Parental revelations of the multiple children kind

on Friday, April 11

Howdy Friends!
Just wanted to give a quick shout out to you faithful bloggers. We have had quite an eventful week here at the Klinkner house. Late Tuesday night Josiah got the stomach flu and ended up throwing up and being very sick. We fortunately were able to keep him hydrated with some pedialyte until the morning when we could try breastfeeding him again, which he did- much to our relief. It's horrible watching an infant projectile vomit like that.

So here's a little realization I had this week the night after Josiah got the flu...
You know you are a dad when about 10:30pm at night, all the kids are in bed, you are wishing you were in bed, and you decide that its time to make a trip to Winco to get groceries because 1) Its the only time you can have uninterrupted thinking time, 2) the fridge is almost empty and in order to save the budget from being sabotaged by the desire for convenience and eating out you need to go get some easy fixins to feed the fam. So there I was at Winco wandering down aisles of food with a grocery list that was 8 days old, stuck in the frozen food section trying to decide if I should buy El Monterrey's chicken and cheese taquitos with the flour tortillas, or the chicken taquitos with the corn tortilla that didn't have any cheese at all. After going back and forth in my mind... I had to stop for a moment and consider if this is what my life was going to entail for the next couple of years... Which leads me to another couple of things i have been contemplating of late:

Dana and i have been tossing around a couple of catch phrases in this new season of parenting. These have been instrumental in helping us shape our responses to situations that come up in everyday life. The first is: "Is this childishness or disobedience?" I don't know about you, but sometimes I catch myself having adult expectations of my daughter sometimes (which is obviously ridiculous), but it helps me realize some of my own issues with perfectionism and control. Dana has really helped me out by asking me to evaluate Dara's responses to daily llife by asking me, "Shawn, was that childishness, or disobedience?" The end result being that if it's childishness- then it merits a different quality of response from me as a parent- such as patience, longsuffering, some quality teaching moments, and most importantly teaching our daughter how to laugh at her mistakes. Disobedience, also holds then a different response such as accountability and right responses to failure, and training. Its been good to clarify and recognize that many times the choices and responses that Dara has originate from childishness and not stubbornness, or willful disobedience.

The second catchphrase that has been really helping me is, "People are more important than things". Some of this pertains to the times in life when you find that you have weird priorities. For example, I like my house to be picked up. Good ambition for someone with young kids right? Normally not something you would have an issue with. But when your daughter wants to set up her new mini tent that you just got from Ikea in the middle of your living room and leave it set up all week long, (while daily transporting treasures from her room into the tent and back out again, then melting down right before bedtime because she can't find something that she moved). I have had to tell myself, that despite the inconvenience it is to me to have a small tent in the living room (and the trail of toys everywhere), that the fact that it brings Dara joy is more important than my house looking spotless (and me feeling in control). By the way, I bet the people who came up with the concept of feng shui didn't have young children- or maybe they did... and that's why they came up with those tiny little zen gardens- so they had something small in their life that was totally under their control... I'm going to have to think about this a little more.

Isn't it amazing how having children exposes just about every area of life that you need to grow in? It's a good thing we love the little buggers! And in case you are still wondering which box of taquitos I bought at Winco... I didn't get either of them. I snagged a Michelangelos 4-Cheese lasagna instead. Garlic bread and salad anyone?


Briana said...

I love the part about Zen gardens, I am laughing imagining people like us wanting feng shui, with a crazy mess of a house but a nice little raked zen garden to look at. That might make me more crazy.

Stephanie said...

Shawn, I LOVE the paragraph about childishness or disobedience. I am going to copy it and send it to John so we can start doing that with Brynna. She is SO silly lately and I find I get easily upset with her cause it grates on my nerves, but that is her age ya know. Anyways, thanks!!! And yum on the lasagna!

Tana said...

I'm with you. I too have contemplated these things many of times!! Tell Dana, Tana Says, "Hi"!