Thursday, August 30, 2007

Survival, Cake Decorating, and the Gynecologist

I usually read fiction during the summer and then non-fiction the rest of the year. This Summer I worked my way through the O'Malley series by Dee Henderson. They follow seven orphaned children now grown adults that decided to form their own family, and each one changed their last name to O'Malley.

Essentially each book is the same in that each person comes to a life altering decision to follow Christ while at the same time meeting the person they will eventually marry. However, once you get past the fact that each story is the same, they are fun and quick reads. I should however mention that I do not know if this holds true for the last book because I am waiting for Carrie to finish the last book so I can still read it. (read faster girl!)

Since school has started, and I have nothing better to do, I have started reading George Barna's book, Revolutionary Parenting. This is not a book you can read in a day! I am not finished with it, but I thought I would comment on it. The gist of the book is to learn from other parents who have raised "spiritual champions" and follow what they have done. George Barna is sort of the guru of research and statistics. In his research of families that have "produced" spiritual champions he found several things in common.

The one I wanted to mention today was the idea of goal-oriented parenting vs. survival-based parenting. Part of me wants to scream, "But you've never spent a day in my house! I'm happy with survival!" But I really like the idea of having a short-term and long-term goal for each child and then ways to "track" their progress. Just like my dinners are more enjoyable when I have planned them out rather than trying to cook on the fly. I think my children will be more enjoyable if not parented on the fly.

It is taking me some time to come around and listen to some of what Barna has to say because at the beginning of the book he lists some of the conditions under which successful parenting occurs. One of those was family size. Apparently statistically speaking the fewer the children in the family the more likely they are to produce spiritual champions.
Okay, I realize that we're talking statistics. This was not my favorite college course. Come to think of it, I think I rearranged my schedule so I wouldn't have to take statistics. I like cold hard facts not what could be or what is most likely to happen. Probably part of why I do not gamble. That and the fact that I have not money to gamble.

But the point is...that this mother of six did NOT like being told that statistically speaking she had less of a chance of raising a spiritual champion that the lady in Wal-mart screaming at her two out-of-control children! Or at least that's how I read it.

All in all I am NOW enjoying this book, although, it has now made my parenting a lot more work. Today I tried being very proactive with Jeffrey (who I am still not sure will make it to three). It was a little better but maybe if I used Proactiv, his icky attitude would disappear like a blemish!

Speaking of TV commercials, Meredith came running to the kitchen today during her 30 minutes of TV (more part of that revolutionary parenting - apparently they limit their children's media exposure) to tell me we had to buy this cake thing!

"Momma, you have to see this!"
Drop everything and pay attention to me.
"It makes flowers!"
Every four-year old princess' dream.
"You can even make brown cake"
Yes, a chocolate lover already!
"And you only have to use ONE hand"
Because I am so busy with my other children I only have one hand free!

This afternoon I had my yearly gynecologist appointment. In some crazy way I was looking forward to some peace and quiet. When I got there an older lady sat down next to me and loudly asked no one why there were only parenting magazines in the waiting room.

"I messed that up so bad the first time around I don't want to know what else I messed up!"

I buried my nose deeper in Barna's book and decided to read with a more open mind!

When I saw the doctor, he asked what I was using for birth control. I responded with a firm "Nothing!" The man was speechless! It was priceless - worth the fact that he checked my tonsils from below! I didn't wait long enough to let him calculate his next Hawaiian vacation before I told him Mike had made sure there would be no more little Iversons.

And Mike assures me he will get checked every year to make sure!

Because I've already got statistics against me - better not make the odds worse!


Maggie said...

THAT was funny! What a great post!

I look forward to more on your book...'cuase you know, I'm sure your version is easier to get through.

And I LOVE the O'Malleys! I save mine for sickness and other home bound situations, or need for all night reads, cause I can't put them down!

Chris said...

Lovely post! Muffy is so cute! Just wait until D hits that 2/3 year-old stage and I'm ready to kill him or scratch my own eyeballs out rather than deal with him anymore. You'll be getting phonecalls a plenty, yes you will. And just keep telling yourself, "This too shall pass." BTW, I'm very impressed with your proactive parenting! You go, girl!

Anonymous said...

You're too funny. I, too, have actually been excited about going to the gyno - just to have some "alone" time while in the waiting room. Sad, I know.
I'm looking forward to hearing the rest of your book review. Barna always puts an interesting twist on things.

Deanne said...

I'm dying over here with laughter in regard to your enjoyable gyn appt!!! You know you need a break when you look forward to the 'strip em and spread em' appts! :)

Deedee said...

Hey Girl!
I wouldn't worry about the statistic stuff if I were you. Susanna Wesley had 15 (nine that survived infanthood) and she turned out not one but two spiritual champions!! I think you are in good company! ;o)

Trish D said...

First off, I just love the title of this post! Just another day in the life of a typical American mom :)

That book sounds really interesting. I'm currently reading Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture by Mary DeMuth, and she also mentions limiting media exposure. But I *like* to use the TV as a babysitter. Signing off to go be a responsible parent...

Carrie said...

The book is FINISHED and you can have it as soon as I get back into town. I am just glad I held on to it long enough for you to start enjoying Barna's book!!! ~CJ