When I was a young girl my mother had some interesting parenting techniques. At the time I knew nothing else and it seemed perfectly normal. I was the 10th child in a family of 13 kids, so there were definitely some shortcuts happening that I like to look back on and smile at this stage in my life. One thing my thinly-spread mother used to do to get in some extra shut eye was to 'set us up' for breakfast the night before. (It was always plain cheerios in our bowls btw). There would be spoons and glasses out as well. To this day a hot big breakfast is one thing I love dearly in life. Not enough hot breakfast action as a kid I guess. I had a brother who was 5 years my senior who would handle the pouring of the milk for us both. The weird part was that she would pre-pour our orange juice for us. The NIGHT before. I guess she didn't feel it spoiled out on our kitchen table overnight. Drinking it warm didn't bother me. However, one morning there was a moth who had met his demise in my brother's glass overnight. Somehow my brother Chris convinced me that it was my duty to switch with him. We fished out the bug but I couldn't help picturing him as I sipped down the OJ. Chris also told me something about extra protein. I look back on this and cringe. And smile.
The circumstances in my home currently require a bit more effort on my children's part. I cannot be in all places at all times. So there are many things I could site here but today I am focusing on our AM ritual. Before the deployment my teenager had a difficult time awakening in the morning. He gets up extra early for a scripture study class he takes called seminary. It's held at our church before high school begins. They start at 6:00am. I used to have to get up an extra 15-20 minutes before he needed to actually be awake just to scratch his back or argue with him depending on his mood for the day (or mine). When T left in October, I had a very hard time sleeping. I was really sleep deprived and it was really effecting the way I was able (or unable) to cope with being a single parent. I finally had to lay it out for Big Boy. "I just can't get up with you in the morning- you're gonna have to fly solo." No more hot breakfasts to bribe him out of bed. No more cleaning up his room making lots of noise and verbally reminding him to "get up get up get up!" I am not a morning person. Neither is he. Somehow we have managed to raise the bar for him and he has met it wonderfully. I tell you, it is nothing short of a miracle. Last night he had to stay up late memorizing some lines for a class presentation. I was worried that he wouldn't be able to rise and shine and I offered to help him. He declined. He has really grown up. Although he regularly leaves out the milk, he sometimes eats candy or fruit snacks with his cereal, he leaves all kinds of crap in the butter, but he is doing it. And in the morning when I hear his stirrings and I roll over on my other side and go back to sleep I am so grateful for this opportunity for growth.