Sunday, May 29, 2011

To Make Children in the Crockpot

       As much as I need to get going on that paint job in my bathroom,   one must have their morning tea, right?  I have already made my bed, skimmed and back flushed the pool, taken out the garbage and started the dishwasher I left holding all the days dirty dishes last night - without even so much as a rinse!
         I started a blog about something (can’t remember what), before going to North Dakota.  Skimming through my documents I ran across “To Make Children in the Crockpot”.  Well, that’s what I read…what it really was, is just something I jotted down for Sydney, which said To Make Chicken in the Crockpot.  She wanted to make chicken in the crockpot while I was gone and she hadn’t used a crockpot much. The perceived title did make me think about raising children in a crockpot however….stay with me on this now, ha.
        Far be it from me to tell anyone how to raise their kids, I’m far from perfect myself.  I, like most Moms, have my moments of excellence- true genius even…and then I have my moments of insecurity and the need to be in control, which leads to rage. Only Kerry and the kids know I am a rager…even my sisters say, “I have never really seen you mad like you describe”. All I can say is, "it’s there"! Probably has happened ten or twenty times in my life but it happens.
Who could get mad at that lil face?
          It takes a lot to push me to the brink of insanity, well in a raging kind of way anyway, but when I pass go there is no return! One of the first times, I can think of is when Brendon had a big wheel or a hot wheel as some call it.  We lived in Berthold, ND. and on the only paved road leading into town from the east. Brendon was five years old and I told him he could only ride that big wheel in the drive way, ABSOLUTELY COULD NOT RIDE IT ON THAT PAVED ROAD!  I didn’t really clarify why as I had harped about that road since he was born with healthy ears!
          About ten minutes later and the first time I saw him peddling his little legs off on the highway out front I thought I was seeing things, so I went out there, stayed calm and explained that even if you don’t see any cars at the time of pulling on the road, the clacking that was part of the big wheel experience, would not allow you to hear any cars that would come up behind you, and you’d could be killed! Cars are not expecting big wheels on the highway!  I love you too much to allow you to be on that road- so you must stay in the driveway. Sitting there, hands up high on the handlebars, wheel turned a little to the side ready to go,  with just his pajama top with shorts on; he looked at me, big brown eyes peeking through his needing a trim, seventies “cuff cut” and said, “OOOKKK, Mom, I WON'T”! 
          Guess I thought that was, ok Mom I won’t go on the highway, but I was wrong, because there he went again out on the highway!   I opened the front door and reminded him to get back in the driveway and he sheepishly clacked it on in. 
          Couple minutes later, I thought I saw my first apparition, cuz I swore that was Brendon, flying past, peddling his little legs off out on the highway again!  Now I was mad, not raging yet, but mad.  I opened the door and bellered, “get that thing in the driveway or you will park it”! He yelled back, “Sorry Mom, I forgot”!  I thought, sure you did and shut the door, after all I’m not cooling off the outside (Ethel resides in my head).
           This time I watched him from the bedroom window.  He drove to the edge of the driveway, looked both ways for traffic,  looked back at the door where I had been keeping check from. Not seeing me there, front wheel grabbing for traction, he roared out into the street clacking all the way.  Oooohh…NOW THE RAGE KICKED IN! I grabbed a wooden spoon; you know the three for 99 cent kind, that scared the crap out of kids in the seventies… just by rattling the drawer! You only had to use it once or twice, and after that shaking the drawer was enough to do what the spanking would have.
          I stormed out to that highway like a wild charging boar, screaming the whole way! I was screeching something like "you forgot alright", grounded him for probably three months or something crazy, said I was taking away everything I could think of that meant anything too him, jerked him off of that hot cycle by one arm, cracked him on the behind with that wooden spoon screaming, "forget that will you! He took off running toward the house. I’m sure I was putting on an entertaining act for the neighborhood, but I’d past go with no return when it came to sanity.  I screamed and hollered the whole way to the house and he was crying, sobbing and tripping. As he scampered through the walk in garage door, in my rage I decided to give him one more crack for good measure.  Thank you God, because I missed his butt and hit the side of the door, breaking the spoon! I looked at the stick in my hand with the sharp jagged edges, picked up the head of the spoon, and muttered something about a cheap _ _ _  spoon!
           Heartbroken and angry, he went inside and flopped himself on his bugs bunny bed with all the Looney tunes characters I’d lovingly painted on his wall in his room around him.  I sat down in the living room and cried, letting what just happened soak in.  That pretty much ended the wooden spoon thing for me. Oh I still rattled the drawer on occasion, but the moment that stick broke I knew I was spanking for me,  it was out of control and did I really want to be a big looming threat in their lives and someone you had to be scared of to listen?  I never got spanked by my mother and I turned out ok I reasoned…
           I went in his room and apologized for getting THAT mad, gave him back the stuff I took away in my rage ( ya bad idea too, but where was Dr. Phil when I needed him). I told him I loved him more than anything, and I wanted to be able to trust him to ride that darn thing safely. The cycle stayed parked as the only punishment until the next time we went to Grandmas.  The big wheel went with and stayed there at the farm…he could clack till he was blue in the face, she had a hill he could ride down and we were both happier. All that is except Grandma, who worried he'd loose control and crash into the propane pig in her yard!  
           I'm still a rager on occassion, but it takes more energy than I care to expend these days ha...  Brendon teases me still about when he was in high school, and he pushed my buttons until I backed him in the corner with a broom to hold him in place till I got done chewing him out for something. Didn’t hit him - just threatened to stick the bristles in his face!
           So the idea of raising children in a crockpot could be a gentler, slower simmering pace. I think if I had to do it over again I would work harder at that approach.  I could still turn up the heat to near boiling if I had too, but not to where it’s overflowing and running over and making a mess of things. I have hurt my kids emotionally when I raged around and we laugh about it now yes, but it’s really not so funny.  Some people today hurt their kids by never taking a stand either and just letting them be the rulers in the family. That’s just as bad.
         So I say, put in your crockpot enough children to make your family complete. Pour emotional love, friendship, acceptance, understanding for what their world is like, fair discipline, physical needs and a handful of wants as well, over the top of them. Add to that a lot of fun and experiences, forming a colorful family stew of sorts, made up of all the different personalities and accepting them all. Simmer that all together. If you hit rough spots, you may need to turn up the heat until the mixture stabilizes.  Cook for a lifetime, never give up on each other, parents or children, and be sure to enjoy and appreciate each other along the way.
Brendon sleeping on his Looney Tune bedspread and favorite white blanket!


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