Life is made up of teaching moments and learning moments. As a parent, I see many teaching opportunities.
For instance, earlier this week, I had a discussion with my younger son about Christmas presents. He wanted to get his brother a gift that cost $15, and he also wanted to buy something for my husband, me, and his grandparents.
He’s seven and doesn’t have $60. He was upset because he didn’t have enough money to buy everything (I can relate to that!)
I explained that while it is sweet to want to generously spend, thought isn’t measured in dollars. I told him that if he paid attention to what people like, he could find gifts for a couple of dollars apiece. I could’ve given him examples of things I liked, but I wanted him to figure it out himself. Thought.
Last night, when I got home from work, they had finished wrapping the gifts (my husband took them shopping.) I’m curious to see what my little one decided I would like, but part of the fun is the waiting and wondering (and watching him try so hard not to blurt out what he bought) 🙂
Tired from a long day, I really wanted to just relax, but my older son said he needed to take cookies in for a class project the next day. (He’s been into the last-minute things lately.) He’d bought break-n-bake cookies so I figured it would be easy.
No. The cookies had to be shapes (but not trees or Santa.)
I came into the kitchen to find he’d smeared the sticky dough on a cookie sheet and gummed up the rolling pin. I got out the parchment paper and flour and had him clean up the pan. All the while, I grouched about how I was tired, had a headache, and just wanted to relax. In between grumblings, I showed him how the flour kept the dough from sticking.
“This dough really isn’t made for rolling,” I said with a frown.
“I know that now, Mom.” He shrugged. “Live and learn.”
Live and learn. His words cut through my crabbiness. The best learning involves mistakes. I used to accept that better when I was younger, but somewhere along the way, I decided efficiency proved to be easier. How silly to think I’d completed my learning phase.
Cookies in the oven, I wrapped my son in a hug. “I’m sorry I was cranky with you. I’m tired, but shouldn’t have taken it out on you.”
Live and learn.
My son’s wise reminder was a proverbial light bulb moment that showed me mistakes are part of life, and learning is a lifetime challenge.
I hope I learn something else today.
I’ll spend the next couple days trying to catch up on blog reading and comments, but I won’t be online next week. Just a heads up that I haven’t disappeared… only taking a short break (which will be filled with lots and lots of baking 🙂 )
Have a great Christmas Janna.
Thanks so much, Mandy – you too!
I’m with you on this one Janna. There are always times when I get impatient with my kids and sometimes will get upset and let it show. A recent incident was one of the kids left a glass in where are computer is and one of the dogs managed to get the glass and I found it shattered across the floor in the morning. I was not a happy camper as I was wanting to do work on the computer but had to put it on hold to clean up the mess that was made. Of course that didn’t make for that day to go well. After thinking about everything, I know it was an accident and it may happen again. Sometimes, kids will be kids. In a teaching session one year at church during a large youth event, the leader asked the adults “What are kids really thinking when they do something?” The answer is usually nothing. They just do it. They are still working on that part of their mind that controls their actions to be thought provoked. I know this is nothing you already don’t know but thought I would share. My son dropped a root beer on the floor at church. It had not been opened yet. I told him not to open it so what does he do, he opens it. His response was, “I didn’t think it would fizz up that much” lol All part of life. Have a wonderful Christmas and maybe it will be a white one this year for you.
I am constantly working on my (lack of) patience and getting frustrated. I have actually asked them, “what were you thinking?” and the answer is “I don’t know.” (This actually happened two nights ago when we found a busted towel rack because my younger son decided to use it as a pull up bar. Really???)
The root beer story made me laugh. My kids constantly ignore me because they want to see what happens 🙂 Over the summer, my older son was getting an open twelve pack of root beer off a shelf in our laundry room. Being too lazy to walk five steps to get a stool, he ended up not having hold of it and several cans fell on the floor. Two of them partially busted and sprayed soda EVERYWHERE. He stood there staring and as soon as I saw what happened, I grabbed a couple kitchen towels and threw them over the cans. I made him help me clean the laundry room…forty five minutes later we finally got all the sticky off. (This is another reason why I normally don’t have soda in the house. We only had it because I really wanted a root beer float, so my husband brings home a twelve pack…I guess they don’t sell six packs anymore?! Needless to say, I’m over the root beer floats now!)
There just might be snow for Christmas. We’ll see. Hope you have a nice Christmas, too!
An happy Xmas, Janna.
Thanks, Newwhitebear! I hope you have a nice holiday as well 🙂
Yay x 3!!! Sounds like you are all living and learning.
As for your younger son’s gifts . . . maybe it’s COOKIES for your “Secret Stash.”
I think it might be something chocolate, Nancy. If he pays attention, he’ll know that I dislike nuts and prefer dark chocolate 🙂
As a parent of 3 young boys (11,8 and 3), I can relate to this post…and I’ll admit that I far too often get grouchy with my kids for making mistakes. Your post was a great reminder to be patient…they’re still learning…and so am I.
It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one who struggles with this. I also over-react when I ask them to do things and they ignore me. I may never have true patience, but I do hope I can chill a bit more 🙂 Thanks for reading and sharing your comment, Bryan.
Live and Learn..a beautiful lesson to many of us, this X-mas. Merry X-mas:)
It seems once we’re done with school, we think we’re done with learning. Not so! Thanks for stopping by, Vishal. Hope you have a wonderful holiday as well 🙂
Humans make plans; the gods laugh. A great lesson in patience. Merry Christmas, Janna. Looking forward to your pieces in 2014.
Thanks so much for reading what I write and sharing your comments, Diane! I’m looking forward to another year of blogging. I keep thinking I’ll run out of things to write, but so far, I’ve been able to ramble on 🙂
What wonderful snippets from your life, Janna, and I can appreciate the wisdom you’ve shared. How I used to hate it when Domer waited until 11 p.m. to tell me that some “glitter-and-glue” project (often involving a diorama, whatever that is!) was due the next day! Hang in there. One day, #1 will be in college, having to save himself from those failing grades, ha! Merry Christmas to you and your family — see you when you return!
I almost laughed when he came out with the ‘live and learn’ comment. I was so irritated, it really did make me pause 🙂 He did pull the I-have-a-project-due-tomorrow thing in fourth grade. He needed poster board, which I didn’t have. I asked when he got the assignment and he’d had it a week. I told him I wasn’t going to the store, so he’d have to make due with what we had in the house. (I think he found a cardboard box.)
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas too, Debbie!
Live and learn – yes, we never stop learning.
Some of the best gifts I’ve received from my kids were all those self drawn and coloured Christmas and birthday cards. I’ve a small box full of them. As teenagers, they would dig into their savings to buy gifts.
Lovely memories and great treasures for me.
They do artwork as well, Eric. I can’t keep everything they do, but I keep some pieces. Others, I just scan and save on the computer and let the paper copy go. I could’ve given the kids more money to get the gifts they wanted, but I think it’s important for them to have a budget and respect it. Time will tell how their spending habits will form when they are older 🙂
Thanks for reading and commenting. I hope you have a merry Christmas as well!
I think having a ‘teachable’, humble heart is one of the greatest assets we could have, and both you and your boys seem to possess it.
Enjoy your week of baking and being a blessing to the people in your lives 🙂
Thanks, GodGirl! I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your encouraging comment. I hope you have a merry Christmas!
Just a wonderful post…yes, we so live and learn even from our babes!
I learn from them more than I admit sometimes, UBU!
That is such a wonderful story… memories are everything sometimes, and the thought of making new ones gives hope. Live and Learn, and then Teach…. Beautiful
Thanks, Melissa! I still marvel at how I was frustrated and falling apart and he wasn’t flustered a bit. I’ve got a long ways to go on the patience front 🙂
‘Somewhere along the way I decided that efficiency proved to be easier.’ I know that feeling.
I’d wondered if that would make sense to anyone… it’s comforting in a way to know you relate. Thanks for reading, Jim!
Hey, Janna! I’ve nominated you for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award. If you want to participate, great. If not, then that’s cool too. This is just a token of my admiration for your work! http://jeremymilburn.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/dragons-loyalty-award/
Thanks, J.! I really appreciate the nomination and for your support of my blog. Thanks again 🙂
I think it was your son doing the teaching this time 😉
Oh, yes… I was definitely being schooled, Passionatedreaming 🙂
The things that come out of childrens mouths sometimes lol
They can share bits of wisdom once in a while (if we stop and listen) 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Passionatedreaming!
Janna, I love your new gravatar! I admire your patience even at the end of a long, hard day. I’m not sure if I would have had it in me to do what you did. 🙂 But your son’s right: we do live and learn!
Janna, I was looking around your website to find an email address… (can you email me) No hurry–just want to wish you Happy Holidays in a more private manner. 🙂 Thanks!
Thanks, Sandra! I get bored with my gravatars and like to change them up periodically. It’s interesting that you would mention my patience – I didn’t really have much, which is why I grumbled and grouched most of the time. I need to ‘go with the flow’ a little better 🙂
I’ll come over and be the cookie tester. Merry Christmas!
That would be helpful…I tested a little too much today (no room for dinner!)
I think we all get into one of those cranky, tired places where we just want to crawl under the covers. I’m hoping his comment would have made its mark on me as well and that I wouldn’t just grouch at him some more. Sounds like a wise guy (in the nice way, not the smart aleck way) and he has a lovely, self-aware Momma – at least that’s what I think. PS. I’ve completely ruined break and bake cookies. Who knew something that was made almost idiot proof could be undone? Um, this idiot right here :D!
Break and bake cookies are an odd phenomenon to me. I still can’t figure out how a square block of dough turns round when you bake it. (And I’m a little concerned that I spend time pondering this!)
He can be a wise guy (in the smart aleck way) but this time, he wasn’t. Thanks for reading and for your kind words, M. I appreciate you taking time to read and share your comment!
always better for our children to say those words of wisdom.
It does make us stop and listen when it comes from kids, that’s for sure 🙂