Sunday, October 28, 2007

She's not a baby anymore

I am the mother of a jr. high age kid. This is taking some getting used to! And no, it is not just because I am getting old; I'm NOT! Ok, I'm getting closer to being 40 than to 30, but that really isn't the problem. The issue at hand is, my daughter is old enough to be in junior high.

Now, you have to understand; I had four children in five years and I've been pregnant 10 times in the last 12 years. So, I've spent lots of time being pregnant and holding babies. I remember clearly the struggle of getting out of the house when I had to buckle four kids into carseats and make sure I had diapers and changes of clothes for at least two of those kids! It hasn't been that long since I could go nowhere without taking into consideration the needs and challenges of my large young family.

But, I no longer have only, or even mostly, young children! It is strange; nice - I'm really enjoying this change, but it is kind of strange. My oldest daughter can babysit, and she does a good job. I can trust her to manage portions of my job, quite successfully. She is still very much a child, and I'm not expecting her to be all grown up now. Quite the contrary, I'm enjoying this stage of her childhood very much. But, with the new pleasure of having a daughter who is old enough to babysit and bear more responsilibity is the challenge of having that same child go to youth group and do the "young adult" thing! This is just so strange. I have to change my mindset! Hopefully she doesn't mind that deep down inside, I'm really just an overgrown teenager and plan to share this adventure she is embarking on! Because, like it or not, we're both in for a wild ride. I guess I better hang on tight, too, since this adventure isn't going to be over for a long time.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

How (not) to Win Friends and Influence People

We have a friend who has worked for the last eight years with a non-profit organization in China developing programs to meet the needs of physically or developmentally handicapped children and their parents. She is in the US for a short time, and was able to visit. In anticipation of her visit, and because it was generally needed, we tided the house. Having arrived home from a meeting literally minutes before our guest, I knew the living room was presentable, and figured the rest of the house didn't matter - we'd just stay in the living room.

After enjoying a wonderful visit, and just before leaving on the next leg of her journey, our friend used the bathroom. After exchanging hugs and waving goodbye to our friend as she drove away, I went to use the bathroom. It was then I discovered just how much the rest of the house mattered!

One of my children (who is not yet old enough for school) had had an accident. Wet little girl panties were laying in the middle of the bathroom floor. A small yellow puddle graced the floor right in front of our toilet. How long it had been since the accident I had no idea, but I knew one thing for sure. My guest and friend, who is very proper and gracious, had gone into what I thought was a clean bathroom, and said nothing to me about how very improper and unclean the room really was! Ahhhh! At least she is already a friend! Even with a friend, though, that isn't the kind of influence I want to have. Guess I won't be giving any of those seminars anytime soon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Red (and not so red) hot peppers

On Tuesday afternoons, I pick my niece up from preschool. This week, someone set out a box of jalapeno peppers, chili peppers and tomatillos with a sign that said free. So, we took one of each; we're studying Mexico right now.

The peppers were setting on the counter this morning when my girls decided they needed to see how hot they really were. I warned them not to try it, but you know how much Mom knows! So, my sweet, precious, very sensitive 6 year old took a bite right off the tip of the pepper, seeds and all.

Didn't take long for that sweet, precious, very sensitive 6 year old to recognize her mistake, but it was too late. The fire was already kindled. To the refrigerator she ran, grabbing the milk and quickly filling a cup with the white flame retardant. To her credit, she didn't cry. That was a big accomplishment, since the last time she tasted a hot pepper, she cried for 20 minutes!

Before the morning was over, I'd also tasted one of the peppers. Though it was hot, I only touched it to the tip of my tongue, I didn't bite, chew or swallow. So, my experience was very brief and relatively painless. But, when Dad returned from work, the girls greeted him with a report that Mom had tasted the pepper.

I've been accepted into the Rodgers' Red Hot Pepper Club! And, I learned a very important lesson; when you touch chili peppers, DON'T TOUCH YOUR EYES, NOSE OR MOUTH! Needless to say, I learned that from personal experience! Whatever it is that makes them hot (the capsaisin?) gets on your fingers. Yikes. Those peppers are HOT, and they just keep giving, and giving, and giving. But, at some point either my eyes and nose will become immune to their effects (from frying the nerves in said areas) or the hot stuff will wear off my fingers. Hopefully that happens before it is time to take my contacts out tonight!

Just consider yourself warned, though. If you come to our house in the near future, you will be offered a pepper, whether it is on the menu or not. It will be hot, and an innocent, precious six year old will say, "Please bite it. I did." Just say no!