Saturday is supposed to be Wyatt’s night to cook. This past week was week four of our little arrangement, and he had yet to make dinner once. At six o’clock I gently reminded him that he needed to make dinner, at which he said “Well, I can’t be 100%!”
And I laughed, and said, “Yeah, but you should at least manage 25%”
At six fifteen he announced that he was taking us out to dinner.
But the kids were happily playing with play-doh at the table, no one had shoes or socks, or hair done. I was still in my jammies . . .
At seven o’clock I just finally stood up and made some corn dogs and veggies for dinner.
And that has nothing to do with the story I was going to tell . . .
So this is the story:
Since we didn’t go to dinner, Wyatt said we could go get treats. So we put on shoes and socks (and clothes) and headed out to our favorite fro-yo shop. But just before that, Calvin went to time out for something or other – and it was like his fifth time out that day (he was having a hard day) but then he let himself out of time out and went to go play.
AND THEN Wyatt found my camera on the floor of Ejo’s room. Cal got it down and played with it – #1 Cardinal rule in our house – no one touches mom’s camera (The kids are actually VERY good about this rule. I think the fact that they’ve been told so many times, in combo with the fact that the camera is always around, makes it so they just don’t usually bother it. This is like the second time EVER that one of the kids has touched it). Then we found out he also got into dad’s drawers -#2 Rule – stay out of Dad’s stuff.
AND SO – All of the above made Calvin a little boy in deep trouble. Wyatt told him there would be no ice-cream for him tonight.
Our favorite fro-yo shop is a place where you choose your own flavor of ice cream, and heap your own toppings on according to your desires (Cake batter, Reeses Pieces and Cheesecake chunks for me). It is an extra special treat when the kids go because there are rainbow sprinkles and Swedish fish and everything a little kid could love.
So we helped Olivia get her ice cream, and each got our own, and then we walked back to the table, where Calvin was sitting.
And his face just melted. His eyes welled up with fat heavy tears, and his lip curled out in heartbroken distress. And he said in his most pathetic voice “But I want ice cream.”
And you know me, I’m pretty much heartless when it comes to discipline. If it’s no, that’s the end of it. I don’t really care how much you whine or complain.
But it broke my heart. It might be the first time I ever reconsidered. I really wanted to share my ice cream with this broken hearted boy. He wasn’t whining. He wasn’t throwing a tantrum. He was just sad.
And then I remembered my parenting class (yes, I’ve taken one, because hey – I don’t know this stuff). And they said: it is important for kids to learn the reality of consequences when the consequences are inconsequential. Not getting ice cream because you broke the rules is nothing compared to getting arrested because you broke the law.
And so I stuck to my guns. But I ate my ice cream as fast as I could, and hurried out of there so my little Super Cal didn’t have to be tortured any longer (or so I didn’t have to be tortured?).
It was no fun. And I’ll always remember that face of pure tragedy. Oh, my mother heart, how sad.
Marsha came over yesterday to tell me this story about Olivia:
Marsha had given the Primary sharing time lesson about the resurrection, a heavy topic at any age, let alone the young children. To lead up to the resurrection, she had to tell about the crucifixion. Again, very heavy.
At one point she asked a question, and Olivia raised her hand. I’m not sure how or if her answer correlated to what they were talking about, but Olivia shared the story of last week, when she was having a hard time, and she went to a quiet place and said a prayer to Heavenly Father, and she felt he answered her prayer (I need to write that story down too – but probably not on the blog).
That was a nice thing of Olivia to share, and Marsha was proud of Olivia for being brave and sharing that personal moment with her fellow primary classmates.
Then, after Marsha had finished her Sharing Time, as she was gathering her things to put away, Olivia came up behind her and tugged on her dress.
Marsha turned around to see Olivia looking intently up at her. She said:
“Thank you. I was really listening.”
And Marsha was touched, and as she shared the story with me, I was touched. Olivia has such a tender heart.
Now, lest you think I’m going to tell a story about Calvin being naughty, and Olivia being an angel – think again!
Because Calvin is . . . well, Calvin.
And Who Calvin Is is a boy with a tender heart and shocking sensitivity to others.
And yesterday he came to me, as I sat on the couch, and looked up at me and said:
“Mom, I want to bear my testimony.”
And I looked up to see his eyes big, and happy. And I listened as he shared with me his little testimony – that Heavenly Father loves him, and Jesus loves him. And his mom and dad love him. And he loves his keys.