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“Sawyer, DON’T take your shoes off, we have to get out of the car when mommy comes.”
“But I WANT TO!!”
“Sawyer, BE GOOD.”
“Yes you can, I KNOW you can!” (Said in my best go-get-em-tiger you-can-do-this cheerleader voice)
“Yes! You CAN!”
“OHH!!” (Aha moment.)
(I actually can’t believe he bought that.)
And so went the conversation on babysitting day as we waited in the car for mama. Upon delivering The Tiny Tornado and Baby Cakes, I returned home and took a look around my house–signs of little people on every floor, including the basement.
If you have a toddler (or more) in the house, you may find some of these remnants lurking in your own corners.
1.) Batman figurine (from McDonald’s kid’s meal) perched on dining room table
2.) Little Tykes kitchen abutting your “real” kitchen
3.) Army jeep (circa 1970 #becausepapaw) in dining room floor ready to trip unsuspecting souls
4.) Play kitchen plastic food/pans/utensils littering “real” kitchen floor
5.) Plastic booster seat strapped in wooden dining room chair, dried food notwithstanding
6.) Decorative media baskets underneath television console crammed with toy cars, books, and every stuffed animal previously owned by aunts and uncles (“The kids will like this” aka “I don’t want this but I don’t want it thrown away either”)
7.) Decorative potpourri strewn across entryway floor
8.) Extra pieces of said potpourri tucked in unexpected areas – such as the inside of decorative bird house
9.) One full kitchen cabinet stocked with rubbermaid products, dedicated to creative play with the understanding that every.single.bowl/lid/plastic accessory will be tossed onto kitchen floor so toddler can hide while Gigi knocks on cabinet door and pretends not to know who’s inside
10.) Random red and white striped boy’s toddler sock flanking kitchen counter
11.) Plastic outlet covers in every socket
12.) Extra puck-puck (pacifier) on kitchen counter next to red and white striped sock
13.) Baby monitor and cord plugged into kitchen outlet (outlet cover stored nearby)
14.) Pack ‘n play in spare bedroom, along with sound machine for waterfall effect (#becauseloudfamily)
15.) All your children’s baby blankets (because you couldn’t stand to part with them) stacked on and around pack ‘n play
16.) Front porch littered with giant toy cars (one battery operated), a toddler slide/swing combo, toy shopping cart, and half a dozen matchbox cars
17.) Green size 3T Carter’s long-sleeved T-shirt with the words, “Naughty, Nice, Depends if Santa is asking” because Gigi’s saving it for the holidays (you know, JUST IN CASE mommy misplaces it before then)
18.) Red and white toy box stuffed in corner of basement (aka “man cave”), complete with Mickey Mouse tool set and various underused toys that come in handy when all other levels/areas of the house have been exhausted (totally neutralizing the whole man cave effect)
19.) Red play dough stuck to carpet underneath kitchen bar aka “Play Dough Center”
20.) Fingerprints covering glass doors because, “Wet’s doe out and swing, Papaw!”
All these little signs of toddler life can be viewed one of two ways. Since I already lived this dream (and couldn’t wait to get all the toys out of the family room and in bedrooms/basement), I could choose constant aggravation that my home doesn’t look like a Johanna Gaines’ Magnolia Makeover.
Or, I could take a few snaps of batman, record some cute “Tornado-isms” in my journal, and thankfully accept this God-ordained era of my life.
I’ve already learned it won’t be a long one–wasn’t my baby six just last week?
(No clue how that happened.)
Dear mom, I hear you in your season. Days are weary, messy, and wearing on the nerves. You’re hiding in your closet with the chocolate right now, dashing tears of frustration as you gather the courage to get back in there.
And dear grammy, I feel you in your season–heart squeezed tight at the glimpse of an old snapshot or a memory popping up when you least expect it. You want to go hide in your closet and cry because the kids aren’t home bugging you anymore.
There will never be a perfect season to capture joy. The timing will somehow always be off. A teething baby, a strong-willer (“Swiller”) of a toddler, a hormonal teenager, or a young adult out on her own–all these factors remain burrs under the saddle of #momlife.
And yet, God waits, poised to bestow joy in the now.
What do you say mom? Let’s link arms in our respective seasons and rejoice together, shall we?
The joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10d
Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Philippians 2:17
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. Philippians 3:1
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Philippians 4:4
What season are you in right now, and how can you seek joy? Shoot me a line here if you’d like prayer in your mom journey, I’d be glad to help.
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Dear mom, isn’t it time for you to Count to Nine?