Monday, September 14, 2009

Melting Ice Cream

One thing that needs work in our family is immediate obedience. My mom has a little saying she likes:


right away,

without delay.

It seems a little redundant to me; right away and without delay are the same, but it relays an important message.

Obedience is one of the key principles to a happy life. If one is obedient to rules [that make sense], fines are not imposed, addictions are not nursed, relationships are not injured, and honor is established. As the mothership, I make rules for a reason, which is sometimes far beyond my children's comprehension. I make a concerted effort to explain the reasons behind my rules (if you put your dirty clothes down the laundry chute as soon as you take them off, you will have laundered clothes and your room will remain tidy) and am okay with my people questioning rules . . . sometimes. Mostly, I just want them to DO IT and we'll discuss it later. I'm not raising drones, but do we really need to talk about why I've asked you to put yesterday's paper in the recycling? Some rules we've already discussed, but apparently need to talk about every time the situations arises (you must be twelve years old to ride in the front seat with an air bag--it's not just Mom's rule, it is the state's rule and I could get in a lot of trouble if you sit there when you are ten and a half--also you could die).

I would say we have general obedience in our home but it us rarely right away, without delay.

We had an object lesson tonight. You may use the idea if you wish. I had Dad leave the room and asked the children to gather around the table. I scooped up a beautiful, round ice cream cone and called Dad to the table. "Just a minute," filtered through the house. I turned the blow dryer on the ice cream cone. It began to drip.

"Honey, are you coming?" was followed by, "Yeah, let me just finish this one thing."

Again, I turned on the blow dryer. The ice cream began to melt in earnest. The children were up in arms. "What are you doing?!" and "Mom, it's MELTING!" came from exasperated faces.

"Daddy, will you come to the table, please?"

"Geez. I'm coming. Just a minute."

Blow dryer. After a bit of time, the ice cream was a nub of it's former glory. The cone sat in a puddle and the children were aghast.

Finally, "Will someone please go get your father?"

"What? I told you I was coming!" said my husband as he reluctantly entered, pulled along by our daughter.

"Dad, I had a beautiful ice cream cone for you. You may still have it because you did obey, but this is all that's left of it because you were so late."

Silence. Crickets. Mouths and eyes wide open. Was Mom serious?

Before the tears burst forth, I served up fresh cones for everyone and explained the need for quick obedience. I told them that last night, while I was sitting in my bed reading, I received a prompting to go check on the baby. I did. She had gotten out of bed, crawled up the stairs, opened the door and was standing on the front porch. It was after 10 o'clock. I shudder to think what might have happened if I hadn't obeyed right away, without delay.

What has (or hasn't) happened because you obeyed?


  1. I love the object lesson. People not obeying quickly makes mom's job VERY difficult.
    Thank you for your thoughtful posts lately.

  2. Great object lesson! I will have to apply this one - we have the exact same problem at our house. I also have to repeat the same request again and again and ...

    Recently, I had a feeling that I should fix dinner for a friend whose father had just had quadruple bypass surgery. I called and offered, and she tearfully accepted. When I took dinner over that evening, she wasn't home! I drove over to her parents' home & found that her father had just returned home from the hospital & they were there welcoming him home. The food ended up feeding the entire extended family, including her mom who would probably not have accepted a meal. :) It makes me happy when it works out better than I could have imagined.

    I am glad that BabyPod was okay!

  3. Ah, the joy that would abound if any obedience in my household was quickly and without delay. I shall be using your object lesson post-haste. It's a lovely idea.

  4. I posted not too long ago about it being eeeaaaarllyyyyy in the a.m. back when U-Kid 1 was less than a year old. U-Dad was leaving and came to the bed to give me a good-bye kiss. I had heard U-Kid 1 coughing heartily through the baby monitor, but decided that I was too wiped out to go check on her. I asked U-Dad to not go back in case she saw him, knowing that she would not go back to sleep if she did.

    An hour or so later, I finally got up and walked back there. She was hunched up, dozing sitting up in a corner of her crib. She and the crib were covered in vomit.

    I want to crawl under the rug every time I think about that story.

    Obey those Mommy Instincts. And at that moment, not after some extra zzzzz's.

    You're a wise woman, Mothership!!