My Gram used to have a funny saying that went something like this, "Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can. It's seldom found in women and never found in man." Now this isn't true of course :) but regardless of that point, the saying has nothing about the lack of patience in children. I should say that our seven and eight year old boys are half-way decent with the characteristic of patience, but our three and four year olds?...Holy moly. You put them in the toy aisle of a store and see how "patient" they can be. The words, "No buddy, not now. You don't NEED that" or "Not today Honey, maybe for your birthday" are foreign concepts to them. Just yesterday I ran into a friend while we were in a store. You could almost see the faces of my kids light up when they knew I would take a minute to talk with her. I think their minds fall under the same rule that applies to when the phone rings..."Free for All!" They ran back and forth with anything they could get their hands on almost like they were on a game show trying to beat the clock. "Can I have this Mommy?" "No, put it back." "But Mommy what about THIS?! I REALLY have wanted one of these FOREVER!" Our three year old little girl even inched her way towards us with toys in each arm and one clenched in her teeth. You could barely see her from behind the walking "wall" of baby dolls. We took time to put everything back, my friend and I said our "good-byes" and we went home. I thought about it as I drove and decided to try to teach them a lesson in patience. I racked my brain trying to think of a fun way to make a three and four year old understand. I decided to make cookies...any excuse to make cookies. We got the ingredients out one by one and I had them taste each of them separately before we added them to the mix. Salt, "yuck" baking soda, "blauck" flour, etc. They decided that each ingredient was just no good at all. When we mixed everything together it was great to see how surprised they were at how it became "yummy". They could hardly wait for the cookies to be done and out of the oven. It took a loooong (ten minute) time for each batch to bake, but I hope it was a little lesson in taking time and having patience that helped them understand. It was also a tasty little way to go along with what my Gram always used to say as well, "All good things to those who wait."
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Adam and Bea live in North Carolina with their three boys and a girl, Christian 13, Ethan 12, Preston 10 and Lauren Elizabeth 8 years old.