Thursday, January 27, 2011

Get Your Freak On!

Today we're eating lunch and Alastair is eating little pieces of bagel with cream cheese. He's shoving them in as fast as I can give them to him so I say, "Slow down, baby!" and Loic says, "He's soooo hungry today!" Then I say, "Yep, and I think he's a bagel freak!" Loic says, "You're right mom, he IS a big ol' freak." Yep, that's one I'm gonna want to remember.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

AT-A-GLANCE

At our house someone is almost always talking. At least that's the case between about 7 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. The constant talking I can handle (most of the time), but inevitably, along with the non-stop chatter, comes a huge pet peeve of mine...interrupting. It happens far to often despite my constant (gentle) reminding. I know, it's a kid thing. Heck, I know adults that can't even refrain. But still, it will never stop annoying me. Anyway, this morning Loic was telling me a story and Laurence walks in the room and without a second thought says, "Mom, where's my--" I stop him right there. "Laurence, Loic was talking. Wait until he is finished, please. Why do you always interrupt him?" Laurence know that when I ask him a question, no matter how silly it seems, he better have an answer. Here's the one I got -- "It's part of my morning routine." Nice. Time to take a peek at this kid's daily planner.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What's Your Love Language?

I recently read a book that was recommended to me by my sister a few years back called "The 5 Love Languages," by Gary Chapman. She actually teaches a class based on the concept, and had given me a brief rundown. I just never took the time to read the book, but now I'm really glad I did. It was one of those where I often found myself nodding in agreement as I read, which seemed sort of silly, but it just happened. In case your not familiar with Gary Chapman's ideas, I'll explain them the way they makes sense to me. What I took away from "The 5 Love Languages," is that everyone expresses and interprets love in different ways, but that we all have a primary "language," which when spoken to us, makes us feel the most loved and fulfilled in a relationship. The languages are Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Physical Touch, Receiving Gifts, and Acts of Service. Where it gets tricky is that unless we take the time to figure out what language others speak, we tend to speak the language that is the most meaningful to us, sometimes leaving the other person feeling empty and not loved like they want to be. I don't think that's exactly how I wanted to say what I want to say, so you should read the book. Or, if you want to, learn more here: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/. Or do both.

Anyway, I have been thinking a lot about this thing and how to apply what I've learned not just in my marriage, but with my kids, too. I've been wondering what language Laurence & Loic speak, and tonite I think I figured it out. I am now on the road to being a better mom. Here's how it went down:

Bill went out to run an errand right after dinner, and I was sitting with the boys while they attempted to finish what was on their plates. Laurence, though not thrilled, ate every speck of his stir fry. I was pretty shocked and said, "Wow, Laurence! You did it! I'm really proud of you for eating all of your chicken and vegetables even though you didn't like it all that much." He grinned ear-to-ear and said, "Thanks, Mom! I like when you're proud of me. I'm proud of myself, too." And whaddya know, "The 5 Love Languages" popped into my head. So I said, "Laurence, I have a question for you. When do you feel the most loved? Maybe it's something someone says or something someone does. Anything." He thought for a moment and said, "Can I say one thing you say and one thing you do?" "Sure," I said. (Keep in mind, we don't all speak just one of the languages, but most people do have a primary language, with some of the others thrown in.) He said, "I feel really loved when you say things like what you just said. That you're proud of me for something I did. I really like that." "OK," I said, "and something I do?" He thought for another moment, and said, "I actually can't think of anything. Just when you say nice stuff." So, what's his primary love language? Words of Affirmation. Loud & clear. Then he asked me what makes me feel loved, and I told him when someone does something for me without asking, like when he cleans up the living room without being asked, or at least does it without hesitation when asked. So there you go. I speak "Acts of Service." (Quality Time is a close 2nd.)

Next it was Loic's turn. So I attempted to discover his love language, though I was pretty sure he wasn't really following the conversation. "Loic," I said, looking him in the eye, "what's something I say or do that makes you feel the most loved?" Without pause he got up, walked over to me and wrapped his arms around me tightly (He does get it! Loic's language is physical touch! It's gotta be...). But then he looked up at me with the biggest grin and said, "I feel loved when you marry me!"

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Belly Ache

I can't let an entire month go by without a post, so here goes. I'm thinking this is one of those "I guess you had to be there moments," but...well, I WAS there, and someday I'll look back and read this post and remember the serious look on Loic's face, the tone of concern in his voice, and how Laurence & I laughed until I coughed (my latest gauge of a truly feel-good moment ever since my last chest cold a month & a half ago).

This evening the boys were supposed to have swimming lessons, but Jenny the instructor called me this afternoon to tell me she was not feeling well and was heading home for the day. When Laurence got home from school he was all kinds of excited to go to the pool, but Loic told him, "We can't go until next time." When Laurence asked why Loic replied (serious look, tone of concern), "She's sick. I think she has apostrophes in her belly." Poor guy, he truly was concerned. Poor Jenny! I've heard those apostrophes are rare, but serious and can really create gastric distress. I wonder if they're catching...
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