Monday, September 29, 2008

Priceless Parenting Class - Day 1

This evening James and I went to our very first session of a class called Priceless Parenting, held at our church. When we first heard the class was being offered, we were unsure about taking it - I mean, Hazel was only 13 months (at the time), and typically, these classes are geared towards the woes of parenting crazy out of control older children. Plus, it cost $65! Steep in this present age of rescession talk and the dow dropping 770 points in a single day. But, all of our friends were going, and we were offered a scholarship to join in, so..... go ahead and re-read the first sentence of this post if you aren't clear what happened next ;)
Hazel had a pretty good day - we went to her 15 month check up and she didn't even have to get any shots, so she was better than I had anticipated for staying in the nursery during class. (By the way, she is 33 inches tall now - in the 115% for her age!) James and I dropped her off at the nursery, which was literally loaded with children, and she cried as we left her, but the staffers assured us she would be fine in their charge, and we went on to class.
Now, usually I go in to any class with a very skeptical eye - this comes from my mother, who is herself, an educator/perfectionist/liberal/out-loud thinker. I know what I do and do not want to get out of a class before I ever go. I find out who this "qualified" person is instructing me, dig a little to determine if they are of the "correct" way of thinking, and generally don't "waste" my time with classes I don't think will fit my personal needs criteria. I did my research on this class (which is completed 1/2 on-line, so there are tons of resources to check) and was my usual cynical, skeptical self as we went in.
Kathy lead a wonderful introductory session, and was very flexible with answering questions and giving feedback. She was positive, and honest, and pleasant to learn from. I can't wait to complete the next lesson and get back to hear her next week. I am most excited, because she doesn't seem to be of an extreme. Parenting coarses and texts tend to fall on the be your kid's buddy or smack 'em around til they learn to shut up varieties. I have been having difficulty finding the balance. I have read a few books I found on my own, and a few loaned from friends with older kids. But I still struggle. My parents did very well with me (I can't answer for my siblings). As an adult mother myself, now I look back and can only find one honest complaint - they opted not to talk to me about hard things. When I would make a poor decision, mess up really good, or mature into my growing body, they would look the other way and almost pretend it didn't happen. I don't blame them for that - I mean, really it was the only thing I can find to complain about. That and that my dad would always try to make us laugh at the expense of my self image - tight jeans, bright lipstick, this wierd bump thing I have on my head - but I know he found those things endearing, and his sarcasm is one of his best and worst traits.
I don't know today what all I will do to discipline Hazel. I do know that it is a process during which I will fail. And numerous times at that. But she will always know that she is loved and cherished. And she will always have a place to feel comfort and support. This class will most definetly help us to narrow down some specific boundaries, much needed boundaries, and I can't wait to learn how to help my child grow into a loving, responsible, caring, supportive adult.

great new pictures.....

..... on hazel colver
check out how cute she is!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Infant Toddler Sunday School

I lead infant toddler Sunday school at church this week all by myself. No, literally - Ruth and her family were out of town (for a very significant exciting event, not vacation {though vacation's not a bad excuse to be out of town, either} ) and Hazel had a severe case of the "green 11's" ( a friends polite way of saying snotty nose) so James had to stay home with her, and I was left to this little 30 minute slot of allotted time that all week seemed like nothing, and Sunday morning seemed big and scary and totally out of my realm of capability.
Okay, so not really either, since Ruth had sent me a very detailed list of what to do and how to do it. I was just making a mountain out of a mole hill in my head.
But here's what happened:
People started filtering in for the 1030 class around 1035. We all signed in and took nametags, sang some Jolly Jesus tunes, and then, the spotlight turned bright on me. I am not generally reluctant to get in the spotlight, but here I was, with all these people - parents - who want to learn from me how to help their child recognize the faithful, and how to be faithful in their own lives. Now, I certainly realize that anyone signing up for something that enormous to come paper packaged in a 25 minute Sunday school class that you bring your infants and toddlers to is non-existent.
But, I still felt the pressure like I was surrounded by a room full of them.
Announcements went smoothly, pictures went relatively smoothly - or as smooth as to be expected for a room full of infants, toddlers, and parents, and the craft went alright I thought. All things that I was left to do by Ruth-the-magnificent. Then came my parent topic.
Did anyone have any thoughts or insights from last weeks Faithful Thoughts for Parents of Tots handout?

…..*paper rustling, crayons drawing*…….

Did anyone get the chance to look over last weeks FTPT?

…..chirp chirp………

Okay, so well, um, this week the topic is how do you and your co-parent/partner/spouse/and whatever-the-hell-else-is-P.C.-person do now or want to incorporate into your daily living that encourages you to think about your Christian faith together?

……….we say bedtime prayers with our son………

…we sing Jesus loves me with our baby………..

……I read the morning prayer (on the parent handout for parents to do together) with my CHILD on the way to church this morning………..

In the completely inappropriate (almost) immortal words of my husbands delightful grandfather…

"Jesus Christ in a rowboat - up the crick without his God-damned paddle!"

What did I miss? Maybe this desire to reach marriages and build faith development opportunities is lost on the milk-frazzled, diaper-training, sleep-deprived, under-nourished (with the exception of goldfish crackers and coffee) brains of parents of infants and toddlers. Maybe I am crazy to have tried.
So, back to class - crickets chirped, stickers stuck to parents rumps, and slowly, parents asked for 2nd copies of last weeks FTPT along with the new one. Did they pity me in my efforts? Possibly. Should I worry? I can, and probably will - but I know it's a mustard seed in the hearts of the willing. I can't force people to look into their unique relationships and carve out valuable time together that, God and all parents know is more preciously spent catching zzz's or having your monthly ball bursting, clock watching sex, to talk about your faith. I just hope and pray some of them are thinking about wanting to find the time to talk about it.
That's all.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

she's a walker!

it's been a LLLOOONNNGGG 3 months......... but now, Hazel is walking again!

I'll post a blog asap, but for now, here's a picture to satiate your desires for brain dumpage!