At times in my motherhood career I feel as though I am suspended in limbo as far as any progress in teaching my children certain life skills. For example, Roman still waits until the very last possible second to use the potty even though he has been "trained" for about a year now. He just does not seem to understand that waiting as long as he can really won't make the urge to use the restroom go away. While I try to be patient in this particular issue, I can't help but think, "When will he learn that he doesn't have to suffer like this? By simply making the choice to use the restroom earlier would make all the difference." And yet, there is no persuading this young man.
Another common issue that we've been facing is the never-ending chore of housework. I have racked my brain thinking of creative ways to teach and motivate my children the purpose and usefulness of this skill and still, even though they have to put their clean laundry away every day, there is a battle at times.
Well, today, I had a long list of things to get accomplished and I asked the children to clean the living room. Greggory had just dumped out a bowl of Kix cereal on the floor and so Brooklyn and Roman asked if they could vacuum it up. Sure, I said, why not? They had such a grand time vacuuming up the cereal (and each other's hair and tummies I noticed) and I've never heard so much giggling during vacuuming before. After cleaning the mess up I told them that if they hurried and cleaned their bedrooms, then they could each vacuum their own room as a reward! My goodness, I have never seen their rooms become clean so fast! They were each able to vacuum their bedrooms and that in turn inspired Brooklyn to make her bed and clean under all her bedroom furniture.
Then, as I was mopping, I told Brooklyn that if she sorted her and Roman's clean laundry then I would put them away. Well, not only did she sort their laundry, but she folded all the towels and sorted and folded all of my and Weston's clothes. I was shocked and showered her with praises, but I think she received more satisfaction in watching me put away her clothes as I has promised to do.
Even though I consider today's cleaning frenzy a small breakthrough in their attitudes about housework, I know it won't always be like this and I will get very frustrated at times. And yet, I can't help but wonder if God often shakes his head at me and thinks, "If she would only choose to do this, her life would be so much easier!" So, it's with that perspective in mind that gives me patience as I watch Roman doing the potty dance and Greggory dumping out all his cereal on the floor.