Monday, October 15, 2012

Breaking Bad

Confession:  We are HYPER-conscious about our kids' behavior in public.  Nothing new, but lately we've realized it comes up more frequently than we'd like.  Maybe it's something about having multiples (I.e. Paranoia about the additional attention it can draw.  When they act poorly, it magnifies the situation.).  Maybe it's because we were both raised to fear the wrath of our parents if proper manners were not displayed at all times.  Whatever the reason, we spend a fair amount of time discussing and stressing over their ability to exhibit "normal" behavior.

Our weekly trip to Costco is a great illustration.  Navigating a crowded store with our brood is enough to make you wonder if they would ever consider online order/delivery of the weekly staples.  We roam the isles, while witnessing wrestling, goading of one another with pinches, trips, whines, etc.  And just when we're ready to pull the plug and leave/discipline, they go and fully redeem themselves.  Pleases, thank yous, and angelic manners in line asking for a food sample (ok, ok, they know when to turn on the charm, eh?) make staff and onlookers stop us and compliment our children on their immaculate behavior and sweet disposition. One kind woman stopped us and mentioned that we should be extremely proud of how well behaved our children were, as she'd never seen anything like it.  We graciously thanked her, while trying to inconspicuously wave Ally & Libby away from tackling one another into the paper towel display.

It's a never ending process, and many friends can't believe these sweet faces could ever do any wrong...

Libs - "Star of the Week" - angelic at school.  
What you don't see:  Throwing the mother-of-all tantrums with the star in-hand (at the home of our Priest no less), not wanting to leave and go home.
Molly - Gen's Mini-Me and sweet helper of a child.  
What you don't see:  The daily morning meltdowns about her outfit.  
Mind you....they're in uniforms...

Russell-Man:  Sweetest kid on earth, always taking care of his mama.
What you don't see:  An amazing talent for "selective hearing."  If it's not of his concern, the kid could ignore an oncoming locomotive.  

Kids watching the infamous Stratos jump live.  Ally praying for Felix.  Absolutely heart warming.  
What you don't see:   UFC-style combat jockeying for position to see "The Spaceman" lasting at least 5 minutes, with Ally utilizing a leg-sweep to clear Russ out of the prime seat.  Impressive actually - but inappropriate nonetheless... 

Are they perfect angels?  Hardly.

Are they normal, hyper-active 6 year-olds?  Absolutely.

Do they drive us bat-you-know-what crazy each day?  You betcha.

We can't help but stress and fixate on "Breaking the bad" - but we're encouraged to see the efforts pay off every once in a while in unexpected ways.  I guess that's enough to keep pushing forward.

Here's to the never-ending journey ahead.  Have a great week!


  1. Could I love this post more?

  2. ha! they sound like perfectly normal children - awesome and well behaved one minute, and making you insane the next. with my oldest (who is almost 10 now) i was hyper sensitive about how he behaved in public....ive chilled out a little bit over the years and realized i just need to not care what other people think and just do whats best for my kids. strangers can be nice but they can also be SO Rude and ive just learned not to care. :)

  3. hilarious. i freaking LOVE this. SO TRUE!!!! miss you guys so much it hurts.

    love you,

  4. Thanks for this post - it speaks what's on most parents' minds.

  5. Fantastic post and one that many parents can relate to! I know I am always very aware of every little 'bad' thing my kids do when we are out and about..but breath a sigh of relief when others just seem to catch the good.

    Love your good vs bad examples. :-) You guys are doing a great job raising your four!!!!

  6. No, no, no, no!!! There has to be a mistake! All this stuff is supposed to go away as they get older! Right??? That's what I'm going to keep on thinking, anyway. Otherwise I might REALLY go nuts!! LOL

  7. Keep at it!! You will NOT regret it as they get older. I promise. We were 'hard' on our first 4 when they were little, holding high expectations about behavior. It was work! The bonus came as they became teenagers--polite, respectful, kind, and all around delightful to be with. While I LOVED having little guys, if I could go back and repeat an age or stage, I'd go back to when I had 4 teens. SO much fun! Worth all the hard work in the early years. Guess that's why we are doing it again. :)

    Hang in there!!

    ~married 26 years and mom to 6, ages 23, 21, 20, 18, 8, and 7

  8. oh Russ, such a sweet boy =)


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