When I was young I was fortunate to have the perfect baby. I had a little girl and she was perfect!!!(she still is) She was the type of child who would fold up into a little ball of sorrow if she was ever told no or had to be corrected. It was like she was so ashamed of herself for not being good. I only remember having to tell her no once and that was it. The sad little face and cry. She would sit and look at books, sing to herself, and just be content. I never had to worry about her getting into anything. If I ever asked her to do anything she would do it right away. I was thinking hey, this motherhood is not to bad. THEN IT HAPPENED!!!!!! He came roaring into the world and did not stop. Everything became his and he let us all know it. Touch, throw, drop, eat, and rule his kingdom. I think I spent the first year of his life sitting in a rocking chair singing to him and trying to soothe him so he would go to sleep. He wanted it all and let us know. Shortly after his 2nd birthday little brother came into our home and then the fun really began. Where the first was a vocal commander the second was a climber. He was climbing before he could even walk. One day I found him on top of the table in the cookie jar. He didn't even know how to walk yet. Then number 3 joined the party. Just 11 short months after number 2 came into the "wild" house. I had two babies under 1, plus the tornado, and the princess. I look back and wonder how I did it. I had a lot of help from my husband. He would walk in from work and his shift would begin. BUT, to add to this mix!!!! Money was tight....really tight... so I decided to tend the neighbor kids. Their mom's had to work and I was at home. So along came 2 boys from next door. A 5 year old and a 4 month old. Then along came the three from around the corner. Six, Four, and 16 months. I had nine kids all day everyday. It sounds crazy but it really worked well. They had all day friends and I was able to monitor what they were doing. The little ones would all have naps. (they loved to do anything as long as together.) We had a menu and would all sit down together for our lunch. I was able to bake, tend, and keep them all happy. They all knew that discipline was missing play time with others as they would have to sit in a chair doing time-out in a room by themselves. I think listening to all their friends have fun was a great punishment. I didn't have to do much of that. Each day before their mom's got there they were required to clean up all their toys and the house was probably the cleanest I ever had it. I was able to potty train four of them in the same week. They would each take a turn on the potty then everyone would cheer and clap and they would get a sticker. They loved it. Once a week when the babies were a little older we would go on a field trip. I had a van that we would go in and went all kinds of places. (My husband use to call it "the rolling playpen.") I had three strollers and the two oldest being girls loved to push the babies. I would push one too. It just worked.. In my tending I realized something that I use today. I taught them to choose. You choose to mind or sit in the chair. You choose to nap or you don't get a snack after. You choose to clean up or you don't get to play with the toys again today. I still use that very often with my grand's. I have several that have pretty strong attitudes about listening and minding. At my house they get to make the choice and live with the consequences. So far it has worked well. It just gives them that little boost of self esteem that they need when they know I will let them "choose." Even if its not quite what they wanted to do. I think it helped all of my children to know that there were choices and consequences in life in all we do. I hope it helped.
We all have choices we make in our lives. Things that we do or don't do that we should. I have to make many choices each day to continue on my healthy journey. I have to choose the things I eat and if I exercise and even what type of exercise. I have to live with the choices I make. Sometimes when I eat stuff that contains a lot of sugar I do feel it the next day. My Fibromyalgia seems to bother me a little more and I ache. I have learned (over and over) that I don't like to feel like that so most days I do pretty good with eating healthy foods. It is not an easy thing to make the right choices but I know that if I do them I like the consequences. One of the best choices I made was to begin on my journey to a more healthy life and to enjoy the miracles I have been given. I encourage you each to choose to begin or continue on your own healthy journey and don't spend one more day of your life sitting in a time-out watching and hearing the others around you playing and enjoying life.