Today the late Marjorie Pay Hinckley helped me work wonders. She’s been dead for a while, but I can still read things she wrote.
This week I read the following in an LDS church manual:
Gordon and Marjorie established a home of love, mutual respect, hard work, and gospel living. Daily family prayer provided a window for the children to see their parents’ faith and love. As the family prayed together, the children also sensed the nearness of their Father in Heaven.
The Hinckley home was a place of few rules but great expectations. Marjorie spoke about things that were not worth a battle. Describing a parenting approach that she shared with her husband, she said: “I learned that I needed to trust my children, so I tried to never say no if I could possibly say yes. When we were raising a family, it was a matter of getting through every day and having a little fun along the way. As I could see that I wasn’t going to be able to make all of my children’s decisions anyway, I tried not to worry about every little thing.” As a result of their parents’ trust, the children felt respected and gained experience and confidence. And when the answer was no, the children understood that it was not an arbitrary restriction.
I think sometimes my parenting suffers, because I say no to fun things out of exhaustion rather than anything else.
Today Jadzia (4) ran up to me and asked for tape. Now, I pretty much always tell her no when she asks for that. The lazy, exasperated-with-wasteful-messes part of me immediately says, No way! I can already see the mess of mangled and tangled sticky tape all over!
I said what I usually say: No, we don’t play with tape.
And what did Jadzia want it for, you ask? Well, she hasn’t been satisfied with simply drawing. She has also been cutting out shapes and exploring the realm of what I’m going to call paper sculpture. And when she can’t get scissors, she *rips* her paper into sculptures.
Of course, the next step is to start putting the pieces together, and that’s what the tape would have been for.
So later today after I’d refused to sacrifice my tape supply, I discovered these:
First, a house–a house on fire–with a door taped on… with copper tape. And me taped on… with copper tape. And front porch stairs taped on… with copper tape.
And a headband pieced together… with copper tape.
So, um, we’d left a roll of copper tape out to slug-proof our threshold once it finally stopped raining. (Hey, it sounds like magic, but a line of copper tape kept the slugs out until Garak pulled it off… And then the slugs came back.)
And now Jadzia had used all my copper tape! The horrors! I really don’t enjoy stepping on slug in the middle of the night (ask me how I know), and I had a heck of a time trying to find it locally, and eventually had it get it on Amazon. Annoyance, yes.
But since I was still dwelling on what Marjorie Hinckley had said about trusting her children, I took a deep breath and had a conversation with Jadzia about what we do when we reeeally want to do something we know isn’t right.
I got to tell her that we need to ask Heavenly Father to help us, and then I testified that He would! The Spirit of God filled the room as I told her that just last night, I had needed to ask God for help and had then succeeded!
And then, you know, Garak (2) decided to poop in a pan, stir it up with with a whisk, and paint with it–and Odo (8 mo) joined in. I didn’t manage to handle that discovery nearly so well. I, uh, need to level up my parenting game. I’m feeling humble again.