19 August 2010

A note for Mama

Claire is big into writing notes, in which she scribbles ciphers onto a piece of notebook paper, and then tells me what she's written. The other day, I could have burst with pride when she showed me a note she'd written to mommy that said "Claire will obey, be patient, not tell lies, and not throw fits." I had not given her a list like this or a lecture or anything! But we've really been working on her behavior these past couple weeks; I'm reading a book called Training Up a Child: Following God's Plan, and it is so refreshingly old-school. I get so used to reading all this psycho-babble about child-rearing that it is so nice to hear a lady say that a woman has to be a good helpmeet to her husband to be a good mother. It's so true! I've gotten a major attitude adjustment, and I hope it sticks: I'm trying to fix Jay's lunches for him before he leaves, show interest in his jobs, get the house cleaned up for when he comes home, and in general let him do his job of being the leader around here!

But anyway, this book has a very old-school take on discipline and chores, too: the author says nothing will sweeten an attitude faster than a good old-fashioned spanking--with a rod! She actually recommends going to a tree and getting a thin, flexible branch, since that's what the Bible says parents should use on a child! We're still sticking with the hand for now. We're working on making "obeying Mama" a very important thing, or else she can expect a march to another room and a spanking she will remember. We've also started doing a chore chart and allowance for Claire (a nickel per chore per day), and it's amazing how willing she is to be a good helper, even with things that aren't on her chore chart! With this focus on being a helper and obeying Mama, she's also become much more willing to leave when I say it's time to go, which has always been a point of difficulty for her. I've been trying to do a better job of communicating to her the plan for when we go somewhere ("I'm going to feed Anna, and then we're leaving Mamaw's house."), and then she'll repeat it back to me, just as proud as can be. It's seems like if I find the right balance of respect and firmness to address her with, she really responds to it, like she feels like she's part of the team, and is willing to do her job or face the consequences.

Claire also brought a note to me the other day that she said was a letter to Santa that said, "I love you, Santa." I said, "That's nice that you didn't ask for anything; you just told him you love him." Then she said, "And I drew two mean ghosts." ???

As for Anna: she's seven months old, still a totally breastfed baby, and loves to watch her big sis, pull herself up and shout for joy, and grab stuff. It's great to have two different stages of kids! I love that Anna requires no complicated explanations, but I also love that Claire likes to have things explained. Life is good.

17 August 2010

First day of school!

We're enjoying our first school day here at the Mauck house. I love my schedule: my first class is at 9:30, so I have to leave by 8:50 to get the girls to Calera and back to SE with a few minutes to park and hike through parking lots and upstairs to my office, where I prep for a couple minutes. Then I have two sections of Comp 1 back-to-back, BOTH in a smart classroom this year, which I'm super-psyched about. That way I don't have to make so many copies of handouts or activities; I just pull them up on the computer and let everyone look on the projector screen. I'm back to P&D's house by 12:30. On Thursdays, I'll take Anna to their house and then take Claire to Thursday School before I go on to the college, so I have to leave a tad earlier.

The girls both had a great time with Mamaw and Papaw this morning: Diane pretends they're having school, and they do arts and crafts, recess, and storytime before lunch. Anna ate a rice rusk with some carrots and then took a nap, and was still asleep when I got back!

In other news, I've started running with a friend; we were doing a workout video three mornings a week at her house, but got bored with that and decided to run instead. While it's so hot, we're running at the church gym, but hopefully by the time it cools off, we'll both have secured jogging strollers and can run at the park. We're planning on doing a 5k in Caddo in October.

Speaking of Caddo, I have five former Caddo students in my classes this year! I suppose that's a compliment that they chose to come back for more!