Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Consciences

Remember Disney's Pinocchio?  Cute, sweet, little wooden boy?  All he wanted was to be a real boy.  But he didn't have a conscience, so Jiminy Cricket volunteered.  He followed him around and helped him make difficult choices.  And sometimes, as we all do, Pinocchio blew off his conscience and did whatever he wanted regardless of the consequences.

Pinocchio was so lucky.  He only had one conscience.  I have several.

I have the one I came with.  It's standard with the human model; we all have one.  Some function better than others.  Mine works pretty well most of the time.  But there are times when it fails.  Or at least, others in my life think it does.

The first external consciences I remember were my parents.  When I was griping about someone, they were always quick to point out that I didn't know what kind of a life that person had experienced.  I didn't know what kind of trials they were going through.  I didn't know the intent of their heart. 

Okay, I can accept this.  I learned a lot from them.  We'll call them training wheels for my conscience.

Sometimes my husband tries to fill this role.  Guess how well that goes over.  Now, he's learned a lot over the years.  He doesn't do this as much as he used to.  But every once in a while when my PMS is particularly bad I get a little . . . how to describe it . . . let's say snarky.  A little testy.  A little short-tempered.  A little less kind.  With a lot less compassion (which I don't have an abundance of to begin with, but that's another post).

During this time one of my children will push a button.  One of my buttons.  One of my bite-your-head-off buttons.  And since they pushed the button I all too often oblige.  This is when he steps in.  Sometimes it's a look.  Sometimes it's, "I don't think that was very nice."  Sometimes it's even, "Hey!  You're out of line."

Do I appreciate this?  Am I grateful for his protection of these beautiful children I claim to love?  Um . . . no.  Usually he will get his head bitten off as well.  This is when I start to realize that maybe my buttons are a little too sensitive right now and I should probably go to my room.  Time outs aren't just for children, you know.

But the ones that bug me, that I truly value the most, are my children.  I have great kids.  I'm not sure where they came from, but they are awesome!  Yes, I want to beat them at times -- I'm not afraid to admit it.  But usually they rock.

Occasionally I will not be at the top of my game as far as behavior.  I wish I could say this only happens when I am PMSing, but it doesn't.  Sometimes I get catty.  Sometimes I talk behind someone's back.  And sometimes my kids are there when I do it.  Yes, I am ashamed.  But it doesn't seem to stop me from doing it again.

Or sometimes my husband will deliberately try to irritate me.  You may think that he doesn't actually do it deliberately.  If you think this, then you obviously don't know my husband.  Yes, he does.  He thinks it's funny to watch me try not to lose it.  I think he likes watching my face turn that particular shade of red, while the blood drips from the tongue I'm biting (yes, my own).  Look!  I think her head is really going to explode this time.  I've had it and I swear at him.

If one of these things happens in front of my children you can be sure that I will hear about it, sometimes with scripture to back it up.

Do I know that what I am doing is wrong?  Yes.  Do I care?  In that moment, no.  But then my daughter gently says that it makes her sad when I talk that way.  She looks at me with disappointment.  I am two inches tall.

And I am proud. 

As much as they irritate me, I am proud that my children have the courage to stand up for their convictions.  I am proud that they love me enough to care about my behavior.  I am proud that they are mine.

So I guess I am really the lucky one.  Pinocchio only had one conscience.  I have many.  And I am grateful for them all.


Bonnie said...

You DO have great kids. And you are a great woman to admit your shortcomings. We're all trying to overcome many things. We're blessed to be around great people to help us do that. I too, am not as appreciative of that help in the moment as I could be! I too, place very great value on that courage that the people around me possess.

DarthBillgr said...

A little snarky? umm... Maybe I won't comment.

Katie said...

My almost 3 year old is the best conscience I could have. Especially when it comes to those "not so nice words" that come from my mouth sometimes.

"Mommy that's a mean word. Tell them you're sorry."

Yep...THAT'S a humbling experience! For sure!

Glad you have great kiddos too. Now the husband who entices and works to make you lose your cool...."NOT COOL DUDE!"

Cheryl D. said...

Wow! What an excellent post! I can so relate. I'm pretty good at not cursing in front of my daughter, but I definitely need to take a mommy time out occasionally. And I need to sneak the occasional chocolate. Okay, maybe not-so-occasional chocolate!

Jessica Grosland said...

Aw shucks. This is an awfully nice post where your kids are concerned. Glad we could be of service in our tiny, miniscule way.

Melissa (Confessions of a Dr. Mom) said...

Great and honest post. I like how you're not afraid to put it out there and learn and grow from these incidents. I think we've all been there...sometimes my husband comes home and he's like "whoa! why is everyone so emotional?" I have my little consciences too...that is a great way to put it :)

Kazzy said...

Little do you know that I have your kids on the payroll to defend me when you talk about me behind my back..... mwaaaaahaaaa. Ok, kidding.

My very handsome and dapper conscience (#1) likes to "help" me make parenting decisions (translated as: "These kids need more discipline!")

Lizzie said...

I could have written that post, not as well, but it sounds so familiar. Bless them all, even when it is irritating. Stopped by from SITS to say good morning.

Eclipsed said...

I have about 8 different consciouses, one for each of my personalities.

SITS sent me by and I'm so glad they did. I'm your newest follower.

Anonymous said...

Oh I could have written this. Especially about getting grumpy and snarky around PMS time. And my daughter is the loudest conscience of all, let me tell you! :) Great post. :)

Anonymous said...

And here I thought MY husband was the only one to irritate on purpose. He relishes getting a rise out of me. I get a bit snarky around PMS time, too. LOL.

Visiting from SITS.

MommyToTwoBoys said...

How awesome is your daughter? That shows what a great job you have done as a mom. Even if you lose it sometimes, as we ALL do, whether we admit it or not.