Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"No, don't spank my butt!!"

I have a two year old little girl that we call Scooter. The nick name has been hers since she was an infant and has nothing at all to do with her mobility. I just started calling her Scooter one day and it stuck. Seeing that her grandfather (Big) nicknames just about everyone he meets, this was no surprise. I prayed hard for Scooter, I actually BEGGED God to let us keep her early in my pregnancy when we were having problems. Some prayers get answered, others don't, this one did and has been one of my greatest blessings ever.

I was not a talented child. I did not dance well or sing well, I did not excel in sports, I made good grades but worked for them. I was not creative, hell, I couldn't cut a straight line or color in the lines to tell you the truth. Overall I was just okay at most things. Growing up I was bombarded with talent from those closest to me. Stephanie had/has an amazing voice. Now when I say that I do not mean she would be a good karaoke partner, I mean she actually could have been a singer for a living. Michael was a sports talent. He was a great ball player, but in the end it was discovered that he should have been on the PGA tour. When we were growing up if we were not listening to Stephanie sing, we were hanging one of Michael's trophies on the living room wall that eventually became more like a shrine. Then there was Smelly Mel with a dream to dance and two left feet. Ha! Man I wish! The things I could have done with two left feet. Nope, it was more like a dream to dance and one left foot and one sorry excuse for a right one. So, I grew up as the middle child in a family full of talent, with no talent to speak of. Don't feel sorry for me, I am not done yet.

I love being a mom, I wanted to be a mom more than I wanted to breathe. And as luck and a gracious Lord would have it, I found a wonderful partner to make babies with. A good man, with a good heart and a perfect pair of dimples. God is GOOD! One day after Scooter was born I was sitting alone with her in our little condo in Atlanta. I was feeding her the breast milk, that I had pumped at 3 AM the night before, with a dropper (huge feeding issues early, another story entirely) and all of the sudden it hit me. I DO have a talent. For 33 years I have been wondering why God left me out and the truth is, He didn't! I just had not been able to use mine until now. My talent is being a mom. I love being a mom, I eat, breathe and live for it. There is no sacrifice too great, no obstacle too difficult, there is absolutely nothing that would keep me from being the best mom I can to my girls! I practice everyday and I give 100%. Isn't that what people do with true talent?

I assure you I am NOT the greatest mom that ever lived. Not even close. I have made mistakes already and I am sure I will be paying for them for the rest of my life. It does not take much to screw up a kid, and how many "normal" people do you know? Right, so that means that most people have screwed up in some shape or form as parents. As all parents do, I struggle with discipline. I will go ahead and disclose to you now, that we spank our kids. I know, I know, it is SO politically incorrect to spank your kids and even more so too admit to it!! But if I am being honest with you, we do. Scooter is the only one that has received any type of spanking to date, because Presley is only 12 months old. But rest assured that with the mouth and the temper that Presley has, her time is coming sooner than she thinks!!

Shawn and I talked about it before we had kids, both of us agreed that there are times that a good ole butt whipin' is just necessary. We take turns, I am not always the bad guy and truthfully it really does hurt us more than it hurts her! Who would've known!?

Scooter has just started to talk where people (besides me) can understand her. This is where as a parent I have choked much like Jean Van de Velde choked in the 1996 Masters (we're a golf family feel free to click the link and look it up). Here I thought that I was doing it right. Spank her young, teach her early, and when she is old enough to really talk back, she won't. I did not consider that her becoming verbal could put a kink in this plan.

Recently, we were in Atlanta and went out to dinner with my parents. Scooter is in the middle of potty training and sometimes we take a chance and let her wear her "big girl panties" out. This was one of those times. Now, in my family two things happen in a bathroom restaurant, the obvious and spankings. So here we are at dinner and it is about time for her to use the potty if we are going to avoid a mess. I walk over, take her out of her high chair and tell her that we are going to go to the potty. Immediately, her hand goes over her butt and she screams, "No, don't spank my butt!". Everyone within ear shot turns to look. My dad laughs and my mother holds back a smile because I can assure you she has been there. I quietly whisper in Scooter's ear, "baby we are just going to go potty" and again she yells "No, don't spank my butt!".

~ God give them wisdom that have it; and those that are fools let them use their talent~ William Shakespeare

Yeah, I did not really think this through. I am convinced that Scooter knows what she is doing here. She is pretty smart and knows me very well. My thought is that she thinks if she makes a spectacle of the spankings they will cease. Poor kid does not know me as well as she thinks.

So I ask you, how do you discipline your kids? Spankings? Time out? Do you immediately have them regret their actions and risk embarrassment or worse DFACS? Do you wait until you get home and teach them a lesson? This is where my talent ends and I turn to the One that really knows how to do this well. From this little awakening, and many others over the two short years that I have been a mommy I have learned that I have absolutely NO idea what I am doing. My talent may be parenthood, but just like poor Jean Van de Velde was failed by his, I am continuously failed by mine. So today, and the rest of my days as a mommy, I will be grateful for the talent that I have yet rely soley on the wisdom the He gives me to raise my kids.

Jam 1:5 (NIV) If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

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