A REAL Conversation Part 1 and Part 2

A REAL Conversation Part 1 and 2
(originally written Feb. 2011)

An alternative title could have been: Salvaging a BCLC moment. 🙂  When a mom blows it!

As much of the nation is cold, so is Texas.  In fact, it is about 18 degrees outside.  Everything is frozen.
We knew it was coming, and I asked the girls to make sure the animal’s bedding was changed, their sleeping areas clean, and to get prepared for a long week.
Anna takes care of the goats. Sweetie 2  takes care of the chickens.

We have had some difficulty with understanding the importance of doing things right and timely, AND how important it is for the chickens and eggs.  I SHOULD have checked on Sweeetie 2’s  work as she is still not fully understanding her job .

Sweetie 2 doesn’t care for taking care of the chickens, but it is her job right now.  So, while the weather was in the 70’s, I requested the above get done, so that all would be warm and secure.

Well, today, after she went out to fetch the eggs, several were FROZEN and cracked, meaning she didn’t pick them up yesterday, and they had poop on them, meaning the bedding wasn’t clean.

I had also told her this a.m. to be sure to open just the little door so the chickens could go in and out, but wouldn’t get too cold.

SO…. I went out to investigate. I found that the coop had not been cleaned as requested. I found that the bedding was not fresh, just a little on the floor.  I was not happy.  I WAS NOT HAPPY!
And I was especially NOT HAPPY that the chickens had been let out and both doors were closed so they couldn’t get back in!
Now I was MAD!

So, I took care of the immediate problem so the chickens had enough warmth, and then worked my way back in the house .  It is very icy outside and dangerous to walk around.  I don’t want her out there carrying arm loads of hay, so I did it.

When I came in I asked to talk with her. I let her know I was not pleased that she didn’t do what she was supposed to, and said, there is no new hay in the coop, the eggs were not picked up, the chickens are locked out and the coop has not been cleaned! WHY?
Her instant reaction was anger.  She tried to defend herself. “I DID put hay in the coop!”  Then me:
“There is NO WAY you put hay in the coop!”  and her countenance fell.  I could see this was not going to be good, and honestly, I came in the house, freezing, glasses fogged up, covered in hay, and probably looked rather foreboding. 🙂

Actually, I look a bit like a terrorist! LOL

So, what do I do?  I say, “NO COMPUTER!”  duh… like that had anything to do with anything.
I shot up a quick prayer and took a deep breath. And the scripture in Proverbs popped into my mind:
“A Soft Answer Turns Away Wrath”…..
I had not been tender or soft in my delivery.

And then, I asked Sweetie 2 to write down what happened and how she saw things.  The following is our correspondence, word for word. (we wrote notes to each other)

Sweetie 2:
First, I don’t like eggs! (this is what I really think)
And I think I should be able to write this.  I don’t think it is fair that you don’t let me talk.
And I’m sure you don’t care, like you said yesterday. Now yesterday I got hay! NOT a HANDFUL!
I didn’t clean the poop because I didn’t want to. I’m sorry, I’m not taking care of the chickens right.
Maybe someone else should do it.
Mad Sweetie 2
P.S.-  I really did put hay in there, but you won’t believe me! PLUS: I opened the big door (I didn’t put in in the hook because I was oing to open the small door and close the big door, BUT I FORGOT!) ugg!!!!!
P.S.S.- I’m glad I wrote this on paper, because I would have been to scared to say this.

I’m glad you wrote it too. 🙂
I don’t want you to be scared, but I DO want you to be respectful. When you interrupt and huff and cross your arms, and act mad when I am speaking, that makes me feel MAD!
I am sorry I raised my voice at you, BUT….
I am not sorry to point out where correction is needed.
1. We need to pray for a heart change.
2. You need to take responsibility for what you have been given.
3. Eggs are a good thing. They are used in many things you like, including cheese cake and cookies!
4. Responsibility is not about liking or not liking eggs. I don’t like laundry. 🙂
5. Can we talk now? 🙂

Sweetie 2:
I’d like hot chocolate. (You don’t have to get it)
I’m shakey, but not cold. Well, you were saying all these things that weren’t true.
I’m sure you would get mad if a person was saying all these untrue things about you.
Can I pray in my heart? If I pray out loud, I don’t think I’d really mean it. I would smile if we
talked right now and you’d probably give me a look.

I don’t mind if you smile, You do that when you are upset, I know that.
What did I say that was untrue?

Sweetie 2:
That I put a handful of hay in teh coop. I didn’t. Then you said I didn’t forget, I did!
P.S.- Thanks for the hot chocolate. What do you want to talk about?

What we are talking about now, and other stuff.
How much Hay did you put in?

Sweetie 2:
Uhh Ohh! What other stuff? I put in an armful.

Your armful is my handful.
Responsibility and being respectful to each other.

Sweetie 2:
No, the chicken move it around with their feet to look for food and I’m sure the wind blows the hay too! Uh oh again!

Are you saying you don’t want to talk to me? WAAAHHHH! 🙂

Sweetie 2:
No, but maybe I don’t want to talk about R and R.

She says disrespectfully.

Sweetie 2:
LOL! 🙂

I appreciate Sweetie 2’s honesty. I appreciate when she gets calm, she can receive the instruction that she so needed today.  I also appreciate that she let me see where I had done some things wrong too.

And then, we drank our hot cocoa and talked. Really talked. 🙂
And then we came up with a solution.
And yes, she is still responsible for chickens, and yes I apologized for not listening better and she apologized for not doing her job.
And yes, she cannot do computer until chores are done properly first.
And yes, I do have this look….. glasses down, over the nose….. all 7 of them are used to seeing “the look”. 🙂

I love my Sweetie 2….. we are both back to norm, and she has a new outlook on taking care of the chickens and being responsible.  She understands that making excuses does not work….. if something isn’t done, it isn’t done, and if she needs help, she can ask.

I reinforced what I already in my heart know to be true.  How I handle something can make things go very simply, or complicate them.  Instead of dealing head on with the issue, in a tender and gentle way, I bulldozed through it…. that is never a good idea. I know I respond much better to loving instruction than accusation without complete fact.

Brought to you today by Mama and Sweetie 2!
signing off! 🙂

Part 2

And now, I want to write about what came from  our dilemma yesterday…..

Sweetie 2 said she actually really enjoys taking care of the chickens, but sometimes she get distracted with other things. She said she knows she needs to try harder to get her chicken work done before she does anything else.

So we have agreed that a.m. is best for getting coop work done, and then eggs need to be brought in 2 x’s a day. Early and later when she puts the chickens away.

She also  agreed that she had much room to improve in listening and responding.
We gave each other big hugs, and she is back to her normal self and I’m back to mine.
We both apologized.

I learned that I need to trust the Lord with every situation and not get to frustrated during the learning process.  It takes a long time to teach children to do things  in a manner that is beyond  kid approved. 🙂
I also remembered that HOW I present something can make all the difference in its reception.

I know this to be true,  and yet there are days when I become slothful in my parenting.
The funny thing is:   Slothful leads to more work in the end because you have to correct things. 🙂

Respond don’t react!  RESPOND don’t REACT!
A soft answer turns away wrath!
I was thinking about the hymn:
Softly and Tenderly

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, 
 calling for you and for me; 
 see, on the portals he's waiting and watching, 
 watching for you and for me. 
 Come home, come home; 
 ye who are weary come home; 
 earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, 
 calling, O sinner, come home! 

2. Why should we tary when Jesus is pleading, 
 pleading for you and for me? 
 Why should we linger and heed not his mercies, 
 mercies for you and for me? 

3. Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing, 
 passing from you and from me; 
 shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming, 
 coming for you and for me. 

4. O for the wonderful love he has promised, 
 promised for you and for me! 
 Though we have sinned, he has mercy and pardon, 
 pardon for you and for me
I am mostly familiar with the first and fourth verses of this song.... but it gave me
time to think about How God Deals with His children, softly and tenderly,
with great mercy and pardon.

Why should we be any different...?

1 Responses to A REAL Conversation Part 1 and Part 2

  1. Owlhaven says:

    Thanks for sharing this– I appreciate the look into hard moments in other families.

    Mary, momma to many

Comments warmly welcomed!


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