What are you Passing Down?

I am not talking about outgrown clothing and such, but what of you is going to the next generation or to the one after that?

When my kids were all little I tried to let them dabble in what I was doing. Cake decorating, sewing etc were common in the house as well as trying various crafts. Some were not interested in any of them, others one here or there.

When the grandkids came along I babysat some of them and found they wanted to get into things I was doing also. Sometimes it was fun, sometimes frustrating! Like trying to take college classes and having them love the animation but then clicking something on my keyboard and losing all my work! (I mean this girl could lose a whole project in a second!) They also learned that grammie would print out coloring pages for them and had a whole vast amount of coloring at her fingertips! Way more than any coloring book could give and they could pick out what pictures they wanted.

When I moved from being close to the grand kids my heart just ached for the little ones to be around. I remarried, moved to Texas and that part of me was just crying out to share with the kids.

Then a blessing came and my step daughter (hate that word “step” these kids are like my own but being technical here) asked me if I would keep their baby when she was born. I was so thrilled. First, she was trusting me with their most valuable “possession” and that I would, again, have a little one to share and spend time with.

Now, 4 years later, I am dreading the day she starts school! We have fun together and she loves crafts! One day she plopped her little self, legs dangling off the chair and no where near reaching the foot peddle,  in front of my serger and said “OK Grammie, you use that machine and I will use this one”.  I explained that she had to get bigger and she replied “Oh dang it”.

She then began taking the scraps of fabric that came off the serger or I cut from sewing and saved them in her “collection”. I had started giving her crafts to do and made up her own craft box. It had markers, crayons, glue stick, scissors and other things as I found them. I was also given an endless stack of construction paper from a kids program cleaning out a closet so she has that available.

Before long she was taking the fabric scraps and making scenes on the paper by gluing them down in designs and drawing other parts. Since then she has done all kinds of things and I watch yard sales etc for any craft supplies she might be able to do.

She has signs hanging up all over the house, one to tell the cat not to sleep on the dogs bed, one to tell the dog not to eat her food when she gets up and has not finished it yet and one on the door to say “no boys allowed in this room”. Now, mind you. these signs need interpretation. The only one that you can read is Makita (my dogs name) but she is trying.

Last week she looked at a picture of me with her and her 3 cousins. It was taken about 3 years ago, so they were all little and the last one was only 2 months old so I was leaning on the couch helping her hold him.  When she looked at the picture the first thing out of her mouth the minute she saw it was “There you are grammie, taking good care of your grand kids”. My heart just jumped! What a joy to know that this is what she thinks of me… giving good care.

Friday I had to go to a meeting for my CASA child. I took her along as she is easy and usually very good. They asked her what her favorite things is to do with her grammie. Her answer “crafts”.

As I think of all this, my heart is so thrilled that she thinks I give good care and that I am passing on my love for crafts.

While all these thrill me, the one thing that thrills me even more is her love for Bible stories. We have devotional time every day before nap and she will not let me forget it. She is always so excited to learn more of the Bible. On the way home from the meeting mentioned above she she told me that sometimes she listens to me and sometimes she does not. I told her it was very good when she listens and asked her if she knew what it was called when she did not listen. She said “bad?” I told her it was called “sin”. She quickly associated it with our Old Testament stories we had been going to and said, covering her mouth in upset, “That means God will have to punish me!”  I then explained Grace to her and reminded her about Christ’s death for us.

She said “I love Jesus, He is alive again and I will see Him when I go to heaven”.

What a thrill in my heart to know that I am passing down not just worldly pleasures, but Jesus.

Kids pick up everything or be carefull little mouth what you say!

When I was young as well as when my kids were young there was a Sunday School tune that went like this:

O be careful little eyes what you see

O be careful little eyes what you see

There’s a Father up above

And He’s looking down in love

So, be careful little eyes what you see

O be careful little ears what you hear

O be careful little ears what you hear

There’s a Father up above

And He’s looking down in love

So, be careful little ears what you hear

O be careful little hands what you do

O be careful little hands what you do

There’s a Father up above

And He’s looking down in love

So, be careful little hands what you do

O be careful little feet where you go

O be careful little feet where you go

There’s a Father up above

And He’s looking down in love

So, be careful little feet where you go

O be careful little mouth what you say

O be careful little mouth what you say

There’s a Father up above

And He’s looking down in love

So, be careful little mouth what you say

It had a catchy tune and even 2 yr. olds would sing it. It is so true. We as adults say things that we do not even know we say until it comes out of the mouths of the children we are around.

My husband is a born and raised Texan. Here in Texas they say “dang it”. ALOT!  However, most do not know how much they say it. Me, being a transplant, know how much they say it!  My husband does too, now.

I watch our precious granddaughter while her parents work. She has been my pal since she was 6 weeks old.  Over the last months she has started following PAPAs mouth and saying “dang it” or “dang it, I hate that” Just like her PAPA. She says it all the time! He had a doctor appointment last week and we took her on the hour each way ride and he heard her using those words over and over about everything. He laughed,  until I told him she was just following his mouth. He did not think he said it THAT much. I began pointing it out to him when he said “dang it” “dang” or “dang I hate that”. Poor guy was quite surprised and said he never realized he said it so much!

It reminded me again of how careful we as parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles or just anyone around kids need to be with our mouths. They pick it all up and “do as I say and not as I do” just does not work.

Read the song over, it is just as important for us to follow as for the 2 year old learning it in Sunday School!

Live what you say to your kids!

As faithful readers know, I babysit one of my granddaughters all day, every day. She is a delight, but has brains beyond  her years of 3! Her association and quick thinking can be a real challenge on many days, a big source of humor on other days.   Yesterday was both.

Over the weekend my husband was finally getting at the rest of the painting in the living room. That is until he ran out of paint and time and could not finish the one wall.  Here is what it looked like when he got done rolling out all that was left on the roller just to use it up.

LRoom-001

I asked my granddaughter if she liked the way PAPA painted the wall.

Nose turned up, eyes funny as if to say “I need to be polite, but it looks awful” she said a sarcastic “yeah” and, not missing a beat, pointed to the other walls

LRoom-002

and said: “So, you painted the other walls?” in a tone that said “they look so good I know HE would not have done it”.

NO darling, PAPA did them all and then I explained.

Later that day I caught her outside on the porch with a pointed stick trying to poke the goat in the eye.

I screamed and made her come in and gave her a good talking to and a corner to sit in.

That night her dad talked to her about being mean to animals and never hitting or poking an animal. He went through all about being kind to animals when  granddaughter got into his face and put her finger on his nose and said “But Daddy, YOU are the one that throws rocks at the cats” walked away and would not listen to him any more on the subject.

Yes, this is a 3 yr old. Kids listen to our actions more than out words.

While the first incident with the paint was funny and an association that was humorous, the second one is a lesson in actions speak louder than words.

What ARE we really telling our children and grandchildren? They will learn what they see us do quicker and more meaningful than what our words say.

Roadkill and a 3 year old

Anyone following either of my blogs knows I watch my 3 year old granddaughter every day. She and I are a team and love doing many of the same things. PAPA says I spoiled her by making her love animals so much, but I do not agree. Her dad is a hunter and watches animal programs with her, all Dora’s friends are animals as well as Diego, Kai Lan, Wonder Pets and many of the kids shows. Not sure why I get blamed!

One of the things we love to do is go for walks. Our favorite thing is to walk the 3.2 miles to where PAPA works and have lunch with him. This past Wednesday we did just that. Half way there is a laundromat with a nice clean bathroom. We usually make it that far before she has to go (ahem, good excuse anyway, usually I am getting bad by then too).

As we were leaving the laundromat there where the drive meets the road, was a roadkill. An opossum was laying there, mouth open and run over. There was no blood, just a dead opossum that had tire tracks on it, but she was fascinated.  She wanted to look at it and made lots of remarks about it’s teeth and big mouth.

For the next mile and half she talked about the opossum’s situation. (Well, with the exception of the short time she asked if we could please go to a garage sale because she really really wanted to go…. another love we both have!)  She asked about how it got hit and I was able to talk to her about playing in the street or crossing the street so she did not get hit. She informed me that if what happened to the opossum happened to her then her mom would be very sad.

She saw two squirrels playing in the road and told them to get out or they would end up like the opossum. More conversation about death followed and she informed me that if that happened to her mom she would be very sad.

All this week she has talked about the opossum and asking questions about it. Do they growl?  Can it growl now?  Do they bite? Can it bite now?

It has been a good time of learning for her and I want to use it to its fullest as she talks and asks questions. Not just about playing in the road and getting hit, but about death itself.

It has been learning for me too. Having  her by herself and not with other kids has given me opportunities that many times are missed when you are a parent and dealing with everything. Daycare does not provide this learning. However, for me it is one on one with her all day. Yes, I have things I should get done, things I need to get done, but they sit. At my age they sit for some time at times as I am too tired at night to stay up late and do them. However, God has blessed me with this little girl to enjoy, work with and help understand life and Him.

Use your opportunities to the best. Encourage their questions and not push them off.  Little ones learn and want to learn way more than we give them credit for at times!

Teaching a young one

Today my husband and I were talking, or was it yesterday? Anyway, we do talk and were talking about our grandkids. We had 4 granddaughters born in one year. This year they are or have, turned 3. The oldest of the four was born in May and the youngest was born in December. The December baby is the one I babysit all week long.

Scout loves her kitties, but she can be mean and sometimes scares them, laughing about it.  So many times I have to tell her to be gentle that it hurts them, scares them or what ever.

When Rick and I were talking the other day I realized how much I use things to teach things. I guess raising 5 kids of my own helped me see this, but we realized that is seems to come natural to me.

Let me explain.

Several weeks ago Scout and I went to where my husband works to get the company credit card from the plant manager. I have a cleaning contract with the company and needed supplies. Tim was teasing Scout and Scout was not sure how to take him. Suddenly Tim said “I’m gonna get you” and started after her. She panicked and ran to hide, shaking and scared. We had a talk about it after we got in the car. We talked about being afraid and how it felt and how Tim was playing and not trying to scare her.

Fast forward to last week:

She was scaring the kitties and thinking it was great fun. One was hiding and shaking. I took the little kitty and we talked about how Scout felt when Tim was playing with her and how the poor kitty must feel now. Scout got the point.

Another example. We have a goat that is now an it. He came to us only a few days old and was bottle fed. Scout helped take care of him and as he grew he acted like Scout was his sister. He would butt her, try to play with her and as he grew was way too rough.

Jack is now over a year old and when he sees Scout he wants to play and tries to push her and butt at her. He will push the stroller with her in it, but gets too rough. He wants to walk with us when we go out on the road, but then thinks that part way down the road he should get in the stroller too. He will then try to push Scout or climb on her lap. (NO! I do not take him any more!)

Last week we wanted to go for a walk and Jack saw the stroller and came running. Scout got scared since he is too rough with her. I juggled the stroller out the drive and then carried Scout to the road and put her in the stroller. Jack wanted to play!

We had another talk about how she feels when Jack plays too rough and how Jack must feel wanting to play and not knowing he is too rough. We then related it to her and how she is with the kitties.

Good teaching is taking someone from where they are to where you want them to be. It takes steps and takes things they know to understand what they do not know.

Your children learn by taking the things they know and using it to making the unknown known to them. We need to be observant!  You have the ability to take teach them. So often we yell, criticize or put down because they are doing what they should not be doing.

Use what they know to teach them, it is much more relaxing and they do get the point.