• Choosing my battles…

    Friday, April 3, 2009

    There was once (pre-Davina) I believed in Parent Direct Parenting! I once believed that I would choose what my babes would eat, read, watch, when they would sleep and what they would WEAR! Well as I have matured in parenting over the last five years - well really since Davina has been born - I have resorted to a much more timid, I mean graceful type of parenting called ‘choosing your battles’! I learnt this type of life skill from my mother whom while mothering eleven children simply did not have time to be challenged with every little detail of all our lives. One area that my parents would never battle us on was our choice of attire; there were two rules in our home, modesty and cleanliness. Other then that it was up to us...which leads to my experience that leads me to vow never ever let my children choose their own outfits.

    I was around the age where style starts to matter. Vanity had kicked in and I was wanting to look somewhat normal (a challenge for me...home-schooled, farm kid, oldest of seven+ kids). One afternoon my Dad said he had to pick some things up in town near a mall! I leaped at the chance to spend an afternoon wasting time gathering information on what ‘style’ was. It was arranged that my Dad would drop me off alone, a rare and delightful experience for a child coming form a large family. We all crammed into my Dad’s orange and white-striped OLD Ford pick up truck with a stuffed Garfield toy glued onto the back. I prayed the whole way into town that my Dad would drop me off on the outskirts of the parking lot so I would not to be identified with ‘The Garfield’. As I was about to jump, I mean flea from the vehicle, a sweet and tiny voice came from the back seat “Vose, tan I tum wif u?” I was afraid to look in the back and see which one of my siblings had asked to be the tag along...not Kistopher I hoped, I knew what he was wearing when we left the farm. His favourite outfit! A teal green jogging suite my Mom made for him with material purchased at Wal-Mart for thirty cents a meter. A giraffe had been sewed along the top for effect. The truth was this outfit was not so bad when it was made to fit him at the age of two. Now that he was three and a half the two inches too short pants and shirt along with the teal and giraffe effect made him look like, well...off the mark! But that was not the end to his favourite attire, he wore red cowboy boots, a straw cowboy hat with attached whistle hanging down his back so as to make room for his toy elephant ears he wore upon his head. He was a sight! I was caught in the conundrum of my adolescent life to take my dear little brother who adored me - and I adored him - or to leave him behind for the sake of my future and vanity! I opted to take him. Though I was humiliated I ended up having a wonderful time with the little bugger. I bought an Orange Julius to share with my dumbo nerd date. As I watched his excitement over having a treat and feeling so darn good about himself, I learned my lesson on vanity...until we had to meet my Dad at the arranged place near the entrance of the mall. I was informed when I reached the Garfield that two doors had broken and we needed to climb through the window! I never went back to the mall...it was to big of a risk...if you know what I mean!

    I did vow to myself that in the area of clothing I would battle each one of my children in true Michael Pearl style (until they left my home) but then there was Davina, and oh yes, I choose my battles. Clothing is just not that important to fight over! She hates shoes and loves her nighty, but most of all she likes being naked!

    And that’s my story of losing my vanity and my 'Parent Direct Parenting' attempts!

    Kristopher now...come along way hot stuff!