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(Some excerpts from Christmas letter 1999. Some additions.)
Since becoming parents, God has been honing us, giving us new vision for the purpose and meaning of our lives and how it will affect our little ones and their future. We have become more zealous, more focused and more dependent on Him because this parenting thing is just WAY TOO challenging and rather humiliating to an educated, job secure, middle class couple of the nineties!

Paradoxes of Parenting

These are some of the parodoxes of parenting that we have come to recognize and live with:

1) Children Bite! AND HARD when they are having FUN!
This usually happens when our Aleksander gets excited. He's playing, laughing, getting really into the fun of it all and runs into your arms with cuteness and charm. To you, it's a great bonding moment full of promise. Then, the next thing you know - OUCH! (This is a YELLING "ouch", btw) Hey, adults do it too! I guess it's the same unabashed fulfillment some "Aunt Edna's" get when pinching adorable chubby cheeks!)

2) You HAIL the glorious disciplines of self-control, patience and longsuffering to your children, but it's WAY too easy to loose it yourself! (Oh, the ease of hypocrisy!)

3) Three year olds learn language by repeating the same words and phrases over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over....There is a conspicious resemblance to the "dripping water torture" technique.

4) Others enjoy the fruit of your disciplinary actions and are tickled pink with your children's polite and well-behaved manner, but they will think you a veritable fiend if you dare to discipline in front of them! Watch out!

5) You can get kids to "hurry up" by making a motion picture adventure out of any little trip. It's all in the vocal inflections.
"HEY GUYS! Let's get your hair brushed, teeth washed, shoes on
so we can go to HOME DEPOT!"

6) Children are easily brainwashed by the shallow standards of our culture! So, I'm starting on the basics now, for example, "How old is Mama? - always 25!", "Who's the most beautiful woman in the world? - Mama!", "Who's the Queen? - Mama!" I am currently working on Jenna's innocent use of certain taboo adjectives, such as, when she proudly states, "Mama you a BIG girl!".

7) You have a great day and you think you've got the parenting thing all figured out! The little guys are all kisses and giggles, obedience and manners! And they delude you into believing you could actually handle adding a couple more!!

8) HA! The next day the kids deliver their best efforts at a reality check and flatten your inflated ego as "Mom of the Year"! You realize the previous day you were actually having a brief moment of insanity! (What?? More of them? Uhhhh! Let me get back to you on that one!!)

9) You think you are this mature adult, but you find out how childish you can really be! Temper tantrums don't always come from testy 20 month olds!