I rather like being a clear cut it is either right or wrong kind of person. The cop out answer of “It’s complicated,” more often than not is an excuse to do what you want to do anyway because you’ve spent some time rationalizing it.
Yet as a mother of three children, with different personalities and ways of doing things, it’s not always easy to show them that I’m being clear cut with the principle of the issue. Perhaps it is because they, as children, appear to us adults to be always on the lookout for any amount of unfairness. It is as if they go to special training to hunt out any possibility that their brother or sister may have gotten away with something that they did not.
My son got out some roast leftovers (which I managed to incorporate into breakfast this morning) for lunch and I told him no, because we were going to use some of it again at supper time. My daughter pulled out a biscuit from this morning and he was upset that she was getting away with it. I gently reminded him that biscuits weren’t on the menu for tonight, but the leftover roast had appeared at breakfast this morning and would again at super tonight so he didn’t need it at lunch as well.
I look at how some adults, as individuals, corporations and even nations interact with each other and it seems to me that many of them never outgrew that childish phase of hunting for ways where they were being treated unfairly. I wonder what would happen if they spent the same amount of time volunteering and making a difference in their community?
There was an explosion at the breakfast table this morning. The kids had pushed me too far and I used my best get their attention voice. It must have been growing up near an Air Force Base and hanging out at times at a National Guard Military Department that gave me the edge with getting their attention. I even got Karl’s attention.
One word, one order from their mommy turned drill sergeant and instantly the children were to their seats at the table and very quiet. Karl and I discussed what was happening and we decided we hadn’t been enforcing the rule. No more! The Cold Cereal Rule will now be enforced.
You see, our kitchen is quite small. There is not enough room for the kids to pack their lunches and for me to make them a good breakfast to help them have a good day at school. So the rule is that they get their lunches done and out of the way in time for me to make a good breakfast for them. They’ve been pushing it and it makes it very difficult for me to make breakfast. So the threat of be on time or we will have cold cereal hasn’t been enforced. No more. Karl and I have decided a rule isn’t any good if it isn’t enforced. So the kids may end up having cold cereal every school day for a while, until they can figure out we mean business.
The hardest part about parenting, is disciplining yourself! I don’t want cold cereal every day. That’s the truth. But I will have to train myself and sacrifice and eat cold cereal in order to teach the children a lesson. I hope they learn it fast. I want to go back to pancakes and breakfast burritos and all kinds of good stuff.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Truly it is. Do some research and you’ll find some amazing things. First of all, breakfast is a free meal. Huh? If you are eating a decently nutritious breakfast – tank up! Healthy calories consumed at the morning meal are normally burned off during the course of the day. Just watch yourself for lunch and supper. Logically, if you eat 800 calories at 6:30 in the evening, most likely you won’t have time to burn off enough of those calories to justify what you ate. It’s really a no brainer.
The meal is pretty important at our house and I’m proud to say my kids get a home prepared breakfast before they go to school. I hear the stories of other kids that come to school hungry and they feel so sorry for those kids. I want to get in the faces of their parents and ask them if they are crazy! It is sad when the school has to send notes home to please make sure your kids get a good breakfast so they can do their best on the standardized testing coming up.
But a home prepared meal comes at a price. Mom had to get up earlier and sometimes dad too. The children need to have their lunches finished and out of the way so mom can get going on making that most important meal of the day. This morning, all three of my kids overslept, but I didn’t. Eventually I grabbed the air horn we use as a last resort to remind them that yes, it is another day and school cannot be avoided. I informed my husband that the children would be in the way and I would have to make a simpler breakfast, not the mouth watering breakfast burritos he had been hoping for.
Karl doesn’t move fast unless he has to. It is not in his nature. He is the peaceful, easy going, relational person that spend a lot of time thinking through how decisions and reactions will affect various relationships. He sees the big picture and takes time along the way to make sure all will be well at the end of the day. This takes time. But breakfast burritos are his favorite. He jumped out of bed and began rallying the troops. Get your lunches made and out of mommy’s way if you want breakfast burritos!
Needless to say, we had breakfast burritos this morning. Did it require extra effort and inconvenience since we were already behind schedule a bit? Of course! But the whole family felt it was worth the effort. Now my challenge is how to bottle that intentionality and purpose and speed for other things in life. How can I show my children that there are many things in life worth pulling out all the stops for – not just breakfast burritos? I am determined to find an answer.
Hello, my name is Sharon and I am an old fashioned mother.
By this declaration, I admit that I make a hearty breakfast for my children before sending them off to school. I believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that by seeing my kids get an adequate one, I’m helping them to be positioned for success in their school day. Since the oldest has to be at school at 7:30AM, Breakfast is at 6:30, allowing them plenty of time to eat healthfully and have a few minutes left to do the last minute brushing of teeth and combing of the hair. Trust me, we only have one bathroom so they need all the time they can get!
This morning, I had managed to get a healthy breakfast going in the oven, timer set, and proceeded to enjoy one of my favorite parts of the day: devouring God’s Word. Our house is small and my husband was gifted with a voice that carries well. So it is no surprise that I can sometimes overhear discussions coming from the kitchen. Michael was expressing his wonder and awe at the way things were going that morning. He noticed the timer was at 20 minutes and he also noticed that it was exactly ten minutes after 6:00. “This will be done at exactly 6:30.” Karl chuckled to himself and replied. “Hmmm, you would think it was planned that way.”
Karl and I have both worked in the world of broadcasting, both television and radio. Timing is everything. If a show comes to you that didn’t fit the proscribed length to allow for commercial breaks, we had to make it work. If it was too short, we added fillers. If it was too long, we had to save it for those rare occasions when we needed something of that length. Timing is everything. Michael has yet to learn this concept. We have gotten his attention at times and reminded him of what he was supposed to be doing and he would be absolutely stunned by how much time had passed while he was floating around in his “Nothing Box.”
Karl hit on the solution today. There are children in the world that need to spend some time working in radio or television, simply to learn timing!
The food in the oven being ready to eat at exactly 6:30 didn’t happen by accident. Timing had been involved. The alarm clocks going off at the appointed time to give the kids a chance to make their lunches and get dressed are there for a purpose. Timing is everything!
We even experience timing in relationships. Your niece and her boyfriend (marriage had been on the discussion board at times) break up. That’s not the right time to mention there are other fish in the sea. Wait a few days or even weeks for her to begin going through the stages of grief over losing this relationship. Your neighbor shares the news that he has two months to live because of a vicious cancer. That’s not the time to tell him about the latest study on healthy eating over a lifetime to prevent cancer. Right now it is time to offer comfort and support. Timing is everything.
As the Beatles sang what the wise man wrote in the book of Proverbs, there is a time for everything. How is your timing today? Go throughout this day with this thought in mind: Timing is everything!