Kris Mares

Just a woman trying to love Jesus and others a little bit more…

Public Meltdowns February 26, 2011

Filed under: Gorilla,Motherhood — Kris @ 11:29 am
Tags: , ,

Yes, I have a two-year-old. Yes, two-year-olds are developmentally prone to meltdowns. Yes, Gorilla, who is two, did not want to share, wanted his way and proceeded to have a meltdown. In public. Here’s what happened…

I took Girlie, Gorilla and the baby to the health department for an appointment. They each picked a toy to take, I had a couple of books and candy cane snacks. We’ve been to this particular office before and for an office that serves a bunch of kids, the waiting room is pitifully ill-equipped for children who have to wait. All they have is a little plastic picnic table. So I went prepared.

We got called back the first time, then back out to wait. We got called back the second time, then back out to wait. It was during this third time waiting that it happened. I made my appointment early to minimize the time at the office. When we got there, only a couple of other families were waiting. When we came back out the second time, the waiting room was full. Gorilla sat at the picnic table with 3 other kids and Girlie came by me. At some point, Gorilla got up to do something different and Girlie then sat at the picnic table.

Now, I have this rule that if you get up, your seat is fair game. I’m also the only mom who had toys available for her kids. So 3 kids at the table sitting nicely doing nothing. Girlie at the table sitting nicely with the “drawing board” (a generic magna doodle). Gorilla now by me. Baby getting fussy. Can you see it coming?

Then Gorilla notices that he no longer has the drawing board or the seat at the table and begins to push/pull/hit/kick Girlie to get it back. “First. First.” So, I’m holding the baby trying to pat him into non-fussiness while simultaneously pulling Gorilla away from Girlie. Meanwhile, an entire waiting room of mothers and their kids (and a grandmother or two I think) listened and watched as this meltdown happened.

Crying. Pushing. Kicking. Yelling. Pretty normal for a two-year-old that didn’t get their way. Don’t forget to add in the fussy baby too. I was on the floor next to the picnic table, holding the baby with my left arm and Gorilla with my right. I think the ladies behind me saw butt-crack. Oh well, that was the least of my concerns. Normally, when public meltdowns occur, I remove the child from the main room/area. Well, I didn’t have anyone to watch the other two, so that wasn’t an option. I couldn’t just pack everyone up and leave either, as I was still waiting on something from the office. So, we had to endure it. So did the rest of the waiting room.

Not one person offered to help though. Not that I expected them to take a fit-throwing 2-year-old, but maybe someone could’ve offered to hold the baby for a moment? Some mom’s did corral their kid away from the action, but still, couldn’t they see that I might have been a little overwhelmed?

All was finally well, and Gorilla then did a great job of sitting and sharing (for which he got HUGE praises). As I processed it all, what really struck me was the emotions that I had about it all. I felt judged, guilty, inadequate and somehow less. Why? Really, not one person there said anything to me directly or that I overheard that was negative. Nothing at all was said. I was imposing something on those other mothers that may not have been there. What were they most likely thinking? “Glad it’s not my kid doing that today!”

I handled it well. I kept my cool. I didn’t raise my voice, say mean things or swat a butt/hand. So why the guilt? Why the personal judgement? Why do we moms do this too ourselves? And why oh why don’t we offer a hand of understanding and help to another mother when she is dealing with something we’ve dealt with plenty of times? Why don’t we reach out?

This is not the first public meltdown I’ve dealt with and it won’t be the last. Someday, I’ll be past dealing with them and will only be an observer to someone else’s. What will I do? Will I smile in understanding? Will I think “I’m glad we’re past that stage!” Will I offer assistance?

When you see a child having a public meltdown, what are you thinking? More importantly, what do you do?


Happy Birthday Gorilla! December 8, 2010

Filed under: Gorilla — Kris @ 9:14 am
Tags: , , ,

Today is Gorilla’s birthday.  I officially have a 2-year-old boy in the house.  His favorite word right now is “nooooo.”  I wish I knew how to put an audio clip of him saying it, as it’s pretty funny.  He does it mostly to be silly.  We celebrated his birthday with cake, ice cream and gifts while the grandmas were still here last Friday.  Today will be more laid back, but we do have a small surprise in store for everyone. 

I don’t remember all that well the day of Gorilla’s birth.  I do remember telling the nurse anesthetist a crazy, weird story about one of my cousins.  And then I tried to convince him to bring his family to my church.  I’m sure he thought “If this lady is in charge of the kids and youth, I don’t want to be anywhere near that church!”  The story I told was seriously weird…

I also remember that when the operating room nurses went to do the last of the skin closure from the c-section, all the “skin glue” in the OR was dried out.  We had to wait while someone brought up fresh skin glue from another OR.  That got my family a little worried because things were taking so long.  All was well though. 

The other silly thing was that my parents, in the business of the morning, forgot to bring a diaper bag for Girlie.  When she inevitably needed a diaper change, they used an extra bed pad from the hospital room.  The picture is pretty funny. 

And then there is Gorilla’s real name… For those who haven’t heard this story, a telemarketer helped choose his name.  Racer and I had the 2 names we wanted to use, we just couldn’t decide the order.  We were having a “heated” discussion when the phone rang.  It was a telemarketer.  She began her spiel and I stopped her saying “Can I ask you a question first?”  The telemarketer obliged and I asked “Which name do you like better?”  A R or R A.  Her response was what I wanted, so that’s the name we ended up going with.  After her response, I simply said, “Thank you so much.  That’s what I was thinking too.  You have a great evening” and hung up!  I do so love telling that story…  And as for the Gorilla nickname?  When he was a baby, Gorilla loved to hold onto my shirt when I was holding or snuggling him.  He still does that often.  It reminds me of how a baby gorilla hangs onto the fur of its mama.  That’s why I call him Gorilla.

So today, as Gorilla is learing to say “TWO!” I’ll leave you with this picture.  I love you my little Gorilla!!


Being Intentional June 22, 2009

Filed under: Gorilla — Kris @ 1:10 pm
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This is a follow-up to my earlier post “Failure to Thrive.”  My little guy saw the doctor today and I am happy to report that he is doing well.  He has gained 1 1/2 pounds in 2 weeks and is a little longer too!  All the lab work came back normal, so no underlying medical issues in place.  Of course my Internet research had me thinking otherwise, but I just didn’t want to think that I wasn’t feeding him well enough.  So we are on formula full time now and I’m okay with that.  He is thriving again and working on catching up to where he should be on the growth chart.  He’s on a fast growth curve.

What I learned through this process is that I have to be intentional.  My little guy didn’t really act like he was starving.  When he acted hungry I fed him.  What we now have to do is be more intentional about feeding him.  He is so good natured and laid back (he gets that from his daddy) that he just didn’t cry out in hunger.  I have to be intentional about looking for hunger cues (other than crying) and feeding him at regularly “scheduled” times.

I think the same is true in our spiritual journeys as well.  There are times when we “cry out” in spiritual hunger.  We are empty and need replenished.  And then there are times when we are cruising along, laid back and life is good – no apparent needs.  When things are going well, we often fail to feed our spirits by seeking God and searching His Word.  It is during those times when we fail to grow.  It is during those times that we need to be intentional about feeding our spirits with the nourishment of God’s Truth.

What does it mean to be intentional?  Being intentional means doing something on purpose, with a plan, being deliberate.  It’s NOT accidental or haphazard.  Being intentional means have a regular part of the day that is given to God in prayer, devotion or study.  Being intentional means DOING IT!  I have great aspirations of spending daily time with God.  Then I’m tired and need the extra 15 minutes of sleep in the morning.  Then the kids don’t nap at the same time.  Then hubby and I need to talk after the kids are in bed.  Then I’m exhausted and can’t keep my eyes open.  Then the next morning…  I’m the haphazard sort.

So my new plan is to be intentional about my time with God.  I am going to get up with my hubby’s alarm on the days that he is home and read a devotional booklet.  One devotion a day.  When that booklet is done, I will move on to a book on prayer that I have.  So now it’s out there.  My plan of action.  My fellow Christians get to hold me accountable to what I said I would do. 

So now tell me, when is your intentional time with God?


Failure to Thrive June 11, 2009

Just this week my little guy went to the doctor.  By little, I mean that he is an infant.  He was supposed to get some shots, but in the last 2 months he has not gained any weight.  In fact, he lost 1/4 lb.  Not good for an infant.  I’d been worried about his weight.  Instinctively I knew something was not right.  The doctor officially called it “failure to thrive.”  Of course I started to cry.  When I worked in a women’s shelter, that’s what the babies whose mamas didn’t take care of them were diagnosed with.  I was feeling like a horrible mother.

There are two options as to what can be going on.  I am either not feeding him enough, or there is an underlying medical condition.  Neither is a good option.  If I’m not feeding him enough, then it’s my fault.  If there is an underlying medical condition, then my little guy is sick.  So to find out what is going on the doctor is having me switch to formula (I was breastfeeding with 1 supplemental bottle a day) and write down the what, when and how much of his feeding schedule.  I also had to take him for some lab work (which involved plastic bags and needles – not fun).

I’ve had a couple of days now to process this all.  Of course I’m doing internet research (don’t docs hate that??!!) about what medically could be wrong.  I’m writing everything down and thinking that I’m really not a bad mom – I promise, I DO feed my child.  I even had a friend take a picture as proof!

As my little guy is struggling to gain weight and “thrive” I’ve been wondering if sometimes we have a similar “spiritual failure to thrive?”  With my son, he has not been gaining weight as he should.  He’s not been growing.  Sometimes as Christians, I think we fail to grow too.  We aren’t maturing in our faith and we stay right at the place we are.

If this is the case, if we do have a spiritual failure to thrive, then there are two underlying causes.  Either we are not “feeding” ourselves enough, or there is an underlying spiritual condition.  Maybe we aren’t listening in worship.  Maybe we aren’t involved in a Bible study or Sunday School class.  Maybe we aren’t reading our Bible daily and allowing God to speak to us.  Or maybe, just maybe, we have a struggle with underlying sin that nobody can see.  Maybe we hold hate, anger and unforgiveness in our hearts.  Maybe, late at night when no one is awake, we are on the Internet looking at inappropriate stuff and connecting emotionally with people that aren’t our spouse.  Maybe, we are looking for a bigger house/car/jewelry/boat/bank account to make us happy.

In either case, there is something wrong.  Neither option is a good one.  Either we’re not being fed, or we are allowing underlying sin to keep us from growing.  So what can we do about it?

First, seek God.  Instinctively, you know if something is not right.  Find a quite place (or if your a busy mom like me, lock the bathroom door and take a long shower) and talk to God.  Ask him to reveal any sin in your life.  Listen.  Ask for forgiveness.  Accept that forgiveness that Jesus so freely gives.  Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 2 Cor. 13:5, NIV

Second, be fed.  Join a small group.  Read the Bible, study God’s Word – daily.  Keep a log of what you read and study.  Doing so keeps you accountable and lets you see any patterns in your routine – in your study.  You’ll also see any areas you’ve missed.  Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;  pay attention and gain understanding.  I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching.  When I was a boy in my father’s house, still tender, and an only child of my mother, he taught me and said,   “Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live.”  Proverbs 4:1-4, NIV

Third, find a trustworthy person and have them help you seek answers.  They may be able to see things that you aren’t able to see.  They have gifts that you don’t have.  They can help “analyze” your spiritual growth.  They should also pray for you.  As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.  Proverbs 27:17, NIV

Fourth, seek God.  This really is not the start, nor the end of spiritual growth.  Truly seeking God is a constant in our lives.  When we do so, we are pressed to listen and follow.  Then growth will be evident.  …pray continually…  1 Thess. 5:17, NIV

I know that my little guy will grow.  The doctor, with God’s help, will find answers.  I, as mama, will be diligent in helping give him what he needs.  I want him to grow.  As we seek answers, I know that my faith will grow too.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.  Ephesians 4: 14-15, NIV


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