Well, you know, maybe.
Have you ever met a Kindergarten teacher who did no planning? Can you imagine what chaos would ensue in a classroom that had only free time and recess?
Why do we mothers expect our days to function differently? Our kids love having free access to their toys and activities, but kids also love structure. Before you go to bed tonight, or first thing tomorrow morning, or today during nap time, or when they’re jumping on Daddy as he walks in the door, take 10 minutes and find an activity online that you can do with them. With the entire internet full of ideas, you can find something that uses stuff you already have and will get their wheels spinning.
Cut up some pipe cleaners, let your kiddo drop them in a jar, then use a magnet from teh fridge to manipulate the pieces. My toddler loved this. The grooves and contours on the jar can make moving the pieces more difficult, so pick your jar based on your kiddo’s age.
There’s a Thomas the train story that ends with Percy getting a new coat of paint. My toddler loves to give her trains a new coat of paint. Every chance she gets. If you’re going to bathe the kid today anyway, let her paint a metal train, then take the train into the bath. Drive the train through the pain to make tracks, or give the child a spray bottle to wash the train down herself right in the kitchen sink.
Seriously, your days will go smoother when you have an activity or two planned throughout the day. Write it on the fridge. Or write your ideas on index cards, and pull one or two out each day to keep things from getting stale. That seems like an idea that should be on Pinterest, doesn’t it? 😉
Leaving church at sunrise. After the 11am service. Oh, Alaska. Solstice: t minus 3 days and counting!
Only in Alaska does Santa give out presents in a bar. Even better, a bar that still allows smoking. Keep going – the bar was like 40 minutes north of North Pole, Alaska, where Santa lives on Santa Claus lane with his reindeer. Oh, Alaska. You never cease to entertain.
Adelaide had a good time. My little Muse got her present, preferred to sit on Mrs. Claus’s lap, and asked for (another) Christmas tree for Christmas. I really don’t think she get’s the whole present/Christmas link.
Aliza was less impressed with the fat man in the red suit. Daddy’s protect-the-baby drive kicked in, and when he scooped up his scared child, he also took Santa’s beard. Oops.
There was someone making balloon animals and we had free pizza and some of the BEST homemade sugar cookies I’ve ever seen. mmmmm. Beautiful and delicious! Plus, Santa gave great presents. Santa proved that he really does know what each child wants for Christmas by getting Adelaide a beautiful book (which we read several times before leaving the bar) and giving Aliza a wrist rattle set that is keeping her busy while I type this. Outside, there was even a reindeer to pet:
But since she had that wild look in her eye, Adelaide declined an up-close encounter. Though the handler did offer to let me hold the creature’s lead while she took a family picture for us. Thanks, but no. I had an infant strapped to me and a toddler with better sense than to approach a scared, unfamiliar quadroped. A picture was enough.
I have to admit though, bars in Alaska have purdy decorations!
Also, I would like to point out that this was my first outing with my camera on Manual mode the entire time. Some of the pictures are even on manual focus. After owning my camera for 2 and a half years, I am finally learning how to use it. Merry Christmas!
Prequel: No More Dead Kids
The other verse that I couldn’t quite put my finger on yesterday was this one: Matthew 5:40 – “If someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.”
This verse has a sense of submission to it. In keeping with Ephesians 5:21 “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” But Michael Pearl had that excitement. That challenge. He wants to be pulled in to court. He wants to go and have a grand show about him and his book. He wants the media coverage. Pride. Not once during the interview did he express remorse over the deaths of those three children. Not once did he express sadness for that these children and their families have gone through as a result of Michael Pearl’s advice. True, he doesn’t believe the parents followed his advice, but the parents sure did (as do the investigators in Lydia’s case) and even if they weren’t following the advice correctly, the fact is that they were trying to. They were trying to do what Michael Pearl advised and they killed their daughter. But Micheal Pearl has not even once mentioned going back over his book to be sure that the fellowship is what’s emphasized (as he claims) or adding another section of warnings about when to stop if the spankings aren’t working. He is sure, without wavering, that no bad could have come out of what he wrote. Arrogance. There is something very strange, and very unsettling, deep in my soul, watching someone completely unphased by the mention of a small girl having been beaten to death.
And what Christian can hear about what is being done “in the name of Christ” and not feel misrepresented? Or betrayed by these fellow believers? Children are dying and being told that the beatings are what Christ wants for them. What follower of Christ can hear that without flinching? In my life, I’ve seen this from people who have already started reading the publications by Michael Pearl and No Greater Joy Ministries.
The other day I heard that the author of a book I’ve started (and liked) wrote a blog post degrading women. The post has since been removed, and the author seems to believe that what he wrote was wrong. But I still see the book differently. I have a clearer picture (a la 1 Corinthians 13) of the author and his character and his sin. He’s more human and less idealized and that reminds me to check and question everything he wrote. Because he is not Christ. He is imperfect. I’ve never seen that response from a follower of Pearl. The adhesion to his principles must be dogmatic and unquestioning if they are to work. And that adhesion seems to glue those followers to him as well. Sad. Because Christ didn’t seem to believe you could serve both him and another person.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Michael Pearl’s interview by Anderson Cooper. (In most of the country this aired on Friday, but for PST it’s airing right now)
There is just something about the way he leaned forward and whispered, “Go for it.” when AC asked the district attorney if any charges were going to be brought against MP. I just can’t quite shake that image, and that sound. Matthew 5:25 says “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court.” There’s more to the verse, but I want to point out two things. 1. Michael Pearl’s comment and demeanor in no way reflect that verse. Challenging an officer of the law to bring about charges (that the district attorney has no intention of doing, for the record) in that sort of cold, excited way is incompatible with the bible that says ‘as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone’ (Romans 12:18) and “Settle matters quickly”. 2. Matthew 5:25 is at the start of the Sermon on the Mount. Beginning in verse 21, Jesus speaks about murder and anger. This juxtaposition is especially chilling because Michael Pearl’s insistence that parents have complete domination over their children and settle for nothing less than instant compliance is what drove the parents using his books to kill their children. Michael Pearl declares that spanking in anger is abuse, but that spanking sessions that last for hours and eventually break down the muscle tissue to such a degree that the discharged bits of skeletal muscle collect in the organs and kill the child is not abuse. On TV, he says that if spanking isn’t working, parents should stop. But in writing, he has expressed a very different opinion on the effectiveness of spanking. He postulates over and over that anytime spanking seems ineffective, the parent should look inward and blame him or her self. (and then, of course, spank again) I won’t link to Michael Pearl from here, but go ahead and google the phrase “a proper spanking should leave the child without breath to complain” and see what you find. It’s Michael Pearl’s response to what a parent should do if an angry child hasn’t relented and become submissive after a spanking. I’d like to throw out another definition of abuse: one that includes Michael Pearl’s ideal spanking.
If you’re hitting your child, in any emotion, you have a problem that needs to be solved.
Hitting is abuse. There are too many other options available to parents that are both more effective, more in line with biblical teachings, and less hypocritical. And that’s before we begin the discussion about combining the phrase “I love you” with repeated spankings on naked flesh teaches a child. Ever wonder why our culture is so sexually depraved? Let’s start with what we teach children about love and pain.
I’m not really on the twitter scene, but I think the hash tag against Michael Pearl really sums things up #NoMoreDeadKids. Why is this even a debate?
Continuing this train of thought: And Another Thing