Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday Musings: Solving All the Problems


1. In a few weeks, I’m attending the Place Conference put on by The Mentoring Project in OKC. (There are still some tickets available, but the price goes up on September 1st, so get one now if you’re interested. The line-up of speakers is PHENOMENAL—plus you’ll get to hang out with me!) 

I have heard some of these speakers before and am familiar with several others on the list, but there was one I had never heard of. The organizers sent out a link to this 10-minute video of David M. Bailey speaking about the role of the Church and non-profits in racial reconciliation. Much of the conversation I’ve seen on the subject via social media quickly devolves into squabbling, and it’s just not productive. I really like the way he frames the conversation. Take a listen (and I CANNOT WAIT TO HEAR HIM SPEAK! Go buy your ticket now, OKC friends!)

2. I’ve had three separate conversations with moms over the last couple weeks about how tough mornings are as they are getting back into the swing of things for the new school year. I say this all the time, and I’ll say it a million more times: children need sleep. We’re pretty crazy about guarding our kids’ bedtimes during the week—it’s why we don’t over schedule night activities and why I volunteer to run things, so everyone else has to be on my schedule…wink wink (more on that below). In my mothering experience, I’ve learned there are really only three things kids need when they are falling apart: food, sleep, or attention. I have yet to face a parenting dilemma that hasn’t been solved with one or more of those things. 

A teacher friend of mine posted this from an elementary school, and it is spot on for my kids. Our mornings are genuinely pretty drama-free (as long as I don’t make Ben wear new shorts) WHEN MY KIDS HAVE HAD ENOUGH SLEEP. Now, I’m not telling you what to do. All kids are different, and if you’ve got a precious petal who only needs four hours of sleep and is still a tiny Mother Teresa, then stick with what you’re doing. But if the spawn of Satan crawls out from under the covers at your house, take a looky-loo and consider making adjustments.

For three years, Will has been a cub scout, and Ben has been tagging along. It has from the beginning been an activity that Scott was in charge of for reasons including but not limited to: his status as an Eagle scout, my extreme hatred of sleeping in sleeping bags, the general dorkiness male bonding.

This year, Ben enters the world of scouting as a scout for the first time, and when we signed up last week, there wasn’t a Tiger leader. Several men shuffled their feet and mumbled about how they would help, but no one really wanted to commit to leading. So I voluntold Scott that he’s the Tiger leader and promised to be his trusty sidekick. I did this for a couple of reasons. 

First, I look for ways to connect with Ben out of second child guilt (#realtalk), and secondly, I know it will come as a surprise, but sometimes an organization that is run primarily by old man volunteers who love making coffee over fire on purpose and wearing slightly too short shorts is not always all that organized*. We’ve been lucky to have female den leaders for Will who have kept the dens running smoothly, and I really want the same experience for Ben. Scott will do the scout stuff. I will keep us organized with calendars and contact info and lesson plans and general “classroom management” techniques. Because secretly, this is totally my wheelhouse. But don’t tell the scouts because I don’t want to be recruited for anything else. *I acknowledge the sexist nature of these comments, but I do not take them back.

Oh, also, we were worried that the den was going to be small, and then 13 kids showed up. Everyone has warned me that we should split the den because it’s going to be too hard. Will’s den leader said, “Your kids are well-behaved but not everyone else’s are.” I answered, “There’s a reason my kids are well-behaved.” MAMA J HAS GOT THIS. (Please feel free to mock me three months from now if I have to eat my words.)

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