The last few weeks have been filled with transition for our family as I continue to add hours to my work week. I was called in to Ross for the first time in a week, having had a problem with my schedule. (This turned out great for me, in the long run, because I was then freed up to work the hours that Target gave me.) Anyway, I finished at Ross after midnight on Saturday night and then got up early the next morning to get a covered dish ready for our Sunday School class social after class and also to ensure that we all got ready in time.
Unfortunately, Keith had forgotten to give poor Keva her usual Saturday night bath. On top of that, she had a precious diaper Sunday morning that Keith graciously changed while I cooked. He reported that it was the type of diaper where the poop was welded to her body. (Sorry, all of you with weak stomachs . . . ) He did manage to clean her up as best he could, then, he was off in his truck to go put the finishing touches on his preparation for teaching our adult Sunday School class and I brought up the rear in our borrowed minivan with the rest of the kids, including a rather stinky orphan-like Keva. She had a wafting odor around her that was not exactly pleasant, but there was nothing that could be done. There was no time! So off we went and we all pretended that we didn't have a distinctly special smell about us that day.
While Keith subbed for our regular teacher in our class, I subbed for the regular 2nd grade Sunday School teacher. We made Mayflowers with papers in each one to be pulled out during Thanksgiving . . . things like "I'm thankful for _________" or "My favorite teacher is ________" and stuff like that. Which reminded me of my favorite Thankgiving joke . . . .
IF APRIL FLOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS, WHAT DO MAY FLOWERS BRING?
If you don't know the answer to this little joke -- and I know you're just DYING to know -- you'll have to go down to the comments for this post and see!
When we got back, I took a nap to get ready for going to work at Target at 5:00 pm.
Both jobs have been interesting. I've been working at Target a lot more than Ross, and glad of it, too. The last two times I've gone to Ross, I've had to work with a managerial person that just isn't very nice, not only to me but to everyone. Ironically, she's the one responsible for getting me to the interview stage of the hiring process, so I'm grateful to her for that, but I'd just as soon stay way clear of her otherwise. (Some people just weren't taught how to be polite!) And because of my sensitive nature, I don't stand up for myself as much as I should. What I need is the courage just to tell her to act more professionally and to quit treating me like a idiot slave without my bursting into tears in the process. That would be REALLY embarrassing!
On the other hand, I stayed later last night to chat with one of the managers at Target who had some pointers for me on how to get more hours and add to my job skills. She said I was "a natural" with the guests -- Target has guests not customers -- and she was pleased with my progress. The register keeps a constant speed score for each of the cashiers, which appeals to my innate love of competition. That same manager was working with me earlier in the day to get my score higher, but she was wise to first compliment me on my eye contact and communication with each of the guests before honing in on necessary improvements. I appreciated that and reacted well to her words . . .
Which in turn made me think about how I act around my kids . . .
This whole work experience has reminded me that encouraging words from a parent are just as powerful as encouraging words from bosses . . . perhaps they are even more powerful!
I've also treasured the time I've had with the kids more than I have ever treasured that time before. Having been a stay-at-home mom all these years, I've taken for granted that I'd be home when they were home, that I'd be the one cooking the meals and doing most of the laundry and helping with the homework. It's not so anymore. We have to have more of a team effort, which is good in that they are learning important skills. When I do get to sit and talk and listen, I treasure it so much more.
Watching the harried moms come through my register line has been kind of fun, because I can then add a word of encouragement to them, too! I especially like to talk to the little kids and keep them busy while the mom finishes the business transaction. I remember the days, not so very long ago, when I had to watch that certain little people weren't falling out of carts, grabbing one of those evil aisle candy bars, or throwing a temper tantrum.
This week, all of the kids are off for Thanksgiving -- the whole week. It surprised Keith to find out that they were all off all week, even though it's been that way ever since we moved to Georgia. With a homeschool schedule, vacation schedules weren't nearly so obvious. So I depend on the older kids to keep an eye on the younger ones when I'm at work. Most of the the younger kids are off mooching off of neighbors and playing with friends all day on days off anyway. They don't usually come home until they're really hungry! Then it's all I can do to fend them off while I cook dinner!