Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eating and Growing

Just had to share my newest favorite picture of my Little Man. He's really enjoying solid foods and I am loving how much longer he sleeps at night on those days when he has his fruit or veggies.                                            As of now, he's tried (and loved) sweet potatoes, applesauce, bananas, pears, sweet peas, and peaches. He's not a big fan of cereal, so I've been mixing it in with the baby food to thicken it up a bit and so he gets the added nutrition. He is getting much better at holding his head up when he lays on his stomach but he still hasn't mastered rolling over.
One of my favorite things about babies is how disproportionate they are. And ever since I showed this silliness to Nathan, he has come to appreciate it too. Here he is, demonstrating how short Peanut's arms are compared to the size of his head. Can you imagine not being able to touch your fingers together over your head?? Doing your hair would be nearly impossible! Its a good thing Peanut has me as his personal stylist or else he'd have bed head every day! :)  
On the subject of Nathan, I just love that boy. I was so blessed by a conversation that we had a couple nights ago. He is in the habit of asking me to come spend some one-on-one time with him in the evenings when the kids lay down to read before bed. Some days he has something important that he wants to share about school or his day, but other times he just wants his mom's company. On this particular night, Nathan felt like he needed to apologize for his attitude toward Jillian. You see, Nathan has a servant's heart. He serves with me in the toddler room at church every Sunday, he is always quick to open my car door, he says "Ladies first" and holds open the door when we enter a building, and he likes to use his muscles to help me carry and move things...  But when it comes to Jillian, he really struggles with his attitude. He has a hard time with the fact that she doesn't contribute as much as he does to the family effort. For example, when the kids carry in groceries, Jillian doesn't carry as many bags as Nathan or Chloe do.
So on this evening, he wanted to talk about how I had called him on his bad attitude toward his sister. After listening to him recount various times where he felt like Jillian wasn't equally participating, I asked him if he wanted me to help him understand or if he just wanted to share his feelings with me.
He said he wanted help understanding. So, I explained to him -- Jillian is six. I tried to show the difference that three years makes both physically and developmentally in the life of a child. I used the toddlers that we work with as an example. Some of them are three -- Jillian is six. I had him think about the differences between the little ones and his sister. And then pointed out that she is three years younger than he is. At this point, I saw the light bulb above his head begin to glow...
Then I asked Nathan if I was a good mom. When he said I was, I explained that I make mistakes all the time, but I'm learning and growing as I go. And his job is to love me while I learn. Its the same with his sister; she's learning how to share, how to be assertive without being bossy, how to contribute to the family... And our job is to love her while she learns. I assured him that, eventually, she'll get there and that its his job to be a good role model and to keep on loving her.
I definitely saw the glow of the light bulb at this point, but also a little bit of disappointment. This wasn't the answer he wanted. I wasn't telling him that Jillian was in trouble or that I was going to talk to her. Instead, I was asking him to do the hard work -- to love his sister even when she is irritating and frustrating.
Isn't that how it goes? We talk to God and tell him how frustrated we are with people in our lives, how much we want them to change... And the response we get is that they are not our responsibility -- our only job is to keep loving them while they learn. Easier said than done, but our job, and Nathan's job, nonetheless.

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