Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Challenge of Raising Children

I was blessed this morning to begin my day seeing this beautiful sunrise compliments of Seeds From My Garden. Next to seeing it with my own two eyes was getting to view this beautiful shot:-)

Ginger has once again inspired me to write in an entirely different direction than I had on my mind. Go over and read her lovely post about the child in the Dr. office and then the comments relating to that post, especially hers about her third daughter Jenna. Hence my story!

I had two little girls born 1 year and 9 days apart. I use to say it was like having twins the hard way. Suzette and Jacque were basically very obedient and docile children and naturally, being mine, I adored them. Because they were obedient and docile I took great pride in being such a good young mother!!!

Fast forward............8 1/2 years later our first son was born. We were so delighted. We had wanted a son and had waited a long time for him. Well, almost from the beginning David was a challenge to this young mother and her pat child rearing skills.

First of all he never really crawled. He would kind of scoot but never got up on all fours. What he did do was begin walking at about 7 months and by 9 months he was running. He was into life and finding out all about this great big world in a big and fast way.

I also found out very quickly what a strong willed child he was. The first real test that I remember was we had a small TV on a TV stand. The stand had a shelf where we kept the newspapers. David would pull down the papers....I would say "no-no" and slap his hands and put the papers back on the shelf. Suffice it to say, he could hold out much longer pulling down than I could putting up. His little hand would literally be red from my slapping it but pull he would still do.

By the time he was two years old he was climbing the fence in our back yard. He would climb over the fence, run across the next yard, climb that fence and be into the 3rd yard before I could hardly get the back door opened and myself outside. An aside, years later when he was grown we ran into the neighbor who lived in the 3rd yard who said "I always will remember David for climbing the fence like he could!".

When he was 5 years old our second son, Marc, was born. Shortly after Marc's arrival my in-laws came from Tennessee to see our new son. I had put David down for a nap and the 4 of us were visiting. Sometime later I realized David was still napping. He usually didn't nap that long so I went to check on him. Guess what greeted me? open window (he had opened the window) and no David. Across from our house was another row of houses and behind that was empty fields. He had opened that window, climbed out of the window and was gone. We hunted and hunted and finally found him playing in the dirt in the treed field. He was like "What's the matter? I'm just playing."

This incident occurred when he was in the first grade. His bestfriend was a boy, Rodney, who was the same age and lived down the street. Rodney went to a parocial school. One day I get a call that David is not in school. First grade and this kid is playing hookey!!! The story....the parocial school had a holiday that day and Rodney didn't have school. David decided he didn't have to go to school either and had gone to Rodney's house. His sister's at the time said "Well, look at it this way Mom, maybe he's going through the bad teen years early." That was a nice thought but it turned out not to be true.

Another very vivid insident I remember is this one. We had one of those above ground plastic swimming pools. A big one that was about 2 feet high. One day David threw our cat into the pool. I was horrified. I'd heard these programs on TV about kids that were mean to animals turning out to be murderers, etc. and I just paniced at the fact David had thrown the cat into the pool. I became a screaming manic myself as I yelled, hollowed and spanked him. Years later when we discussed this incident David said in his mind he was just having such a good time playing in the pool that he wanted kitty to share in the fun!!!

David has a brilliant mind. So often the really adventuress ones, the what we call, misbehaving ones, are very smart. And as Ginger so aptly stated they are exactly the way God made them to be.

By the Marc turned out to be the most docile, gentle child of our 4. He would entertain himself for hours playing with matchbox cars, etc. God knew that I was not up to handling another David.


~ Amy ~ said...

What a little mischievious bugger he was. Kept you on your toes. I still find it so amazing how kids from the same family can be like night and day/black and white. On the other hand can you imagine if our children were exactly the same. How boring that would be. Maybe more relaxing - but boring.

Heidi Jo said...

I am curious to know what he went on to do in life. We had our hands full with number one and then God gave us the blessed gift of two girls in a row. Now I am chasing my tail trying to keep up with our youngest!

I have always heard that while the boys may be physically tougher to raise, the girls will get you back emotionally:-) Thank God we have His guidance.

Susan said...

Isn't it funny how different each child is? I have four boys. I laughed at your "cat story" because my DS 2 tried to flush ours in the toilet...he wasn't trying to be mean...he just wanted to see "if it would go down." I'm sure that started my gray hairs!!

:-) Susan

Morning Glory said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed the sunrise picture. It was truly an exquisite sight that morning.

Raising children is such a challenge! Both my girls are married with families of their own, but I have to say there were times of utter despair. I'm so happy that they have found their way through all the stages into wonderful young women and mothers. Challenges don't seem to stop even when they're grown up, though, but God is certainly faithful to answer our prayers.

Anonymous said...

Oh Susan, Jenna was in our pool and the next thing you know our kitty was soaked, ha. Jenna tried to look innocent and say the kitty fell, but we knew better. The same cat lost half of her whiskers because Jen thought that a cat should have all the same color whiskers so she cut part of them off because they were the wrong color. The poor kitty had no feelers anymore and kept bumping into things. My, my...the stories are many.

Penless Thoughts said...

Amy - Yes, they are all different. Isn't our God amazing? Different fingerprints, different features, different personalities.

Heidi jo - Personally having had both sexes I believe both are equally challenging and rewarding.

My father use to say to me all the time "My daughter's my daughter for all of her life. My son's my son 'til he takes him a wife." I was determined not to have that happen with my sons and we (their dad & I) are blessed with a very close relationship with all of our four,

Susan - Poor kitty's! I didn't know they were such targets for our little ones.

Morning Glory - We've been through many challenges with our four but God is faithful and I've clung to "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it". Proverbs 22:6 "Point your kids in the right direction--when they're old they won't be lost." The Message

Ginger - As I said to Susan, "Poor kitty"! Wonder how many other mom's have kitty stories. At least the mom's with young children reading our experiences hopefully won't panic like I did at the time. I was convienced the next step was San Quintin!!

Ame said...

i've heard about gentle, docile children, but i don't have one :) i'm 0 for 2 there!

thank you for visiting my blog!