Sunday, January 27, 2013

Chopped Liver and Boy-Packed Lunches

I read something today that explains a lot. 

In New Guinea, "Children were considered babies until they lost their front teeth.  When this happened, the little boys of the tribe left their mothers and went to live with the men in the village.  Fathers then took over the nurturing of their sons and the mothers raised the girls." - A Mother's Touch by Elise Arndt

Ohhhhhhh.  My middle son just lost both of his front teeth and not so coincidentally, I am chopped liver at my house.  No, I am not exaggerating.  Every night the two older boys fight over who gets to sit by Daddy at the dinner table.  The one who loses (who has to sit by me) is usually close to tears.

Just this afternoon, the youngest was down for a nap, the middle one was gone with Daddy, and my oldest was watching a movie.  Before, I sat down with a book and a cup of coffee, I asked him, "Are you happy watching the movie, or would you like to do something with me?"  He asked, "Why?"  I said "because if you don't want to do something together, I'm going to sit down and read."  He said, "You can do whatever you want to do."  So, I happily plopped down with my book, after being dismissed by my second-grader.

Just thought I'd share in case you are also experiencing being "phased out".  It's normal.

On a different note, I visited a friend last week and was able to see her "Kids Contribution" poster hanging up in her kitchen.  A gold mine in plain view for my plundering!  However, after laying my eyes on the "Pack your lunch" item, I had everything I needed.  Thank you, Julia!  Thank you, Amy for suggesting it to her!  Thank you, Elizabeth for pairing them up in your Titus mentor Mom program!  (Have you read Spiritual Mothering by Susan Hunt?  I never finished it, but would love to donate it to your cause, if you should want it.)

So, this last week, my boys started packing their own lunch.  This is coming at the perfect time, because just the week before, my husband was (unusually) home during our get-ready-for-school routine.  He was very unimpressed with my boys lack of respect and appreciation when fielding my questions about what to put in their lunch box.  Problem solved.

Another unforeseen benefit, is that one of my kiddos is a slow mover in the mornings.  In order for him to have time to pack his lunch, he has to keep moving.  If he doesn't, there is a natural consequence waiting for him - he has to eat school lunch.  Hee hee.  I just love natural consequences.

Oh, I almost forgot --in fact, I did forget, and came back to add this in-- Not having to make my sons' lunches returns time to my schedule, which allows me to sit with them at the breakfast table and read The Lives of the Saints.  Major bonus.

Another thing Julia mentioned (and which also came up this weekend in conversation with another), was encouraging our children to ask the question, "Is there anything I can do to help?"  We need to encourage the spirit of service.  This is my next quest.  Thank you, friends.

Dear Heavenly Father,  Thank you for last night's Confession with a new priest and the gift of Yourself in the Eucharist this morning!  Thank you for lessons from New Guinea.  Thank you for the gift of friendship and writing on the wall.  Thank you for loaning my boys to me.  Please "help me to do all I can to prepare them for the day when You will call them home. Thank you for the humility gained in motherhood.  I love You and can palpably feel Your love for me.  Thank you.  Amen.


  1. I'm so glad facebook reminds me to read your blog. I'm not chopped liver at my house - maybe an "only child" thing? Though he does love being with daddy. There is one seat between us at the dinner table so not a problem, ya know? I like the question idea "is there anything I can do to help?" mmm, I could probably learn to ask this myself more often too. Thanks Heidi!

    1. I'm glad FB is a good reminder for you and I am so thankful to my friend, Megan, who told me that I should always link to FB when I post.

      I'm glad you're not chopped liver, and although being an only child might have something to do with it, you are also exceptional at engaging him, and your creativity can't hurt either.