Getting Along

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving last week with my mom in Missouri. The boys did great in the car, especially coming back. It's amazing to me to see as Griffin gets older how much the dynamic between he and Carter is changing....sometimes not for the better. Often, though, it is for the good. I really love seeing them love each other and on each other and miss each other when the other one isn't around. But, sometimes, they can't stand each other! Already! At age almost 6 and 2 1/2 I can see the anger and the rage!

Sibling Rivalry. Ugh. Carter has always been a little jealous of Griffin. Can't say that I blame him. Carter was the main dude for a whole three years before Griffin popped up. Then, this other kid starting getting the attention. Now that Griffin is bigger, and still awfully cute and doing awfully cute things, I can see Carter become jealous over the attention he receives. We have tried really hard to pay equal attention and have special time with Carter, but, you know, it's impossible to do everything perfectly.

It's humorous to see sometimes how much Carter will act out to get my attention. Especially if Griffin has done something new or uses new words. I mean, it's a special time. We thought it was just as special when Carter did it, it's just he doesn't remember.

But Carter still talks in baby talk sometimes or wants to crawl around like a little baby. We ignore it for the most part because that would be feeding him negative attention. I really try to point out when he is doing good things. We talk about all the things he can do that Griffin can't do.

But, that is beginning to change because Griffin is getting close to doing everything Carter can do and we can't use that anymore. Even potty training. In the next few months, Griffin (hopefully, dear Lord!) will have mastered that. Griffin will always be younger than Carter but he may not necessarily be smaller.

So, we are now faced with the conundrum of teaching our boys how to get along. I want them to learn to get along even if they disagree. But, that is a big task. Kind of like eating an just do it one bite at a time. Several "experts" have differing opinions on how to help siblings get along, some are more promising than others.

I am encouraged to know that Greg and I don't have to be perfect. We aren't perfect and we will make mistakes. I am very encouraged to hear that people who grew up greatly disliking their siblings are now best friends with them. Others still carry hurts from painful experiences growing up with an older sibling. But, more often than not, I hear positives. I am encouraged by that.

When I get overwhelmed with the latest issue that is popping up in parenting my boys I usually deal with it one or two ways. I sit and worry and get overwhelmed more, and get anxious, then end up taking it out on the people I love. Then, I come to my senses (and the end of myself) and pray. You would think after doing this a few times that I would automatically go to prayer about it but I must be hard headed because I almost always fret and worry and try and figure it out on my own until I end up surrendering.

All the experts and books in the world cannot make me be a perfect parent. Hindsight is always 20/20. I am thankful that GOD has given me everything I need to be the best parent I can be, according to His word. If it seems like I say that a lot, well, it's because I need to be reminded of it....a lot. And when I talk to moms and hear their stories, it resonates within me that they need to hear it too.

Whatever you are dealing with, whether it be teaching kids how to get along, dealing with developmental issues with your kids, school problems, teen pregnancy. Whatever. I can tell you this. You can't fix it.

There is no amount of worrying over something, fretting, losing sleep that will help you deal with that issue any better. Like the song that Laura Story has out, called, "Blessings", sometimes those hurts and tears and sleepless nights are how God gets our attention and lets us know that He hears us. It just leads us (me) closer to the end of myself where I can say, honestly, I give up.

So instead of worrying about whether Carter and Griffin are going to get along when they are older or if we are going to be able to instill in them the ability to solve problems without hitting someone first, lol, I think I will just give it up in prayer.

What about you?

Don't forget about Thanksgiving

It seems like this happens earlier and earlier each year. Thanksgiving is almost forgotten. I mean, we all still celebrate it, or "eat" for it, but it seems we rush to Christmas before it even feels Christmas-y in the air! I mean, I know people who have put up their Christmas decorations already

We are old fashioned around here when it comes to Christmas (or, as my friend, Roxanne, used to tell me, I was a "bah-humbug"! LOL. We don't put up Christmas decorations until well into December. I usually don't have a lot of my shopping done until December, except this year, I do have to say I am ahead of the game!! But, we are also attempting to keep Christmas simple, and that always helps in the gift departments.

Anyway, even I am jumping ahead to Christmas when I want to give Thanksgiving a boost! I guess it just naturally happens sometimes.

This year we are traveling to Springfield, MO on Thanksgiving, to see my mom and her husband, Charles. The last time we made it there Carter was six months old. It's been a while. My husband and I always joke that there is no easy way to drive to Springfield, but it has gotten better over the past few years. We actually get interstate and 4-lane highways as opposed to the lovely 2-lane roads. It's about a seven hour trip....without children.

Did you notice that? With children, well, who knows. It really depends on the mood of the children the day of travel. Or whether or not you have itty bitty babies who have to eat (and poop) often.

We are in a fortunate phase right now, the boys will watch movies in the back of the car, a special treat for long road trips, only!! I hope to have my new iPhone 4S by then (special birthday gift from my hubby today. Had to order it so I probably will get it Monday). Anyway, a smart phone with ear buds make a long trip more bearable for any mommy. And my poor husband, the driver, will be making the ultimate sacrifice. No ear buds, listening to Calliou or Cars 2, depending on which child gets to pick the movie at the moment.

I guess I could be nice and talk to my husband on the road trip, but my goodness, we are not big talkers. You give us a good hour and we would have everything covered. What are we supposed to talk about for the next six hours? He's an architect and I really don't want to hear about the latest way to resurface kitchen cabinets. And I am sure he doesn't want to hear about the latest therapy technique that I am learning about. He still gets narcolepsy and narcissism mixed up, which, there is a really funny story that goes along with that, but, again, I digress.

We will get through our long road trip, and back, and have made some special memories with Nana and Grandpa Charles. We will survive. We will have fun. Yes. This is the thing to do, think positively.

I hope you guys have a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving. And an even better Black Friday, if you participate in the madness.

But don't forget about Thanksgiving. The real reason it is a National holiday. It's more than turkey and Indians and great shopping deals. It's a time to reflect on the many, many blessings YOU (and I) have. We are tremendously blessed. Most of us have food, a roof over our heads, income coming in, family support. If you live in America, even below the poverty line, you are more blessed than three-fourths of the world population.

Think about it. Times might be hard, but they could be a LOT worse. Take a minute and thank God for allowing you to be born and raised in America.

God Bless America