, to have all, or at least most, of the answers... needs to have a baby! Somehow those little wiggly creatures reveal so much about ourselves... some of which we hope the world will not take notice. But our own deficiencies are hard to ignore when so rawly exposed by the behavior of our "sweet little darlings."

Sometimes though, when they mimic us, it provokes a different form of humility. Lately, Maddie has taken to being Eden's second mother. I will often overhear the girls in another room playing out this conversation, almost verbatim every single time:

Maddie: Eden, come see Maddie. I need to put your shoes on! We're going to church. (Picture Maddie "dressed for church" herself... a fashionable ensemble of "Boston, Mass" souvenir t-shirt, colorful undies and dress shoes... that's all. Her outfit of choice.)

Eden ignores her sister and continues playing.

Maddie: Eden, when I call your name, you come right away! You are being naughty! OBEY RIGHT AWAY! Now come see Maddie.

Eden is unresponsive.

Maddie: Eden, you are being a very naughty girl! Come here right away! Say "yes ma'am" and come HERE!!!!

Eden is still uncooperative. Madison tries to soften her approach.

Maddie, in a sing song voice: Eden Grace.... I just want to help you get ready! We will have lots of fun when you obey! But when you are naughty, we can not do fun things. Are you ready to be a good girl??

Eden is oblivious to Maddie's patience wearing thin.

Maddie: Eden, what will happen if you do not obey me?? You will have to get a spankin'! Okay, I have to do it because you're not obeyin' me! Now you will bend over and hold still, do you understand??

And at this point, I intervene before Maddie climbs up to retrieve her Daddy's belt.

Hearing these exchanges actually is not in Maddie's best interest as far as she is concerned... for it confirms more fully how much she really does understand when it is her turn to be "oblivious" to my directions! And it makes me realize that I can sound like a broken record and should actually and truly expect them both to obey right away! Thanks for the discipline tips, Maddie!

Eden takes her turns playing the mommy, too. Her lectures are usually limited to "Na-no!! Na-no!! Na-no!!" and Maddie is as equally disobedient to Eden as Eden is to her. Thankfully, they both are getting better at heeding my words! We started right away with Eden, working with her as soon as she was mobile. It is so wonderful to have a baby who actually comes to you when she is called! The frustration I felt as Maddie would toddle off the other direction every time I called her name was enough to force me to seek out better tactics! I have been helped very much by a book called To Train Up a Child by Michael Pearl. I feel as though I should include a disclaimer that I don't agree with every one of their beliefs, but that seems redundant. It there an author on earth I'd agree 100% with? I will simple say to use your discretion but don't reject an idea based on the fact that it is new to your way of thinking. Whatever ideas that I did choose to implement have been very effective. Maybe one of these days I will write a post entirely on my discoveries in what I once thought to be the scary, intimidating land of disciplining children. For now, back to my little mamas.

Isn't it amazing how mothering seems to be a natural desire in little girls' hearts? Not to say that we are all domestic goddesses by birth but I never had to teach them to hold a baby doll gently cradled in the crook of their arms, and I've never had to instruct Maddie to say soft consoling words to Eden when she falls... there is somehow in little girls a mini-mama. I had some precious pictures of Maddie pretending to nurse her baby doll (which we sadly lost when my hard drive died), and most days you can catch Eden putting a play bottle to the mouth of her doll. This is what I mean by "a different form of humility"... like Wow, they are copying me. In a large part, I will be the model for what kinds of mothers they will be one day. Humbling.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Ah, yes, I have a know-it-all little sister who finally, after being newly married for a couple of months now, is beginning to realize that she really doesn't know it all. I keep telling her to just wait until she becomes a mommy.

I was thinking about what you have to look forward to yet. First, watching a boy develop just as naturally. Being drawn by an invisible magnet to anything round - wheels AND balls are round, so anything in that category is naturally enticing and intriguing. And then there is noise. Noise just plain delights a boy - of any age!

And then there is the time when your child becomes old enough to understand what you really are. She knows your faults and weaknesses and she no longer loves you unconditionally. That's a tough moment for a mother. Until you realize that she chooses to love you anyway.

Loved reading about how your girls play. So familiar, yet it never gets old. :)

Oh, by the way.


What was that? I'm assuming it means something like "Amen" - as in love, encouragement and agreement all wrapped up in one. Or maybe I'm wrong. Either way, you made me smile.