Sunset over FieldDuring the school year, every morning looks very similar in the Jennings household.

Improve Your Focus and Get Done Sooner

My son’s alarm clock goes off at 7:15 and he is the first one awake in the house. After he gets dressed, he makes his way towards the dining room where we have placed a box of cereal, bowl, and spoon for him to eat breakfast. All he has to do is pour the cereal and milk.

When breakfast is complete, he is to go in the bathroom to brush his teeth and wash his face. Next, he puts on lotion, his shoes and socks, and brushes his hair. Then he is to do his addition or subtraction flash cards, multiplication flash cards, and get his book-bag. If he is able to complete all of these items, he is allowed to watch Sportscenter (proud dad) before school.

This entire process should take approximately 20 minutes to complete. Ian takes 1 hour 20 minutes and rarely gets to watch ESPN.

The Unfocused Application of the Morning Ritual

Now since I have explained how his day should go, let me share with you how it actually goes. At 7:15, the alarm clock goes off. Ian gets out of bed to go shut it off, then he lays back down in the bed for approximately 30 minutes. He does not go back to sleep! He lies in the bed looking out the window or he walks around his room wasting time. Nothing gets done. At about 7:45, he makes his way into the dining room, sits down at the table and starts to read the back of the cereal box or whatever literature is available. He will read a receipt if there is one nearby. Continue reading “Improve Your Focus and Get More Done” »

DecisionMy son has recently taken on the Dennis the Menace mentality when it comes to pressing my buttons. He has come to the trying age of 7 where talking back, screaming, and acting up wasn’t exactly expected. I assumed I had until he was at least 12 before I would have to deal with this type of extreme behavior. However, even in the midst of all of his reckless stunts and blatantly disrespectful behavior, he still believes he is entitled to the rewards in life.

Consequences of Bad Decisions

As an example, we normally get pizza every Friday when he has a good week at home and school. Pizza like with most 7 year olds is his favorite food. Its a win win for me. One I don’t have to cook and two I don’t have to hear him complain about what I’m cooking. Well after a challenging week at home he jumps in the car anticipating a drive to the pizza place to pick up his all cheese pizza. (For some odd reason, he decided he no longer likes toppings not even pepperoni.) I was delighted to bring him the news that we weren’t having pizza for dinner.

He went ballistic. He began by calling me a bad dad, mean, and a bully. Then he proceeded to say something along the lines that I was the CEO for evil incorporated. I wasn’t shocked because it was something I heard before. He says the same thing every time something doesn’t go his way. This whole scream fest took place for about 45 seconds before I finally kicked into parent mode and got the situation under control. Continue reading “Making The Right Decision” »

newborn baby asleep

Kristina Donaldson fast sleep.

August 21, 2011 it happened. My second daughter, Kristina, was born at 1:24 P.M.

Watching the nurse and the doctor clean her up I wanted to flash pictures, tell jokes, and make comparisons between her and my four year old daughter, Kezia. Instead I found myself speechless.

When she was finally placed into my arms I quickly remembered how tiny a baby right out of the womb can be. Wrapped in the standard striped receiving blanket, her head was full of jet-black curly hair. As expected, she had an aura of baby powder scent (more popular in some circles than the new car smell). Her little fingers reached for anything she could touch. Staring into her eyes as she stared back into mine I smiled from the inside out. Finally I said, “Hello.” She had the nerve to respond by wrinkling her forehead and smirking as if to say, “So you’re the face behind the deep voice huh? Not exactly what I expected but you’ll do.”

In that instant I knew she was a perfect addition to our family.

Of course grandma and auntie quickly beckoned for their turn and our initial time together was cut short. I wasn’t worried because I know that I would have plenty more days to hold her in my arms before she’s self-sufficient. Continue reading “What is it Like to Have a Baby?” »

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