I don’t know about your house, but we have a little bit of this attitude, seen here in this picture going on at our house! Our youngest is one that really likes to believe she is in charge of everything. She doesn’t like to sleep, she doesn’t like to share, she doesn’t like it when you tell her to do something that she doesn’t want to do. [Does any of this sound familiar?] If you are a parent to a toddler I am sure it sounds VERY familiar.
I didn’t babysit growing up. I had lots of friends who did, but I really didn’t like being around babies. They were stinky, messy and wanted too much attention. I had better things to do, and it didn’t involve playing with a baby! I was afraid of babies to be honest. I didn’t know how to care for little ones, and I didn’t really want to learn because it seemed scary and hard.
Since getting married I have had a LOT of opportunities to learn how to take care of little ones. 😉 Yet I am always surprised by the antics of these little kids. Just last week I put the kids down for their afternoon nap. (Yes ALL the kids go down for a ‘quiet’ time in the afternoon, and NO the older ones do NOT sleep. I do have them spend a couple of hours in their rooms so that I can have time to work, and get a mental break.)
During nap time on one particular day, my youngest was not wanting to sleep. She was in her bed playing and making all sorts of noises. I have a monitor in her room so I can listen and she sounded happy and I generally leave her to play so long as she isn’t disturbing her sister who shares the room with her. Her noise began to escalate as time went on and I was beginning to be concerned she would wake up her sister. So I went into the bedroom to calm her down and see if there was something going on.
I found she had taken EVERYTHING off and was dancing in her bed. No clothes. No diaper. No sheets on her bed. NOTHING.
So I dressed her, all the while, very thankful that she had not had a poopy accident during this episode. [It is the little things we parents are thankful for!] I was also trying not to giggle as I scolded her and told her she was not allowed to behave that way. Oy!
As a parent you never really know what to expect. Each day is filled with crazy surprises. A silly afternoon nap, a daughter who loves to sneak into my lap and eat my lunch because she would rather have mommy’s food than that plain old peanut butter and honey sandwich. A son who just comes up and says, “Mommy, well, I uh, I love you.” for no reason at all. And of course those beautiful moments when one of the children comes and wants to talk about Jesus, and ask questions that are weighing on their young hearts. Being a parent is difficult. But so very rewarding.
I am thankful for those unexpected surprises. Even if it does mean a lot of extra work, because that is what parenting is all about.
What unexpected surprises have you encountered this week with your children?