I should be cleaning my room

I should be cleaning and unpacking my bedroom.  That is the LAST room that needs to be finished.  At least the last room that is my responsibility.  The garage is Matt’s area.

Anyway.  I SHOULD be cleaning my room, but I have a lot on my mind and want to put some of it down before I forget.  Don’t worry, it’s nothing erroneous, I assure you.

Back in a past life, back when I was the mother of a three and one year old, I remember overhearing a conversation about kids and the “terrible” ages.  It started with something like “Why do they call it the ‘terrible two’s’?  Three is SO much worse.” and went on to talk about what age it is when the kids start stop being miniature terrors and start being people.  The general consensus was that around eight years old, they start to be human.  I’ve thought of that conversation several times since then, all the while, it never occurred to me that I had a daughter who was rapidly approaching the age of eight.

The last few months have been really hard on all of us.  Moving is a nightmare, add onto that being stuck for almost a month in a teeny 1 bedroom apartment and a pregnant and moody mama… well, lets just say we’ve all been on edge.

Since we’ve moved into our house and especially since it’s been unpacked and things are getting back into a schedule, things have been a LOT easier.  But even before then, I’ve noticed a change in my eldest child. I turned around one day and discovered that Lucy is no longer a moody, drama queen.  She’s an extremely pleasant and helpful child.  She’s always the first to jump up when I ask for help, I hardly ever have to ask her more than twice to do something and she goes out of her way to make things easier on me.  She eagerly does the chores I have given her (It is her job to do the laundry.  We picked out a washer and dryer that was simple enough for her to use.  She sorts, washes, rotates and brings baskets of clean clothes into the living room for me to fold.  Then she puts hers AND Spencer’s clothes away afterwards) and now and then, she will do something BEFORE I ask.  More often then not, I find her reading to her brother or trying to teach something to her sister.  She still has her moments (she is human after all) but these days, things are a lot easier on me because she is around.  And it’s not that she’s easier, but she’s FUN too!

I’m not exactly sure what to do now!  For years I’ve been worrying that my parenting skills are seriously lacking.  My kids, while better than a LOT of kids, still make my blood boil sometimes.  As a matter of fact, people think I’m crazy for homeschooling, but to be honest, if I had my choice to send any of my kids away for several hours a day, it wouldn’t be the school age kids).  Turns out my mothering has been, at the very least, good enough to have Lucy turn into a delight at age 7.

I started noticing it when we were in TLF.  I wanted to do something to acknowledge it.  I had already been giving her praise and extra hugs and kisses and thanking her over and over for helping me out.  But I felt like doing more.  So on our next trip to Walmart, I bought her a pack of earrings.  She was delighted.

So, it’s been a month since then and she has continued to be beyond helpful.  She has also outgrown her bike.  She’s at that awkward size where she’s too big for her 16″ bike, and she’s just a hair too small for a 20″.  We COULD get her an 18″ but we’d have to get her another bike in a few months.  If we can get her to work with the 20″, then she’d be fine until high school or later (heck I could ride the 20 inch if I wanted to.)  So last night we let her pick out a bike at Walmart.  She was a little shaky at first but I just looked out the window and saw her fly by.  She’s even figured out how to use the hand brakes.  She’s awesome.

Once we get back into a bedtime routine that lasts longer than 2 days, she’ll be able to stay awake 1/2 hour later than her sibs.  She’s definitely getting to the point where she should be getting more privileges, but I just don’t know what else to give her.  Any thoughts?

Retreat just started, she’s in our driveway, she immediately stopped her bike, got off, faced the music and put her hand on her heart.  What an awesome kid.

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