“They are so well-behaved.”

We recently purchased a minivan from a family member. Let me start by saying…WOW! I did not know what I was missing. I told this family member, “feels like I’m driving a house around!” This was in no way a critical comment. Once you get three carseats in the back seat of a car and a stroller (and maybe some groceries) in the trunk, there isn’t much room available. In the van, I had fun choosing where to put my purchases and bags. Yes, I know, it’s the small things! *smile*

It is no small task taking three small boys, ages three and under, anywhere by myself, not without some incident or struggle. No big mishaps happened, thank the LORD! Their disobedience was the biggest struggle.

I decided to treat the boys to Wendy’s for lunch. They love Wendy’s. I think they could eat chicken nuggets every day, especially my oldest. Even though I now drive a house around <insert giggle> I decided to take them inside to eat, instead of ordering at the drive thru window. Frustration at their misbehaving was almost causing me to use the phrase: I’ve had it up to here! They were warned a few times that we would leave. In fact the attendant ask me if I wanted a to-go bag. Ha! I ushered them over to a table while they prepared our food. My two-and-a-half year old made a bee line for the drink machine. He hit some button at the bottom (of course I didn’t figure this out until later), because I stood there for a few minutes trying to figure out why it wasn’t working. Already frustrated by the morning of misbehaving, I was griping to the machine. It must’ve been quite amusing to the onlooker.

Successfully filling the drink, I made my way over to the table of little monkeys. Yup, monkeys. They looked as if they were born in the woods. All they needed was a tree limb and some bananas, because they were already climbing all over the chairs. Out of control. That was exactly how I felt they were, and I was.

In the last week my oldest who’s three has been volunteering to pray before all our meals. So brave and so sweet. He asked to pray before eating in this public restaurant. His sweet, gentle voice broke the quiet conversations around us, “Thank you Jesus for the food. Amen.” It’s a simple prayer, but I am so proud of him.

Throwing food at my boys always calms them down. They are too busy shoving food in their mouths to think about misbehaving, not that it’s impossible. A sweet older woman kindly interjects into our world. She comments on their blue eyes and blonde hair. “Heartbreakers” she called them. Then she added those encouraging words that any mother wants to hear and needs to hear – because we think we’ve failed miserably – “they are so well-behaved.” Did she see them?  My kids? Ha! I still do not totally agree, but it gave me a small bit of confidence for my motherhood.

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