Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Iced tea

Today was a busy day once again. I decided to shampoo all of the carpets. With the boys constantly running in and out during the summer, it seems many things get tracked in. Mostly pond scum from their exploring expeditions. I love that they are in a place where they CAN explore and find things...it's so good for boys to have this. We've seen many frogs... even huge bull frogs...that I would not want to meet up with in the middle of the night. They've found many turtles too, crossing the road to go to the pond. Once we even saw baby mallard ducks, crossing the road quietly with their mother. I wondered, "How does she keep them all quiet?" Needless to say, the carpet has been needing a good shampooing....although I just did it in April.

So for the good part of the afternoon, I shampooed the carpets. I go very slowly, and often times will go over a "well used" section over and over again. By nap time, I was tired, and the carpets were done, the house was clean...it's a good feeling.

At dinner, we had a chili-mac casserole with mixed veggies on the side along with freshly made iced tea. As is our custom...everyone gets a small drink with their food, and any refills they may have only after eating all of their food. I told the boys, "Please be careful with the tea, Mommy just finished cleaning all of the carpet." I should've known.

Joey, finished his first cup of tea, and decided he was going to get another drink. He didn't ask, and I didn't see him. I never let them pour their own drinks if the pitcher is full...only if it is under half-way full. You can guess what happened.

Tea...all over the table, dripping through the cracks, off of everyones chair...all around the table. I was just stunned. I sat their thinking through all of the work I had just done this afternoon. Moving the table back and forth to get it thoroughly cleaned underneath. I thought of my just saying, "Please be careful with the tea." I thought of how we never let them get a second drink until their food is gone. I wondered why...why would he even try to get another drink...from a FULL pitcher none the less. I scolded him out of complete frustration. I have been teaching them a lot lately about doing right. He knew it was wrong to get more tea...and did it anyways, and created a mess.

Joey and I both moved the table after dinner. He moved all of the chairs, and he picked up anything that was under the table for dinner. We cleaned the carpet AGAIN. Then we both moved the table back, and he moved all the chairs back. He helped clean the mess he made.

Sometimes I wonder...am I being too hard....am I being too easy? Certain things we have set rules about...but life happens, and those things don't always fall under a "rule" we have set. Do you make allowances for childishness at all? For instance, my "command" tonight was to be careful with the tea. Although it is understood...no seconds on drinks until the food is gone...it has never been stated as a rule. Therefore, when Joey tried to pour his second cup of tea...since it was not a rule, and I had not said anything about "refills" on drinks (at this meal)....was he disobeying and being sneaky....???? Or was he simply thirsty, and wasn't really thinking about anything other than, "hmmm that tea was tasty, I think I'll have some more!" Sometimes it is so hard to decipher....

And also....would I had been as frustrated by the whole incident had I not just shampooed the carpet? Was I annoyed because he poured more tea out of a full pitcher....or because he had soiled my newly cleaned carpet?

Not many people read my blog, and those who do...I highly look up to. So what would you have done?


  1. You did the right thing. Even little people need to realize that people get frustrated when others make a mess while being foolish. Pouring tea from a full pitcher is foolish and it is good to teach our children that foolishness causes frustration to everyone! That is reality and reality is what they will have to face and learn to deal successfully with all their grown up life. How nice that they can learn about it "kindly" in the comfort of their own home with the kindness of their own mother :).

  2. It's hard to know the right thing to do and everybody has a different opinion! But I think you did the right thing because now he knows how hard you worked to get the carpets clean and he will respect it more next time with asking for help! Don't beat yourself up!
    You seem like a great mom! My mom had 5 boys before she had me and my sister! I see you have 4 boys and then a little girl! Praying for a safe birth for your next one! I followed your blog from Amy's! hugs and prayers.

  3. What a good mom you are always teaching; training and loving those little ones!
    I wish I could have helped you clean those carpets! Your amazing! lv-nancy

  4. I probably shouldn't read into this too much but I think the heart issue is one where you feel like you somehow "failed" and as a mom you were either too hard or not hard enough...the devil likes to bring condemnation in all forms doesn't he? I believe the truth is that God looks at our little messes, our stiving to keep things perfect and He gathers us into His arms and loves us so tenderly. I believe the Father is looking at you tenderly Amy, He sees a beautiful child and He loves you no matter what. However you handled this was not the issue- the truth is no matter what you did- YOU are an amazing and loving mom! I am proud to know you!

  5. I am far behind you in the mother department (my oldest is 5), but from what I have learned you did great. There are consequences to our actions, and he is learning that. I love how you are rearing your children for the Lord! Elissa and I both enjoy that about you.
    Praying for you through the summer and as you enter you 3rd trimester. Keep us updated on how you're doing!

  6. It sounds like you handled it a lot better than I would! :-) What a great idea to have him help you to clean up the mess. You sound like a great mom, Amy! I don't even let my kids drink at the table because I'm afraid of them spilling on the carpet. Usually they don't get a drink until they're done eating and then they have to go into the kitchen. I'm just a big meanie, I know!! You really seem to be such a balanced loving mom!



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