Thursday, June 9, 2011


The other day the kids ground their own oat flour.  Wylie found an old grinder we keep in the pantry, and a jar of groats and they went to work.  Even Kale had his turn to crank.  Juniper processed the larger clumps through our food mill into fine flour, and today I used the flour for an oatmeal raisin loaf.  Yummy.

Sounds nice right?  That's one side of the story.  Here's the other perspective.

I come into the kitchen to find that Wylie has dug this grungy old grinder out of the pantry.  In doing so he's knocked over the vacuum cleaner and countless other things.  Of course I am irritated and say so in perhaps not my nicest Mama voice  yell at him.  But, he has the grinder all ready, so I find some groats in a jar from the pantry shelf (god knows how old they are, years?  Very likely).  He begins to grind.  Enter Kale.  Screeching ensues.  Of course he wants his turn and will stop at nothing to get it.  Here I am trying to rationalize with an 18 month old while also trying to reason with a now crying Wylie to just let Kale have a turn because he's the baby (isn't that always the way it goes).  And he won't actually be able to crank it himself.  Well, Wylie agrees after some minutes of fuss, and it turns out Kale can turn the crank, and does for quite a while until Juniper comes in and wants her turn.  More yelling.  Thank goodness for the hand mill.  She is quickly kept busy while the boys manage to take turns cranking.  The kitchen is literally covered in oat flour.  After 10 minutes of this they all move onto something else.  I did make oatmeal raisin bread with their flour.  It was not Gluten free so I didn't eat any, but they seemed to like it.  

Both of these stories are true.  During the commotion/yelling/oat covered kitchen I felt trapped in the chaos.  Afterwards, as I poured the freshly ground flour into a jar to save for bread it occurred to me what a nice activity it had been.  Too much yelling and tears to be sure, but certainly not un-worthwhile.
Its easy I think, particularly in life with young children to sugar coat things--but, its just as easy, perhaps more so to dwell on the chaos.  It often makes for a better story, and there is some camaraderie to be found in sharing "war stories" of life with small children.

But, In looking back on the day, and hopefully in living out the day, it is my intention to see things in a kinder, gentler perspective.  (Perhaps there will be less yelling and tears if I can manage to do so).

Some of that must come from letting go and choosing my battles.  Some of it may come from me drinking just a little less coffee.  Most of it will probably just come from a lot of patience and trying really hard to see all their endeavors as learning experiences.

 I may every once in a while really just need to lay it all out there for sympathy, giggles, or just to vent.  But, for the most part I'm trying to focus on the better side of things.

If I have to see my life in one perspective I choose lovely.

Related:  If you haven't already seen it,  there is a poem about mothering here (you may have to scroll down a few days) by Tara Thayer.
I love, love, love it.

1 comment:

  1. OK so I read the first story..sweet but dull. The second version however had me laughing out loud. I definitely think full disclosure takes the cake (or raisin bread)!


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