2 July 2008

Mostly about chickens

There was indeed a foxy visitor last night, but it went away hungry! No eggs yet, but Emma and Chris report that they already had their first one this morning. And they're still eating SO much more food than Delia and Pippin ever did. This morning I've had some more time to observe them, and I can definately tell the difference between them better now.

Annabelle is stocky and complacent. She is always first to the food and last away from it, although she doesn't push Gloria around or anything like that. She is the darker of the two, really deep glossy red with almost black shiny feathers where the rain has damped her a bit this morning. A few little lighter streaks in her feathers make her look a bit scruffy around the edges. Gloria is small and light sandy-orange with a narrower head and smaller lighter comb. She was obviously more stressed by the travelling of yesterday and won't come near me yet. She even runs away from the sound of the food box shaking! She seems to like being indoors more than Annabelle and is in and out of the henhouse all the time.

I've been meaning to talk about some discipline stuff I've been finding hard, but like anything I'm struggling with it's much easier to talk about once you think you've dealt with it or started to. It's been bothering me how adversarial my relationship with Jenna has been (on and off but still noticeably different to when she was smaller). I guess it's partly that my expectations of her keep being revised, somehow you think "oh this won't happen when they are 2/3/7 etc" and then if they can't be as grown up as we want or expect, it's easier to get mad.

I've been reminded lately by some wisdom from friends that I need to look less at fixing her and more at making sure MY reactions and MY behaviour are in line with what I want. I'm also re-reading How Would Jesus Vote (yes I know, not directly applicable lol) and thinking about being Christlike and what that means, not just in the sense of looking for politicians that care but in the sense of being that person myself. Hmm tangled logic and tangled grammar from me this morning... Anyway, that's my main discipline challenge at the moment, but the main way it is being worked out is in not making moral judgements of the things that Jenna does.

Would Jesus tell her that the noise she was making was stupid? Is is appropiate for me to teach her by bullying (which is really really hard to avoid doing, overriding her with disrespect and anger when I could disciple her with patience and love)? If I'm meant to be a follower of this man who historically taught with gentle humour, opening up the issues rather than closing them down by giving a simple answer, expected people to use their minds to learn and grow... I'm such a bad example to my children!

This week is getting better, anyway, and that's the main thing I wanted to share lol. I'm stopping and thinking again where I was struggling not to lash out, or losing it and screaming at her. So my last point, as it often is, is that Grace is for adults too. Can I let go of yesterday (well, last week), forgive myself for the lapses and unthinking small cruelties, and move on?

PS - Anyone planning a birth MUST MUST MUST read this site I found this morning. http://www.unhinderedliving.com/childbirth.html It's relevant most of all to those planning a natural birth but there is something for everyone and it's absolutely wonderfully uplifting and encouraging. The section on variations of normal childbirth was astonishingly useful!

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