‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding. – Alice Walker
Lesson #1 – Attitude of Gratitude. I’ve spoken about this a couple of times and how I have an attitude of gratitude and I’m raising munch to have the same. Lately though, his attitude has been less gratuitous than I expect. He’s downright ornery and complaining about everything. Let me give you some examples:
- Last Saturday my best friend and I had gone to Cracker Barrel (my favorite breakfast spot) for breakfast and I brought my munch along. This was his first trip for breakfast and he was fine eating out. Until…the waiter brought his orange juice and it had pulp in it. Munch hates pulp and the waiter said he would bring him something else. Munch requested lemonade. The waiter said that lemonade has pulp in it. Munch then requested milk. The waiter didn’t bring the milk for 15 minutes. Munch pouted and was upset about not having his milk. He said, “I’m really upset that I don’t have my milk mommy. Can’t we leave and just go to IHOP? I don’t like this place.” Finally his milk came and then his meal. I ordered one pancake and a side of bacon with three slices of bacon. Only two came on his plate. I notified the waiter and he said he would get us another piece. Munch was so upset and said he wasn’t going to eat until his other slice came out. I told him that was ridiculous. Eat now. He pouted and ate his food. The other slice of bacon never came. The waiter (whose service was less than desirable anyway) removed munch’s meal from the bill.
- Later that afternoon on our way to my nephew’s first birthday party, my son decides he would like to give his cousin a special gift. (He apparently didn’t like that we donated to his college fund). So, I said, “What would you like your cousin to have?” “A book” he replied. I said “Okay, go get one” and he rushed back to his room to pick out a special book. He decided to give him the brand new book “The Lorax” that had just arrived from his book club. He signed the book and put his own card inside it and a bow on the book. He was so proud. Until…he told me that his cousin can only keep the book for two months and then he had to return it. What? He’s a one year old. He’s not going to read it and then return it. I explained how impolite it was to ask for a gift back that you’ve given to someone and that he has so much surely one book would be fine. He pouted the entire way to the party complaining about how that was his favorite book and he wanted to loan it.
- Monday as we’re going to school and I’m quizzing him on his spelling words for his test he tells me, “I will probably fail.” I was asking him why he thinks he’s going to fail? His response, “Because I failed the practice test last night.” I told him to do his best. He said, “Okay”. He then decides to complain about how he is so upset that he can’t go outside and he is tired of playing in the gym during recess. I explained that the weather has been cold and snowy, but that the school would start letting them go outside later when there is more sun and less snow. I explained that spring is coming and that he will get to be outside soon. He said, “fine”. We pull up to the school and he complains as we get out the car that he almost fell into a puddle of melted snow because I didn’t park close enough to the curb. What?
I had it. I was done. Really? Is this a stage? What is happening to my beautiful baby and when did he become such a complainer? I stopped him before we went into the school and I told him that we wake up each day thanking God for life. We have an attitude of gratitude because we are blessed. We practice saying thank you instead of complaining all the time. I told him to try and just be happy and be positive. Say please and thank you and know that your attitude determines your altitude. How high you fly depends on how much happy fuel (filled with love and gratitude) you want to put in your plane. The happiest children have lots of happy fuel in their plane and are in great spirits because they are flying high in the clouds enjoying life. They are grateful. He looked at me and said “Okay, mommy.” I kissed him on the lips and said, “I love you munch. I’m proud of you and I’m happy that I’m your mommy.” He smiled and walked away.
Wow! I’m suffering from a case of the complainer blues. But, I’ve been known to do it too. I have to adjust my attitude and correct myself by getting a refill of happy fuel to keep in good spirits. We all do. But, I never knew how I could sound complaining until I heard my munch do it. It’s overwhelming to a listener. We have to do better.
I want to encourage us to be grateful for everything because if you can’t appreciate the small you won’t value the big things when they come. Gratitude is a choice. Be grateful. Be thankful and be happy.