Pride comes before a reality-check

9-15 bald lion

Hey moms, this post is for you.

It’s been three weeks of university teaching, and I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. Sometimes that’s how I feel about being a mom of young boys.

I know I’m getting better at it, and some things are getting easier, but it doesn’t feel easy. And when it does feel easier, look out!

The other day I was at the park and my sons were behaving oh-so-wonderfully. They were being the kind of children you are proud to call your own — laughing, obeying, being kind.

I had that I’m-finally-getting-somewhere feeling, and then a glimmer of I-must-be-a-great-mother.

Deep down I knew I should be careful, that pride comes before a fall, but pride is hard to brush off.

I could have set my stopwatch because in less than 20 minutes everything changed.

On our way home, my 2 year old started throwing a fit — a very loud fit right in the middle of a busy public street. I picked him up and put him in the stroller, but he was fighting against me and bit his lip on the way in. He started bleeding everywhere.

I looked in my purse and there were no wet wipes.

Then my 4 year old started to whine and had to pee (sorry, parenting is not for the squeamish). No bathrooms in sight, I headed for the nearest tree, the 2 year old still screaming.

Maybe the baby was fussing, but I honestly couldn’t hear over the 2 years olds cries.

There I was, trying not to get pee all over my shoes, wiping my son’s blood with a dirty napkin that was crumpled in my purse and avoiding the stares of people walking by.

Humbled, I started praying that God would get me home as fast as possible!

It’s moments like these which keep me grounded and compassionate. Actually, they are a good antidote for pride and I’m grateful (though usually after the fact) for them.

So, with that introduction, I’d like to share some homeschool activities I’ve done with my kids over these last two weeks that they really liked.

9-15 lion whiskers

We did a Bible lesson about Daniel and the lions. It’s a story how God miraculously saves Daniel from being eaten by lions after Daniel breaks the law by continuing to pray when it was illegal to pray to anyone except the king of Babylon.

After reading the story a couple times, we made a lion puppet.

I sketched one on a piece of paper, and then laid two sheets on top of each other and cut them out (so the front piece matches the back piece).

The kids glued whiskers on their lions.

Then we glued strips of colored paper around the permiter of the bottom sheet of paper to make a mane.

9-15 lion papers

Next, we glued the top three edges of the paper together, being careful not to glue the middle together. And wa-la, a puppet!

9-15 lion puppets all done

The boys were so excited they wanted to sleep with their lion puppets for the next couple nights.

9-15 lion roar

And Smilefish had fun with his lion stuffed animal while we were busy cutting and gluing. Well, for about half the time…

Another thing I’ve tried recently is name cards. This helps the kids build an awareness of the letters that make up their name.

You just print two large copies of their names, cut one up into cards, and then have them match.

9-15 name cards 2

We’ve done this about four times now, and they are still really excited about it each time.

Since the kids aren’t quite old enough to write, we keep learning our numbers and letters with tracing. Usually we use the salt tray, which after a month or so still manages to be exciting to them. But I also tried finger painting.

9-15 finger painting

There is just something about preschoolers and paint.

9-15 dot painting

Continuing on the paint theme, I had them do “dot painting” with an eraser. This took some more finesse than just using a paintbrush and it was good for them to learn a different painting method. Although, in the end, the paint brushes did come out!

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