Thursday, September 06, 2007

Show & Tell

Today was another milestone for our family: Our first 'Show & Tell' at preschool. I have been looking forward to this exercise based on my fond memories of bringing something special for Show & Tell when I was a youngster. I was also a bit anxious about the potential for arguing over who was going to take what. One of the things about having 3 children the same age is that most things are community property. Add to the equation that the item could not be fragile, must fit in their backpack and had to start with the letter A and it was a situation ripe for controversy.

R, my natural born leader, was first out of the gate this morning with his request to take a toy ambulance. P followed with his request to take a toy alligator. Whew! Two down, one to go... K asked if she could take some ants. When informed that ants might escape and bite someone, she decided she would really like to take an angel. Unfortunately, I had to nix that idea because all of my angels are either fragile or packed away in the attic awaiting Christmas. Alas, K decided she would like to take an apple. I offered her a cool toy airplane or a photo of her baby cousin, Avital, but she was insistent on a plain apple.

As I was packing their backpacks for school I had out my handy Sharpie, labelling each toy so they could find their way home. K watched me then said, "Don't fo-git my name on my apple, Mama!" Suddenly, I found myself, Sharpie in hand, labelling her pitiful apple and feeling terrible that the boys had the better end of the deal with their noisy, colorful toys.

Here's the thing: K did not care. I did. I wrote a note to the teachers explaining that she CHOSE the apple. I wondered if the teachers would think I slighted her and favored the boys. I felt compelled to explain it in person, in addition to the note. Seriously? It is 3 year old Show & Tell at Mothers' Morning Out, woman! Come to your senses!

I am constantly reminded as I parent these precious little people to separate my desires and expectations from theirs. As a mother I must remember to keep my perspective. Even if it were possible to give them a storybook, picture perfect childhood, my idea of 'picture perfect' is likely vastly different than their idea anyway. (And -GULP- too often different from the Biblical "in it, not of it" perspective as well.) The most important thing I can do for them is LOVE them in a way that points them to Christ.

In the end, K was pleased that she chose something "all by herself" and proud to take it to school. That is the point afterall, right?

I won't show you P's big feat...but am happy to tell: He has been 3 days without an accident. Today he even went #2 at school for the first time. He informed me yesterday, "Yo-wa big kid is back, Mommy!" Hallelujah!


Perri said...

I bet you were ready to throw a welcome back party for P.

Chris, Natalie and Hunter said...

I love reading about your precious family. I stumbled upon your website through a fellow blogger and get such a kick from all of your stories. I have an almost 2 year old so it's exciting to see what's ahead!

Big Mama said...

I'm reminded of this lesson everytime we have to turn in a project or do show and tell. I'm glad I'm not alone!

And yea!!!! for P. I know you're so happy!

HW said...

"I am constantly separate my desires and expectations from theirs."
This reminded me of my struggle a couple years ago when my daughter and I were shopping and she was becoming more independent in choosing her wardrobe (she's 13 now). I have very strict modesty rules (at least by most standards, I guess)and I realized I was arguing with her over TASTE and not modesty. I didn't like the handkerchief hemline even though it was below her knees...I didn't like the neon green earrings. I had my idea of what I thought was the perfect look and it didn't match hers, even though her choices passed the modesty test.
Things are much more peaceful since I realized my mistake.
Good for you for coming to terms with this.

The Robinson Girls said...

i've said it before but i'll say it again.. you really should write a mothers daily devotional..

LilyLakeMom said...

I am right there with you! With my three older kids back in school they've each had to bring in some variation of a "getting to know you" bag. I was trying to suggest things like a family photo, a picture of our cottage, a handmade blanket from know things that are meaningful in our family. My 5 yr. old sons idea of items to describe him are
a golf ball, some fish food and a plastic gorilla from the Mold-A-Rama machine at the zoo.

Because you know, nothing says "only the best for my child" like a Mold-A-Rama souvenier.

I've had to work on my control issues with the whole show and tell thing, that's for sure!

Have a good night!

wendymom said...

This one was especially touching, yes I can relate. I often find myself trying to manipulate things the kids want to do, are the tiny details really that important? No. It is so often me that thinks way more of it than they do. You did great on your first show and tell, I was thinking about the Sharpie ink being on the apple and afraid K would eat it.

JMom said...

LOL, Wendy! It was on the very bottom (and she apparently threw the beloved fruit away immediately after Show & Tell according to her teachers.)But I love that you are looking out for us! :-)

Kim said...

I SO enjoy reading your posts!!! You write the way your children talk so well..I can just hear their little voices!!

You have GREAT perspective.....God's good!!

Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

What a great lesson you reminded us of. Once, my niece went to ride ponies with a bunch of other kids and all her pony did was stand and eat grass while all the other ponies walked around. I felt so bad for my niece all the while. But when the "riding" ended she excitedly ran over and said, "My horse ate the most grass of anyone's!" Everything in perspective.

ivey elizabeth said...

love it.

Alison said...

You are certainly not alone in this regard. I often find that I need to step back and just leave it be.

Tara said...

When you see me next, please remind me to tell you the story of Maggie, Ms. Wanda, and the fabric softener sheet. It is Ms. Wanda's favorite show and tell story ever! And it truly marked me as "mother of the decade" let me tell you. Great post!