09 November 2005

Impatient And Squirrelly

I was thinking as I reread yesterday's post that anyone who really knows me knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am way too "squirrelly" - to coin a phrase my mother used to always used to describe me - to ever relax enough in the middle of the day to take a nap. As it is, I have to be completely and utterly exhausted in order to turn my mind off enough to go to sleep at night time - a trait that my husband doesn't find annoying at all! (she says sarcastically). I wish I could be the kind of person that is laid back enough to just kick their feet up and snooze for a power nap in the middle of the day. I think it would make a definite improvement in my mid-afternoon mood swings. Does anybody out there struggle like I do between maybe 2 and 4 pm?? Okay, maybe it's just me. But the truth is that if you would ever call my house and find me in bed in the middle of the day, I am probably suicidal or homicidal or both! I don't even go to bed when I'm sick. I'd rather just push myself and run around growling at my family all day.
With my children I have realized that my "squirrelly-ness" has deprived them of some focused training. I want to teach them how to do something, by telling them once how to do it and have them simply perform the task to my perfect, and utter satisfaction. A couple of years ago, our homeschool support group read a book called Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit by Teri Maxwell where she explained that many times our frustration with our children when they do not complete a task to our approval is that WE as the parents have failed to train them. I had just such an experience this morning. My 12 year old daughter has the job in the family of cleaning up the kitchen every morning, which includes unloading the dishwasher, wiping off the table and counters and rinsing out the sink. This morning, we had friends over and I made a mound of french toast. After breakfast she did what she thought was cleaning up, but fell far short of the standard I have for the cleanliness of our kitchen. She missed many sticky spots on the table (a gooey table is my absolute worst pet peeve!), didn't put half a dozen things away, etc. etc. I soon realized that it truly is my failure that I haven't stayed with her long enough to really train her to do what I want her to do the way I would like her to do it. Generally speaking, I have assigned them a task because I need to do something else, and don't stay to assist, mentor, or monitor progress. It is my failure - in my impatience to train my children properly. I know that children are often sloppy, lazy, and disobedient but the difference in the lack of skill and an unwilling heart are obvious. So I learned a valuable lesson this morning - AGAIN!

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