Disconnect-Reconnect

graphic reading "Little Joy Map"

Joy! Remember? I bet you thought I forgot, but I didn’t. This month I’m focusing on being more present in the moment with my children. For someone who love, LOVES her smart phone and who is maybe a *tad* ADHD, I have to say that this is a tough one for me, but that’s why I’m working on it!

So here’s what I’m doing–I’m closing my laptop for a good chunk of the day–especially in the morning when the kids are their brightest. I’m also making sure mornings are TV-free. This way the focus is completely on the kids and what they’re doing. It’s been great, actually! If they take even a momentary interest in something, I’m able to leap up and encourage them. I’m also cleaning a little, which is never a bad thing.

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But guess what else I’m doing? I’m trying to take more pictures. With my phone. I know! I have to be very disciplined to get this done, but I think it’s a good thing too. I feel like if I take a second and just try to capture those little moments, that I’ll enjoy them a little more. Or maybe remember them better?

But then I have to put it down. Quick!

So I’m unplugging and plugging in at the same time. But it’s working.

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This I Can Do

graphic reading "Little Joy Map"

In my last Little Joy post I mentioned that I am not very good at physical affection. I’m terrible at it actually, but I don’t need to get real specific, right? I have discovered some semi-touchy-feely things that I’m very good at, and I thought I’d share those. Consider this affection for the touchy-feely impaired:

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At the grocery after they screamed like maniacs through a trip to the hairdresser. In fact, we left before she could cut August’s hair. Hello, terrible twos!

  1. Bear Hugs–for some reason, these are better than the lame, barely-there hugs that are the norm. These can also include antics such as swinging, tickling, and other silliness that boys love (girls may love it too–I’m not sure).
  2. Pretend Danger–all of my kids like to be tossed onto the bed or the couch. I haven’t tested this with the baby, but the other three are all about it. Charlie also likes it when I go to put him on the floor and then STOP suddenly. And then do that like eight more times. It is guaranteed giggles every time.
  3. Mani/pedis. I know! This one is ridiculous, but here’s the thing–I am an Acts of Service kind of person. I do things for you and that’s how I show you that I love you. I have discovered, however, that there are things that are service that are also tactile. It’s funny because I have a very clean memory of helping my mother wash and style her hair when she got home from having a surgery to have cancer removed. That was my love in action. With my kids, I’m doing the same thing. I sat down with August and carefully trimmed his nails and cleaned out the dirt from under each fingernail. He say in my lap the whole time and really enjoyed it. With Charlie, his feet and ankles can get incredible tight from his cerebral palsy. I can take a little lotion and help loosen them up in the afternoons. Again, physical for them, but also an Act of Service, so something I’m very comfortable with.

I may not be an expert at this stuff, but I am getting better, I think.

No worries. I don't push the cart with Louie standing up.

No worries. I don’t push the cart with Louie standing up.

Love Can Be Hard

graphic reading "Little Joy Map"

Well, howdy! I’m supposed to be writing about loving my kids better and I’ve run into a bit of a stumbling block:

I think I am really, really lousy at this stuff. I mean, like a lot. I mean, there are probably people worse at this stuff than me, but they may or may not be named Mommy Dearest. Or something. Ok, maaaybe I’m exaggerating, but not a whole lot and I have hemmed and hawed about how to write this post without coming off like a terrible person.

A little crusty about the nose--we've been a tad sickly at our house.

A little crusty about the nose–we’ve been a tad sickly at our house.

I should start by saying that I am NOT a touch-feely person. Not at all. I got the second book about Love, The Five Love Languages for Children, and frankly, I started to feel kind of uncomfortable just reading it. The first love language is touch and I am SO not touchy. I’m just not. And they put the word “loving” in front of the word touch throughout the Chapter and suddenly I felt creepy just reading it.

Yes, clearly I have issues. Also: probably need to work on the loving touch. (side note:eeeeee. Doesn’t that just sound like something a pervert would write?)

My boy. He loved the breezy day.

My boy. He loved the breezy day.

As for myself, I think that I tend to express my love in Acts of Service because that’s what I do: I cook for you, do therapy on you, research to find the best [insert here]. This is how I show you that I love you. I’m OK with quality time and words of affirmation. Except the Quality Time section did have a whole bit about Loving Eye Contact, and that made me a bit squeamish too. I had no idea I was this weird until I read this book, and frankly, it’s a little upsetting. Not that I was laboring under the impression that I was totally normal, but I seem a little more wigged by this stuff than I think I should be. Please don’t suggest I need therapy–that’s why I have a blog.

He loved the spicy corn from the boil pot.

He loved the spicy corn from the boil pot.

But yeah, I need to work on the loving touch. Ugh. I don’t even like typing it. I know August is a lovey-dovey kid because he is always hugging and touching, so he definitely needs me to be better at this. I CAN be better at this, dangit! Just gotta work on it. Sadly I think that if I Google for more info, I might end up on an Internet watch list, so I’ll just have to do the best I can without the help of the Teh Interwebs. Or that creepy book. Just kidding–I’ve already read that chapter.

Kids: Pushing my limits since 2007.

Hanging out waiting for crawfish. Love the view of Dad on the blanket with the kids.

Hanging out waiting for crawfish. Love the view of Dad on the blanket with the kids.

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