Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Noteworthy Week

Monday I took Claire to the doctor. She was 6 months, 9 days old. She weighed in at 12 lbs. 10 oz. She's still a little one!

Monday evening we were able to have Holly over for dinner. Holly is a U of I student who is relatively new to Redeemer, and it was so much fun getting to hang out with her more!

Tuesday Claire got her first tooth. Later that evening she ate her first solid food. She made some of the cutest expressions while she was eating!

Wednesday was a "normal" day, which is noteworthy in itself! The funniest part of the day occurred several moments after my head hit the pillow. I was in that state of semi-consciousness halfway asleep... when suddenly I heard in my head the sound of Claire spitting up! What!?! I started laughing and then hoped I wouldn't wake Chet up. It was pretty hilarious, actually. I couldn't tell if it was funnier that I heard the sound in my head or that I actually recognized what the sound was immediately!

Thursday, we started the day at the Family Center (the homeschool co-op that we joined in the fall). Everyone had a great morning! Ladan's really fun morning quickly turned to "THE WORST DAY EVER" when he found out that his friend, Meghan, wasn't going to be able to come over that night. She had something come up, and it just wasn't going to work out. He was SO DISAPPOINTED. He cried. Several times. And repeated several times that it had become THE WORST DAY EVER.

Quick! Good response needed from his mom! I agreed with him that it was definitely disappointing that Meghan wasn't going to be able to come over and assured him that we would reschedule. He was still pretty upset. Here's how it went:

Me: "Ladan, who created everything?"
Ladan (whispering): "God."
Me: "So who is in charge of everything?"
L: "God."
Me: "WHY did God create everything, and why does He decide to do things?"
L: "For His own glory."
Me: "So why do you imagine that Meghan can't come over today?"
L: "Because it will glorify God."
Me: "That seems strange, doesn't it? That something so disappointing can be glorifying to God. And yet we know that it's true, because He says it is. Let's watch to see if we can see ways that God is glorified because He is working things out this way."

Fast forward a few hours. We had finished the school stuff we needed to do from home. Gabe was napping. Claire had been fed. I needed to run some errands, so I decided to take Ladan out for a night with Mommy. He was able to decide what he wanted to eat. Shockingly, he chose pizza.

We went to Monical's. On the way in, Ladan held the door for an elderly lady, and then she held the other door for us. It was very sweet! We enjoyed our pizza, and then we ran errands. Our final stop was Target where our goal was to find a new backpack for Ladan. I so wish I had taken an mp3 recorder to catch everything that he said throughout the night. It was one of my best nights as his mom, I'm sure. He's getting so big and is so much fun to hang out with. These are some of the things I heard from him in no particular order:

"Mom, do you know who I love? YOU!"

"Mom, when I get to be 19, I'm going to be an adult. And I'm going to be able to drive when I'm 19. [Me: You'll probably be able to drive when you're 16 if the law doesn't change.] Yep, but I'll still be able to drive when I'm 19. And then I'll get married when I'm 21. And I'll have to take care of my wife and kids. I'm working hard at school so I can provide for my wife and kids."

"Mom, what if two of my kids are fighting over... our DOG? I guess I'll have to discipline two of my kids. But I won't want to. But God says I have to, so I guess I'll have to do what he says because I love my kids."

"When I grow up and have a wife and kids, I'm going to have to protect them, Mom. What if there's a coyote coming after my wife with its chompers? I'll have to send my dog out to scare away the coyote. My dog will have to be big enough to scare away the coyote, but it can't be as big as Clifford, because then my family won't be able to fit inside our house with our dog. And if our dog doesn't scare away the coyote, then I'm going to have to FIRE him! That means that I'm going to have to shoot him DEAD! I canNOT let him get to my family and hurt them with his chompers!"

Walking through Michael's, Ladan noticed that there were some baskets that were out of place. He found where they went, and I praised him for helping the employees out by putting the baskets away. He exclaimed, "It wasn't hard to put them away! I did the right thing, Mom! It's FUN to do the right thing!"

Here are several things he said as we walked through Target:

"Mom, LOOK at all these cute dresses for Claire! She would look so CUTE in THAT ONE, Mom!" [We didn't buy any, but it was an act of sheer willpower.]

We looked at a little felt headband that had felt flower petals sticking off of it, and we determined that it would be a fun photo prop for Claire. He said, "We should get it, Mom! But you know what Dad will say. He'll say, 'You guys are CRAZY!'"

"I just really like this place. They have comfy chairs to sit in. They have food. They have clothes. They have fun things to look at. I hope we can come here again."

On the way out of the store, the electronic sensor on his new backpack caused the alarm to go off while he was wearing the backpack. He stopped dead in his tracks and wondered what in the world all that noise was about. I'm glad he didn't freak out. On the way home, I explained to him that the sensor is there because some people steal things, and the sensor allows the store employees to check to be sure that people really bought the backpacks that they're walking out with. I explained, "There are people who take things without paying for them, and the store loses money that way."

His reply: "Oh, Mom. Those people are NOT loving God then. When they take something like that, they are thinking only of themselves. That is NOT good."

"Mom, I'm still a little bit sad that Meghan didn't get to come over, but this was a really great day!"

Agreed. It WAS a great day! And it wasn't over. When we got home, Quinn (another college student that has joined Redeemer recently) was over hanging out with Chet, so we were able to join in the fun as well. We always have fantastic conversation with Quinn and are so excited to see how the Lord is using him to build the kingdom.

The grandmother of one of our friends died earlier in the week, so we made the quick drive up to Chicago on Friday evening for the visitation. The kids did so well! This was their second visitation this month. We have had some fantastic opportunities to talk about what happens when someone dies and to talk to our kids about God's judgment, salvation, the gospel, etc.

Yesterday, Chet had to work at the Y, and Ladan and I had to catch up on a little bit of school that we didn't get done during the week. I got a lot done around the house, and he did a great job with school.

Throughout the week, Gabe and Ladan have been playing so well together! They have these crazy imaginations and just have a blast! It's so much fun to hear them playing together and to hear them figure out how to work together.

Talk about a full week! It was full of blessings, leaving me overwhelmed by the very specific ways that the Lord is caring for all of us!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Does My Child Have ADD?

Many of you know that Gabe is all over the place most of the day. He's a high-energy, highly motivated kid. He's persistent in most things, whether it's disobedience, a new skill he's trying to learn, or asking for something he wants to have or do. He has a hard time sitting still at the dinner table and might get out of his seat four or five or more times when he should be sitting down eating. If I'm talking to him, I might have to remind him three or four or more times to look at me while I'm talking to him. If I ask him to do something, he gets easily distracted and will stop in the middle of carrying out his task to do something else instead.

These and other "indicators" are often determined to be signs of Attention Deficit Disorder. So does he have this disorder? Hmmmm...

After hearing people suggest this a couple of times or hearing them compare Gabe to their children who have already been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, I began to think about this a bit. After weighing it out, here is my conclusion: I do NOT think that Gabe has something called Attention Deficit Disorder, and here is why.

He does focus on things. For example, he'll play with two toys in a sink full of water for HOURS at a time. Often he's just focused on something different than what I want him to be focused on. When he's supposed to be sitting at the table and is getting up four or five or twelve times, he's focused on something else... playing. He doesn't care about eating. He wants to play. He's persistently going after what he's focused on. He's disobeying, sure. He needs consistency in correction and training so that he is able to submit to authority even when he doesn't want to.

It may be irritating, because I want my dinner time to be quiet and relaxing and free of interruptions so that I can talk to Chet or just take a break from parenting. But I don't always get what I want, do I? Just as Gabe isn't getting what he wants (to focus on playing), I don't always get what I want (a dinner time set aside to focus on conversation and relaxation). Just as Gabe is sitting there struggling to focus on his assigned task (eating dinner), I'm struggling to focus on my assigned task (to parent him and train him up in the way he should go). In the end, we BOTH want to be doing something else, and we can both very easily be frustrated by the mandate handed down to us by the "one" in authority. In either case, there is a departure from the Lord's will. We're both sinning, because we want something other than what the Lord has given us.

Do not read this as an excuse for my child's behavior. There are no good excuses for dishonoring God-given authority. I'm simply suggesting that he doesn't need to be medicated into doing what I want him to do. He needs to be trained up to do God's will, which is to submit to rightful authority... which means that we, as his parents, often have to submit to the authority of the Lord who commands us to do the hard, labor-intensive work of focusing on training our children... even when we'd rather be doing something else.