85 of 1000 – Quiet means listen carefully!

Karlee, “Always pay close attention. When they’re really quiet, they’re doing something they shouldn’t be. Stay focused!Tip 8

After a talk at a single-parent home for young Moms, I invited the girls to participate in this book and encouraged them to share a piece of their journey. Karlee was the first of the girls to complete her tips.  She even spruced up her form with hearts, flowers, and happy faces.

Karlee was keen about parenting, and excited about this project. Even before completion, she was quick to congratulate me, wishing me good luck.  When reading her tips, I could feel her support jump right off the page!

Seeing Karlee’s tip #10, advising to “pay close attention,” two memories came rushing to my mind.  There were two specific occasions when things were eerily quiet.  Both difficult days, with teachable moments.

One morning, Michael was about 2, I woke after a ‘late night.’  There was another 2-year-old sleeping at my house that evening.  When I got up, the two babies were under my kitchen table and were playing in a mountain of garbage!  They had taken everything out of the fridge and mashed it in a pile. They had even opened jars and packaging.  The entire contents of my fridge were in a pile, on carpet, under the kitchen table.  The mayonnaise, the eggs, the butter, the jam, everything they could reach was mixed in a pile.  I can still see their proud and smiling faces.

I wanted to kill them!  I flipped!  Their cute little faces were not so cute to me back then.

I was ridiculous! I was immature.  I was tired.  I was selfish.  I now know, it was absurd of me to blame two babies.  I felt justified at the time.  I didn’t realize, it all happened because they were unsupervised!

When I think about my madness in those early years, it’s a wonder how Michael is the man he is!  Face palm! (Thanks to the taxpayers for my therapy!)

The second shameful incident, who knows what I was doing, Michael was about 5, outside with neighborhood kids.  I had borrowed a friend’s minivan to do some running around.  I came out, the kids had wiped mud all over the van!  It was thoroughly scratched from bumper to bumper!

I wanted to kill them!  I flipped!  Again, I was ridiculous!!

In both cases, my Mom was quick to point out – I was at fault.  My turn around time was fairly good in understanding that truth.  Shame replaced my rage within hours.

I wish there was only two occurrences.  I must admit I, on too many occasions, blamed Michael in large and small ways for my inadequacies.  I’m glad my Mom was there to enforce, and to highlight understanding.  Although, I wanted to shut her out any time she tried.

Karlee is right advising Moms to, “stay focused.”  I would add, if you lose focus, and we all do – don’t blame children because you weren’t paying attention.  I would further advise, if you want to blame the kids, call your Mom, or a trusted adult, to sort you out!

Thanks Karlee!  Thanks for your quotable quotes, and for your enthusiasm!


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