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Monday, October 12, 2009

An Educational Experience

I've spent quite a bit of time lately flat on my back staring at the three inches of dust on my ceiling fan, the piles of clutter on the dressers and night stand, and the unevenly hung window treatments in my bedroom. I've even noticed the builders used two different types of trim around the door leading to my bathroom, leaving an unmatched corner. Yes, since last Friday when I endured a spinal tap, leaving me plagued with spinal headaches, I've had the opportunity of lying in my bed, listening to life happening all around me, and it's been a very interesting experience.

Not only am I now acutely aware of how filthy my master bedroom has become, but I've also had the opportunity to be a bystander, or outside listener, to what Conger family life really sounds like--a scary experience, let me just say. But I have to admit, it's been quite enjoyable at the same time, as I've listened to my children try to solve their own problems, fix their own meals, get their own snacks, and help each other do the stuff I usually do. Add a husband to that mix and it's been downright entertaining at times. All I can say is I do a lot more around here than I even realized, and if you don't believe me, just ask my poor kids. They've had to do everything from laundry to brushing teeth and putting the younger kids to bed. My seven-year-old was in charge of breakfast this morning (my husband had to leave at 5:30 a.m. for a business trip today--what timing) and I had to chuckle at how seriously he took his job. He swept the floor, wiped down all the counters and lined all eight opened cereal boxes on the snack bar with bowls, spoons and milk. He even put the dirty dishes in the sink, and miracle of miracles, remembered to put the milk away before he left for school.

My nine-year-old was in charge of showering the two younger children, and I've learned if you ever want to know if you really have an influence on your children, simply give them a task you normally do regarding other children, then listen to how they handle it. It was like I was listening to a recording of myself as Hallee worked with Regyn and Boston to get them to cooperate and get washed and out of the shower. Wow, I thought. I really am constantly influencing my children, even when I'm simply doing the same old mundane tasks. Although that realization always scares me a little bit since I'm far from the perfect example, deep inside, I am so grateful. Who better than a mother to leave lasting impressions and teach valuable skills?

So, although I hope to be back up and at it soon, in the mean time I think I'll take copious notes on the things I need to improve on as I listen to my children take on my role. And for those of you who wonder if your children ever listen to you, trust me, they watch and listen more closely than you could imagine. If you don't believe me, just take a few days off, lie flat on your back in bed (hopefully you won't have dust and clutter to stare at like I do), and listen. It's sure to be an educational experience!

6 comments:

The Martinez Fam said...

I often cringe when I hear my children "mothering." I do get to smile every once in a while and think that at least I handle some situations correctly.:)

Brian and Rebecca Nate said...

I wonder all the time what sort of influences I'm giving my children. I don't think we will fully know what we've done to them until they're adults and then we'll get the whammer! Seriously, I hope you're feeling better and will recover soon. We send our love.

Taffy and Tony said...

Hope you get better soon--but it's just like you, Lori, to make the most of a crappy situation by sitting back (or flat on your back!) and learning all you can from it!

Julie Summerhays said...

I am SO sorry you have had to go through this - I can't even imagine. But you must be so proud of those cute kiddos of yours - I would be. We can't wait to have Boston over today - Grady has been saying his name all morning...

Abby said...

Sorry about your headaches! Do you need dinner made or can I take your kids or something? Please let me know what I can do...

And doesn't it feel good to know they'll appreciate what you do as a mother and wife a lot more when you're back in the saddle!

Hyde Family said...

ugh! Spinal tap??!! So sorry to hear. ALthough I do want to try something like this...just to listen to the family survie w/o me!