Wednesday, January 26, 2011


There's been a lot of fighting around here lately.

Unnecessary, petty bickering that starts at the breakfast table and doesn't end even when the lights are out and they're
supposed to be going to sleep.

I think I've been putting up with it for so long now that I don't even notice it anymore. It's kind of like that canary my Mom brought home when I was a kid. The first few weeks that bird sang so much my brother and I thought we'd go crazy. We couldn't even watch Duck Tales or Rescue Rangers without sitting right in front of the TV with the volume turned way up.

The funny thing about that canary is after a while he didn't seem to sing as much or as loud. Then one day I had a friend over and she kept commenting on how loud our canary was....I had become so used to it that I had tuned it out.

I think that's what's happened with me and the boys fighting.

Last week I was at my uncle's house for 5 wonderfully quiet, peaceful days. When I came home on Saturday it was like being thrown into a house full of loud, singing canaries.

I'm sorry to say that I didn't even really miss the kids. Or maybe I should say that I didn't miss their fighting. It was so nice to have a break away from it all.

This week for FHE I was doing the lesson on the Good Samaritan hoping that I could help my children to see that Jesus's instruction to be kind and loving to others also includes members of your family.

It wasn't that great of a lesson and the kids were bickering about something during the puzzle activity I gave them at the end.

As I was wrapping things up and trying to bear my testimony I lost it. I totally started crying.

I told them how much it hurts me to see them fighting with each other. That when I was a little girl dreaming about my future home and family this was not what I had imagined. I just wanted them to love each other and get along.

It got really quiet. I thought for a moment that maybe mom crying was a good thing. But it was a short lived hope. Minutes later they started fighting again while they brushed their teeth for bed.

The next day Aaron and I were driving back from an appointment when I had a passing thought that I shared with him...

"What do you think about moving Jacob out of the boys room and letting him have his own room?"

We had discussed this a couple years ago but ultimately agreed that they needed to learn to work things out. We'd also thought that things would get better as they got older but the test of time was showing us that it wasn't getting any better it was only getting worse.

So on our way home we stopped at Target and bought some things to get Jacob set up in the spare room which would now be his room.

The greatest friction in our household lies between Jacob and Joseph, they're like oil and water. Jacob is very mature, responsible and orderly and Joseph is, well....quite the opposite. Joseph is always telling Jacob to stop acting like a grownup. And Jacob is always telling Joseph to just grow up. Benjamin takes his turn fighting with them both but the worst of it is between these two.

So last night we made the announcement, moved his things, and for the first time Jacob slept in his own bed in his own room.

And with this move I've had to say goodbye to the dream of having my 3 sons grow up sharing a bedroom creating fond memories of staying up late telling funny stories, talking about their crushes, building those brotherly bonds. It makes me a little sad to say goodbye to what I had built up in my mind as being such a special thing. I've traded that dream with the hope that my dream of living in a home filled with more love and harmony, and less fighting and bickering will be closer to my reality.

I know this is not a solution but I think that the less interaction they have the less conflict there will inevitably be.

If anyone has something they've done that has helped reduce the fighting and fostered more love between their children please let me know. I'm especially interested to hear from those of you who have boys.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

This is why I love Joseph

I found this on the floor in the office, written with a pink highlighter pen....

And last week when Aaron and I went up to bed we found this note on our pillow by the same sweet boy...

On a very regular basis Joseph says and does things that make me feel like I'm going to go insane with frustration. He can be so obnoxious, irreverent and crazy. I'm so grateful that he's also such a tender-hearted boy. The thoughtful things he says and does make me love him so much. I've been trying harder lately to overlook his quirkiness and stop letting it stress me out so much. It's obvious that my parenting won't "change" him (see the quote on the header of this blog) and I worry that the frequency of him seeing me frustrated with him could damage our relationship. It's been a challenge but I think it's important for me to work on letting these things go. Soooooo,'s to savoring his sweetness (like these letters) and enduring the other stuff.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Just say you forgive me

Lauren was mad at me because I told her she had to clean her room before I'd let her watch a My Little Pony DVD. She started throwing a fit as I headed downstairs to unpack some stuff from our trip. While I was downstairs Joseph came into the bathroom informing me that Lauren (in her rage) had shattered one of the glass balls from the Christmas tree when she threw it over the banister. It was one of my favorite ornaments and I was upset, but with 3 boys I've had MANY of my things destroyed and consequently I've become numb to this sort of thing.

A few minutes later Lauren came downstairs crying. I asked her if breaking the ornament had been an accident to which she replied: "No, I did it on purpose because I was mad." I could tell that she felt bad about breaking it though. As I headed down the hall to survey the damage I told her, "I don't even know what to say to you right now I'm so upset." She followed behind me crying and in a desperate voice said, "Just say you forgive me!"