Monday, October 8, 2007

Baby Steps to Losing Control

There's this type of mom. She's the mom whose kids venture beyond the playground boundaries to explore the rest of the park, and she doesn't call them back because they're not following the rules. She's the mom who lets her kids play in the mud and delights in their play and even allows them to track through the kitchen to the shower where she giggles with them as she hoses them down. She's the mom who not only allows but encourages her kids to help with the chores even though the window streaks left by eager, greasy hands look worse than the water spots that were on them before. She's the mom who lets her kids help in the kitchen any time even though the cookies may not look perfect, and even though the kitchen is left looking like it went through WWII. She's the mom I envy, the mom I aspire to be.

I'm the mom who's usually not much of an explorer...unless "Exploring" has been penned in on the calendar. I'm the mom who rolls her eyes and scolds the child who splashes in a puddle. I'm the mom who tells my little helper that now is not a good time to help me dust...or I go behind him to dust what he has missed. I'm the mom who tries her best to control the "painting-of-the-Awana-Grand-Prix-car" project even though I said a million times as the project progressed, "I'm just going to let you guys paint these cars however you want" (not that that should have to be said). I'm the mom who occasionally allows the kids in the kitchen, but I hold their hands as they carefully sprinkle my perfectly measured flour into the bowl. I'm the mom who loses her cool if some sugar ends up on the floor. And I'm the mom who makes the children line the cookies up perfectly on the cookie tray...or I re-organize them after the kids are done. I'm very often the controlling mom I don't want to be.

Today I decided to take a baby step in losing control. I asked the kids at lunch if they would like to make Peanut Butter Cookies after school was over. They voiced their excitement, although I'm sure they were thinking, Yeah, right. Mom's not going to really let us make them ourselves. I'm proud to say I let go. The kids had fun, and the cookies turned out great...even with the extra 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda Alex put in, and even though the Princess snuck in at least an extra 1/4 cup of sugar. I was a little too strict on the taste-testing--the kids wanted to test both kinds of sugar. What's the harm in a little sugar? But...this is baby steps, remember? Baby foot in front of the other toward losing a little control.

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