Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Worst Mother in the World

That's me - officially known now as the Worst Mother in the World, possibly the entire Universe.

I blew it last night. All 3 of the boys are going to camp this summer up at Clear Lake. I'll be blogging more about that later, I am sure. But camp is over $200 per child. To help off-set the cost, our church offers a "Camp Coins" program where the campers can earn half their way paid by doing different projects - Scripture memorization, service projects, writing to missionaries, reading missionary biographies, etc. This is the first year that Ben and David are going. Will has gone every year since we moved out here and since he's a first born and very easy and dedicated, he has always taken care of his Camp Coins requirements himself and it's been no big deal. But with Ben and David their Camp Coins projects are MY Camp Coins projects! Right now I am helping them memorize their required Scripture from Philippians 2. They have to say the verses, two at a time, to a SS teacher or a deacon or somebody like that. So my desire is to have them quoting verses every Sun. morning to their teachers. I have made the effort to make sure they know their verses and that we get up early enough for them to get to SS early to catch their teachers in order to say the verses.

Ben and David aren't the greatest of readers. I mean, they can read the verses, but they have no clue how to teach themselves to memorize them. So I have been working with them. We memorize them, phrase by phrase, over a week's period of time. It got to be Sat. evening and Ben was just not getting this week's portion. I found myself getting so frustrated with him. We had been going over and over and over this for days and he couldn't remember them. I used hand gestures as hints and he would say silly things like "your chest" when I would bang on my chest (he was supposed to remember that for the word "himself")! If we didn't get verses 3 & 4 said the next morning then the next week we would have to say verses 3-6 and that would be an awful lot to remember.

What kind of mother yells at her learning disabled son for not being able to memorize Bible verses? The Worst Mother in the World. Yep, I did. I accused him of not trying and told him to forget about going to camp. He didn't seem to mind - just wandered off into the other room. David tearfully came to me, though, and said, "Mom! I was looking forward to spending some time at camp with Ben and I don't want to go alone!" So I had to mutter to him, "You're not going alone - I'm just trying to scare Ben." Brilliant strategy on my part, let me tell you... Ben didn't even care! Sending him to camp has been my idea, not his. I think it's a good idea and that's why he's going, but if the decision were left to Ben, I really think he'd be content to stay home and play video games rather than go. In fact, when I announced to him that we had cleared it with the camp to send along Will as his "helper" and because of that he would be attending camp for the first time in June, Ben looked at me and asked, "Do I want to go to camp?"

As it turned out, Paul quietly went outside, brought in a white board and wrote out the verse for the boys. Then he helped them with them and they were both able to recite it to their teachers today. As I was tucking David in last night (Ben was already long asleep) David told me, "Mom, I didn't like how you yelled at Ben." I sighed and told him yes, I knew I shouldn't have done that and I would apologize to Ben in the morning. And I did, as soon as he woke up. I don't know if Ben even remembered what I was talking about, though. However, in the middle of church, he leaned over towards me and said, "I forgive you for yelling at me." That was sweet! All was right in our family again! Then he added, "Besides, I don't care when you yell at me. I only care when Dad does." Great! So not only am I the World's Worst Mom, I am also a pretty ineffective one!

When we got home from church David erased the white board and wrote out verses 5 & 6 for this week's memorization. I really need to teach that child about putting spaces between words. But anyway, as we were eating lunch David reported to Ben that this week's verses were short and so, "you won't have to worry about Mom yelling at you for not learning them!" Paul gave me that look, that grin that says, "They got you!"

Sometimes I wish my boys were more like adults who only tell me what I want to hear. But their very spirits seem to consist of a giant magnifying glass that shows up all my faults, magnified so greatly that I can't help but see them and be ashamed of them. They really do deserve better that the Worst Mother in the World.


  1. I am told more often then not that I am the meanest mom. I wish I could be the carefree, 'nice' mommy but then where would my children be? Just so hard to keep consequences consistent at times. And then they go to their Daddy and lavish him with all the love since he is the nice parent. I don't like being the disciplin mommy.

  2. Ah.. girl! I have done that and worse!!! The best part is you apologized and were forgiven; what a beautiful lesson to teach your boys. ON THE SUPER AWESOME side you are a terrific Mom because your boys are bonded and stand up for each other even to a parent-that is what we want for our children. Long after we are dead and gone they will have each other-what a precious gift.
    Oh lady I so have been there.

    "Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes" Anne of Green Gables. Lamentations , "God's mercies are new every morning".