We Have A Problem

I tried to drop him off at my parents’ house with Kenzie and Myles but his eyes filled up with those big giant tears and…

Well, let’s just say that tears are a weakness of mine.

So I strapped him back into his carseat and took him along to market even though I already knew what the outcome would be.

He would whine. Probably 95% of the time, because he gets so very bored at market.

I wasn’t wrong.

We were at market for a grand total of 5 minutes when it started.

“Mom, I’m ready to go to Maumy’s house now!”

“Well bud, you missed it. We are not leaving until we are done making food.”

“Oh.”

“I need a drink.”

I got him a drink.

“I’m hungry!”

I got him some crackers.

“I want chocolate milk.”

“Soon Kyna, you just had a drink.”

And so he brought out his whiny voice…

“I want a drink, I need chocolate milk, I want it now, my cracker broke! I don’t want this cracker, I want another cracker, I HAVE TO GO POTTY!”

And so we went potty.

We were re-entering the stand: “I want toys. We should get toys!”

“Soon.”

“I need to go potty again!”

“Kyna we just went, find something to do please.”

He wondered off for a bit but was soon back. “I need another cracker, I want some those cookies, I need chocolate milk, I hurt my toe you should blow it, I want chocolate milk, we should get chocolate milk now, Mom! you said I may have chocolate milk!”

Maybe, just maybe the chocolate milk would solve all his problems, and so I caved.

We went potty again. I’m pretty sure the farther away the restrooms are the more often my kids need to use them. #momfacts  And on the way back we got chocolate milk, surely the wining would stop now.

That was about the craziest thought I had all day.

The whining stopped for as long as it took to drink that chocolate milk that failed quite miserably to wield any magical powers.

“Mom, I’m ready go now, mom I want some that cookie ‘sert (dessert), I want other toys now, I want cookie ‘sert, I want more chocolate milk, can I have that? I want more cookie ‘sert!”

And that is when I reached the end of my tolerance for whining. I got down on his level, looked him straight in the eye and made sure he was listening and understanding the words that were coming out of my mouth.

“Kyna do you want to be fun and stop whining right now, or do you want to go sit over there on that box until you’re ready to be fun?”

He considered his options for a moment then very seriously said:

“But mom, that’s a problem. Because if I quit whining then you wont give me cookie ‘sert.”

Shocked silence on my end for a second.

Oh, we definitely have a problem alright!

If he thinks whining will get him what he wants then yes, there’s definitely a problem, but I’m pretty sure it’s a mom problem more then it’s a Kyna problem.

Sorry buddy, but things are about to change, and it will not be in your favor.

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A Two Year Old And A Garden Hose

I was happily working in my flowerbeds, lost in thought, dreaming up ways to improve the market stand, strategizing how to make it more efficient and what steps I need to take to make it more profitable.

“MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

And just like that every logical thought was scared straight out of my head by the sudden and shrill shrieking coming from my five year old daughter.

I turned around almost expecting to see an elephant or some other large, foreign object in our yard. However everything seemed surprisingly normal and almost calm even, except for Kenzie who was running full speed across the yard, still hollering: “Kyna spritzed me and he said he is going to spritz me again!”

For the first time I notice Kyna.

He is still on the other side of the yard, wearing the biggest mischievous smile, huffing and puffing, and using every muscle in his little body, he’s tugging and dragging the long garden hose in the general direction of his sister who is now standing there watching with a terrified look on her face.

This is the part where I bent almost double with laughter. I know, so unprofessional in the mom business but seriously…

“Kenz, the water isn’t even on.”

“I know, but he’s dipping the hose in the pool!!!!”

Trying not to laugh again I said: “By the time he gets to you, the water is going to be all dripped off.” Not to mention that she can outrun him at anytime, so her chances of getting away from him can only go up when he’s dragging a big, long hose.

“No, mom! I’m getting all wet!”

Seriously?! Seconds before being attacked by a waterless hose, she was splashing and dunking in the kiddie pool!

Don’t we all do that though?

Seeing something from just our own perspective, it’s so easy to feel like the victim, or to see the situation through a very narrow lens, but when we get the perspective of an outsider, or even simply attempt to see it from the other person’s perspective, we often end up seeing the entire situation differently.

And if you’re wondering, the answer is yes, I did have a talk with my 2 year old about his terrorizing ways. 🙂

 

The Weed That Wasn’t A Weed, Until It Was

We were sitting at the table, enjoying our evening meal. For once no one was whining, no one wanted something that wasn’t already on the table and surprise of all surprises, no one was whining about the food!

It was going so well.

Until Checkers spoke.

“Is that a big weed out there in the flower bed?”

“Where?! Oh. No, thats a flower.” Sigh of relief for Grace.

Checkers wasn’t so easily convinced. “That is definitely a weed! It’s the kind that grows all over the place here.”

I surveyed the flower bed, I knew what he meant. It did look suspiciously like those weeds that we had too many of, I was sure though that this wasn’t one of them. “No, it’s a flower, it’s that tall gangly one that gets those pretty yellow flowers. I know, it looks a bit odd there since it gets so tall, I’ve thought about moving it already but just never got it done.”

He remained unconvinced. “I think it’s a weed.”

“Then where’d that flower go?! Because if that’s a weed then someone took my flower!”

Not to mention, I had spent a lot of time in that flower bed getting Rid of weeds, so much time in fact that I considered it to be almost perfectly weed free now, so there was no way I would have skipped a big weed! Nope, it just wasn’t possible.

A couple evenings later, we were spreading mulch in my perfectly weedless flowerbed, when Checkers glanced at that weedflower and said: “Grace, that is a weed.”

I looked at it. It really did look like a weed. I walked over to inspect it a bit closer and was a bit horrified at what I found. “No Checkers, it’s definitely not A weed. It’s like two, maybe even three weeds!”

I pushed the weeds aside and there in the middle was my flower, the one that gets the pretty yellow flowers, hidden with all it’s glory and splendor by big ugly weeds. Weeds that I had defended.

I tried to pull those weeds, I pulled a little harder, then finally admitted. “Yea, it’s a weed alright, one that’s been there so long it’s gonna take a shovel or at least someone with more strength then I’ve got to remove it.”

I’ve been thinking about that weed. How often do people so clearly see weeds in my life? Weeds of sin that I am too blinded to see because I justify it in some way?

How often am I unknowingly hiding beautiful flowers by not recognizing theses weeds?

Would Jesus shine brighter through my life, if I investigated and removed those weedflowers instead of simply insisting that they aren’t weeds?

What blessings am I missing out on if I refuse to see these weeds?

And while I’m at it I will be inspecting my flowerbeds a bit closer as well…

Pennsylvania Dutch Or Baby Talk?

Some days I’m not sure why I bother, because it tends to be quite complicated.

Many people in our lives don’t even know the language and the ones that do, often don’t use it, but still I keep persisting because I really, really want my children to know Pennsylvania Dutch.

Why?

There’s no big reason really but it’s the language I grew up with, a lot of the people we socialize with speak it so I want my kids to at least understand it.

In Thailand we worked with a family that was teaching their kids three languages! Mom was Thai, Dad was Dutch and they both knew english and they were teaching their boys all 3 languages. I thought that was pretty cool!

Besides many people pay (with real, legit money) to learn a second language, so why wouldn’t I teach my kids for free?

Maybe, because it’s not working out so well?!

We spoke dutch to Kenzie until she was almost 2, then we did a D.T.S. (just as she was starting to talk) and everyone around was speaking english so when she started talking it came out in english.

Then we had Kyna and I decided I’m going to talk dutch to him then maybe Kenzie will pick it up too.

It worked!

Kenzie learned to speak the language quite well, and I was sure Kyna was learning it as well!

I took great pride in my success right up until Kyna started talking.

Yup, his words came out in english!

Oh well, we added baby number 3 recently, so I guess we’ll talk dutch to him now to teach Kyna the language. 🙂

It worked once, but I’m not fully convinced that it’s working this time around because this morning I spoke to Kyna in dutch and he looked at me with a little grin on his face and a look that said he’s fairly certain I might have lost my senses and said:

“Mom, I’m not a baby!”

Who Are You Baby?

From the moment he was born, he was inspected closely by most who met him.

Does he look like Kenzie or Kynaston?

Well, he looks more like Kenz then Kyna but he’s definitely got Kyna’s nose and I think he might Kyna’s eyes as well, but then he’s got dark wavy hair while his siblings both have straight blond hair, he has incredible blue eyes that neither of them possess so maybe…

Just maybe…

He won’t look like either of them, but will have his own unique look.

Could this be it?

He seems to have Kenzie’s outgoing personality because he has a big smile for any person that stops to fuss over him, but at the same time he has Kyna’s more calm disposition. However, he smiles more easily then either of his siblings ever did and and he has just the faintest trace of a dimple in his right cheek that is missing from both his sibling’s smiles.

Could it be that maybe he won’t possess either of their personalities but will have his own personality that is unique to only him?

Could this be it?

He has long limbs that seem to be fly in all directions all at once just like Kenzie but he has Kyna’s more macho build instead of Kenzie’s slender one.

You’d think by baby number 3 we would know what to expect, that he would surely match one of the kiddos we already have, but as he grows we see more and more that God isn’t limited to one or two designs but he has created another little person who is unique and unlike any other person ever created.

We named him Myles Zachariah which means: ‘A soldier remembered by God.’

He seems to wear this name well. Moments after he was born he lifted his head and surveyed the room. He has no idea what life is about or why he ended up here, but he seems determined to make the most of it and to live life to the fullest.

At almost 6 months old he has taught himself how to sit, gets up on all fours and tries desperately to figure out how get his little body moving.

Usually, I look at a tiny innocent baby and think: ‘Watch out baby, the world is coming, and it’s often cruel.’

With Myles I sit back and think with amazement: ‘Watch out world, Myles is coming, and I’m sure he will not be easily discouraged!’

I love seeing each of our children’s personalities come to life as they grow, as they become their own unique person.

Not like their older siblings and not like their parents.

But they become their own person.

Unique.

And beautifully created to fit the mission on earth that God has given them.

 

I’ll Be Me and You Be You

Kyna is running through the house, throwing his ball and having a great time.

Kenzie is doing her best to get him to play with her. “Kyna this would be your baby and our babies would go swimming in this pool.”

Kyna seemingly doesn’t even hear her as he sends the ball ricocheting through the living room again.

Kenz decides to change her tactics. “Kyna you would be a ballplayer and you would be tired from playing so much ball, can you say: I’m SO tired from playing so much ball!”

Now she has his attention. “I’m so tired from playing SO much ball!” he repeats as he chases after his ball again.

As I watch them play, I’m thinking, wow, Kynaston’s got a lot of patience because there’s just no way someone would control my actions to the point that they are telling me what to say!

Awhile later, Kenz is wailing, (a loud and fake cry) from the toy room. I start my investigation, (it’s been said that if the F.B.I. can’t solve a crime, send a bunch of moms, they’ll get to the bottom of it!:) )

“Kenz, why are you making that funny noise?”

“Kyna, hit me!”

“Kyna, why did you hit her?”

“Because I’m mowing the lard (yard)(his y’s are all said as l’s) and Kenz said I mayn’t!”

“Kenz, why can’t he mow the yard?”

“Because this is not the yard! This is the living room and we can’t bring the mower in the living room, it has to stay in the kitchen because that’s the yard!”

Oh, I see. It seems Kyna has grown tired of being told how and what to play. So I try to explain to my 5 year old, that they can play together but Kyna can play how he wants, and doesn’t have to do and say everything that she wants him to, and maybe the toy room can be her living room and still be Kyna’s yard.

I know, it sounds really strange to me to and I’m really hoping the day doesn’t come that I must swallow my words and allow Checkers to use my living room as his yard! 🙂

As I try to find some solutions for their spiel, I can’t help but realize how much their childish dilemmas can be found in the adult word as well.

You see it when you’re driving on the road: frustration and irritation at other drivers because they don’t drive the way I would!

You see it in almost all relationships: frustration and irritation that people don’t respond or do things the way I would.

It seems to be human nature to think, I’ve got it right, why can’t everyone else get it right as well?!

Why is it so hard to simply step back and say: You be you and do it your way and I’ll be me and do it my way.

Family Vacation Excitement

When you’re five and you only see your cousins who live in Dauphin county about once every month or two, then family vacation with them might just rate as the most exciting part of your year.

It definitely makes the list of ‘top five most exciting’ events of the year.

We anxiously count down the days and then anticipate packing the suitcase with so much excitement that we would do it a month out ahead if mom would allow.

We are leaving for this long anticipated event tomorrow morning and since I feel like there’s no words to accurately describe the level of excitement around here, I will simply put in Kenzie’s words.

Read the next paragraph at an extremely fast pace with lots of excitement and the words almost coming out on top of each other because that’s how we heard it! 🙂

“We need to quickly get the baths done and this worship started and the book read and prayers said and the chocolate milk down so we can sleep and go on this family vacation!!!!!!!!” 🙂 

That is our normal evening routine and usually we enjoy it and drag out every minute of it but tonight I think it feels like a long list of things to accomplish before we can get started on this family vacation thing.

Parenting… It reminds you to enjoy the small things. 🙂

Lovin’ Your People

“Where’s Maumy?” Kyna (22 months) asked.

“At the ballpark.” I answered.

“Where’s Daudy?”

“He’s at the ballpark too.”

“Where’s Mervin?”

“At the ballpark.”

“Where’s Daddy?”

“With everyone else at the ballpark.”

“Where’s Kenzie?”

“With Daddy.”

“Where’s Siah?”

“Ballpark.”

“Where’s Rosie?”

“Ballpark.”

And once we covered everyone we started all over again.

“Where’s  Maumy?”

We were in Dublin Ohio at a ball tournament that Mike was playing in and my whole family was there. Kyna and I were headed back to the motel so he could take a nap because almost 2-yr olds must have naps or horrific things might occur.

Thankfully Marilyn was with us so we can see her and don’t have to worry about her current location.

This is what Kyna does. He loves his people and he loves for them to be together, all at the same place, within eyesight so we don’t happen to randomly lose one of them.

One of his first questions almost every morning is: “Where’s Daddy?”

“At Work.” Most times this answer is ok but occasionally it’s met with a mini tantrum of: “I don’t want Daddy go work!!”

After we figure that Daddy isn’t lost we move on. “Where’s Kenz?”

“Kenz is still sleeping.”

“Oh.” he says and occasionally he’ll wander back to her bedroom to make sure I know what I’m talking about.

Kyna and me, we have gotten very good at keeping track of each family member and I have gotten very good at at guesstimating where they might be because I learned very quickly that if he randomly asks: “Where’s Maumy?.” (She’s a favorite of his. We probably track her (and Marilyn’s) movements the most.) 🙂 I should most definitely not answer with: “I don’t know.” (I mean most times I really have no clue, but that’s beside the point. If he asks, I’d better have at least a vague idea!)

So, I have learned to answer very strategically. “Oh, she’s probably at home or maybe she’s went to the store today.”

“La.” (That’s kyna’s version of yea.) he agree’s, “She probably did.”

After Myles joined our family we had one more person to keep track of. Recently I took him to market with me for the day and Kenzie and Kyna were in bed before I got home.

Around midnight Kyna appeared at my bedside. I’m pretty sure he was making sure that I did come back again. 🙂

As I tugged him up over myself and plopped him onto the middle of the bed, he asked groggily: “Where’s Myles?”

Oh, buddy. I really, really hope you always value ‘your people’ as much as you do now and I hope those people see your need of keeping track of them for what it really is: So much love for those closest to you.

“He’s sleeping in his crib.” I answered.

“Oh.” he mumbles as he snuggles under the covers and is already drifting off to dreamland.

‘His people’ are all together, all under the same roof again.

All is well. Now we can sleep.