Photo: At the Dentist’s office, two little bears stare out of the big bay window…

I’m going through a really good Mama stretch and I just have to share because, first, I haven’t really written about my little bears in a while and second, because… I dunno… my blog needs more proud mama moments.

It started on Saturday. The sun rose on our first non-crazy weekend in a month, we had awesomely yummy french toast (out of Hawaiian bread. Seriously, get on that. It’s amazing.) and then we decided to get outside and play. Our awesome neighbors were already out putting primer on their front porch. Very indebted to them, we offered to help, but they had their own groove going and declined. “But, we’re going to clear out some of the packysandra that has kind of overgrown in our yard, would you like some?”

The packysandra in my neighbor’s yard is really nice. For those of ya’ll who aren’t familiar, packysandra is a nice ground cover that grows hearty and green, and lends a manicured look without a lot of fuss. My neighbors told us that it’s “technically” an invasive species… but… uh… everyone’s got it… and it was… free… so, purists, just be cool about this one. I wanted to put it near the stone fence, but a certain oppressive white man I know decided that he “wasn’t excited” about the idea and wanted to put it somewhere else. When I asked him where he wanted to put it, he only shrugged and said somewhere else… because that’s totally helpful…

Sorry.. I digress…

Anyway, they had a lot of it, and we eventually decided put some around our cedar trees, so we happily accepted. Ursa Major was so excited that he followed our neighbors around and helped pick the plants while The Husband, Ursa Minor and I prepared the soil for the transplant. (in other words, The Husband decided that he would prepare the soil and I tried to keep Ursa Minor out of The Husband’s way.)

When my neighbor came over with the first wheelbarrow full of plants, Ursa Major in tow, he stopped to rest for a minute and said the following:

“You know, he’s such a great kid. We were putting the plants in the wheelbarrow, and every time I put a plant in, he kept saying, ‘thank you.’ Just, ‘thank you,’ ‘thank you,’ ‘thank you.’ And when he got distracted by something, I pointed down at the plants and said, ‘hey, you’ve got a little more work to do!’ and he refocused right away and said, ‘yeah, I’ve got work to do!’ and he got right back to it. I’m telling you, he’s just a really good kid.”

Oh my God. I could have heard that all day!!

I thanked him, and then joked that I wish he could be that consistent at home.

But I was really just holding back the crazy pride I was feeling. Like, yes, that boy hears me every time I make him stop and make requests or stop and say thank you or stop and say good morning/afternoon/evening. He really is practicing all of that home training outside of the house when I’m not looking. I don’t have to worry about it.

(I’m still going to worry about it.) Can’t let up. Gotta keep reinforcing.

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So  that was that. I was hoping that the good manners and feelings would carry me through to this morning because, you see, the boys saw the dentist for the first time today.

Our home dentist at the college we are affiliated with does not have pediatric dentistry. So we have sorta shuffled our feet about the matter, until I drove by an office during my mommy’s day off last week. I called them and they got me an appointment right away! Well, The Husband and I have been talking to them about it for the last few evenings.

And when we pulled up to the building, I did that mama check:

“What are the rules, [Ursa Major]?”

“No hitting. No screaming. No fighting. And stay close to mommy.”

“Good job. No hitting. No screaming. No fighting. And follow mommy’s directions.”

We got out of the car, I walked both boys to the door, and before we opened it, I repeated one more time.

“No hitting. No screaming. No fighting. Follow mommy’s directions.”

So when we got into the pretty little office, painted up nice just for kids, and waited for over 30 minutes past our appointed time for the doctor to see us, the boys were perfectly fine! Not a tear, not a scream, not a pull or a push. The worst thing they did was stand on the couch and ask me thrice when they were going to be able to go in. They were genuinely excited about being there, and super curious.

Yessssssss.

But really, it all came together when the doctor finally saw us.

Being the big boy, Ursa Major went first. You could tell that he was uncomfortable, but he listened to directions, he stayed focused, he gave the doctor a big high-five and thanked him, and he was too pumped when he got his new toothbrush and toy from the nurse.

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And because he had set such an awesome example, Ursa Minor did a pretty great job, too! The little bear only cried once, and when he did, big brother Ursa Major came, sat on the chair beside him and told him that everything was going to be ok.

My God. My heart is just fit to burst!

The other moms at preschool have never said it outright, but I know that they think my parenting is a little old-fashioned. I’ve written a lot about why I’m so strict about the use of “please,” “thank you,” “miss” and “mister” for my boys and I won’t rehash that here. I understand that there are a lot of things that people are going to say about me and my sons, but one thing I never want to hear is “they are disrespectful” or “she raised two boys with absolutely no manners.” It looks like I’m doing ok today.

I’ll end my post with a quick shout-out: My friend Sheri had a great post this week about some of the awesome stuff that she’s been up to–specifically, the cutest little baby hat I’ve ever seen (complete with pattern for knitting, yay) and some really fantastic savory appetizers for a party. She is also inspiring my Quiet Thoughts for Friday because, clearly, she’s a living Muse. Pop over there and check her out!

Since we’re thinking about the internet community, two questions:

1. Is anyone out there participating in Camp NaNo for July? I would love some cabinmates!

2. Are any of ya’ll knitters who hang out on Ravelry? I’m trying to better my craft and get more involved with that community.

(because, obviously, I’m not busy enough.)

Speaking of parties, I’m off to find a good sweet tea recipe and a lemonade recipe (that I can make from concentrate, because the price of lemons is currently ridiculous.)

See you Wednesday!

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