Parenting memories. Good and bad

As I go through the house trying my best to do as much as I can now to help us have less to do after the baby comes and before the move I've come across a few items that have jogged parenting memories - mostly bad but looking back I can see the lessons I've learned from it, so good? Looking back they exhaust me. Being 9 months pregnant could be adding to the exhaustion.

Sam and I were talking about how long we've lived here in Germany by counting his birthdays. We've been here for his 3rd, 4th, and 5th birthdays. Sam's 3rd year was tough -- that makes it sound like it was all him. It wasn't. Our first year here in Germany was tough all around.

I did not adjust well and was a new mom of a 3 year old! I thought the 2 year old was suppose to be the hard year. ha, I was a new mom for sure.

Anyways, here are the stories with pictures to help jog the memory.

Yes, we have a box next to our toilet and we've used crinkled toilet paper and tissues out of it for 2 months. It was chuck full! Why? Ha. When we got to Germany I remember Sam pulling off extra toilet paper. I figured it wasn't a big deal. I did let him know I didn't want it as a mess, to pick it up. He started putting it in this box which is his night stand. I found out but decided not to battle it. Justin found out later and asked Sam to stop doing it. I think it got emptied out and Justin set up a consequence if Sam did it again. Sam started doing it again. I didn't say anything to him or Justin. I think Sam got spanked over it a few times and yelled at. It went on for a year or two. I figured I would just throw it all away some day when he wouldn't care about it any more. That time didn't come for a while. I did try and ask him if I could a few times and he did not want it to be taken out. So I let it be. I don't remember which one of us confronted Sam about it when he FINALLY agreed that we could use it. It was March of this year. What a long battle I thought would never happen when I initially didn't address the extra toilet paper Sam was taking at age 3. Could it have been avoided? Whose to know.

After the box was finally empty, we returned it to Sam's room. Actually I'm pretty sure he did and he asked me, "What should I put it in? It needs to have something in it. That's why I put toilet paper in it." Oh, the mind of a kid. He really felt like the box needed something in it and toilet paper was free and easy to get. It is now the box where his bought birthday cards go.

There is tape on all the lock holes of our doors, except the few I've taken the time to pull off. Sadly this was done by Sam because I threatened to lock him in his room. Or lock myself in mine. I don't care to remember the ways I was mean and lost it with Sam that first year in Germany. I am grateful for Sam's forgiveness and apparently he wasn't scarred completely. He thought about it and found a solution; cover up the holes, then mom can't lock the door. I am happy to say I don't threaten him with this near as often and I've lost it much less with him since. Oh the lessons we learn as parents. I often feel sorry for Sam being my first, but I know he is a strong boy who God knew could teach me the lessons I needed to learn. I wish I was done making mistakes as a parent, ha, NO WAY! I have tried harder to express my love more often and in different ways to the kiddos. That way despite my mistakes they hopefully will always know they are loved. I have set the family goal of No Yelling -- for me really working on my tone of voice. Whew, it's hard. I have improved but am definitely no where close to where I want to be.


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