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If you’ve been following the blog, you know that I have a three foot tiny tornado living with me now while his parents are in job/house transition. (Actually, they live with me too.)
It’s been roughly 17 years since I’ve had an almost two year old in the house, and sister, I’m feelin’ it.
Strange – because I had four.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve still got my baby skillz. I’m good at it.
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But the thing I have this time around that I didn’t the last four times is (gulp)
The ole’ Gray gal just ain’t what she used to be. Aka getting down into the floor and back up doesn’t look as graceful as it once did.
Plus the fact that I got used to having a house that didn’t look like a Tasmanian devil was living in it.
When you’ve been distanced from toddler hood, you forget that:
- floors are always crumby
- floors are always sticky
- floors always have milk dots
- floors always have juice dots
- floors are for sitting, lying, and licking
- floors are for crushed cheerios
- floors are for a butt load of toys
- floors are swept and spot cleaned every day.
- floors are swept and spot cleaned more than once every day.
Now that we’ve covered the ground area, let’s get on with the rest:
- all your tv shows now have cartoon character voices
- the couch has milk dots
- toys are everywhere
- you are never alone
- fingerprints are all over your glass doors
- diapers stink
- you spell stuff out a lot
- never leave the toddler alone
- they constantly jabber
- you need a translator
- the gates are UP (hence, the dilemma of the less-than-limber grandma doing the hurtle 20 times a day to get in and out of the kitchen)
- you can’t eat in front of them
- you are ready for bed early every night
Don’t get me wrong. I love this kid to the moon and beyond.
I think he knows it, too.
When you are a grandparent, things take on a different spin, since it’s not your kid.
You get to do fun stuff.
- giving him ice cream for breakfast
- giving him blueberry muffins whenever he asks
- washing his feet in the kitchen sink
- lying in the floor with plastic cheese on your head while he feeds you a plastic drumstick
- putting your schedule aside to cuddle and read
- giving him back to his mama to discipline
I may or may not have been guilty of all of these.
I like that. It’s kinda like the best of both worlds.
If you are the parent of a toddler – bless your heart.
It’s fun, funny, and a TON of work.
Daughter number one was cut out for motherhood and I tell her that all the time. She’s good at it. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a few bad days.
My advice for you, having done it myself, and now watching my daughter is:
1. Hang loose with the schedule.
Your kid will not be two forever (I know you just said, “Praise the Lord”). Your toddler is more important than your list. Someday you won’t remember how many loads of laundry didn’t get done, but you will remember spending time with your child.
2. Soak up every detail.
Watch them play. Laugh at their antics. Scrutinize their little fingers and toes.
3. Laugh it up.
They love to be silly! They love when you’re silly! But mostly, they are just so freaking funny that it’s a crying shame if you don’t realize that. Enjoy them.
4. Write it down.
I wish I had done more of this. Facebook is nice because you can snap a pic and jot a description of what’s happening and you have it. But I encourage you to journal just a bit. Have scraps of paper or post it notes handy. Once a week, take the time to sit down and log those bits into your journal. You will be oh so glad you did someday! Your kids will LOVE these stories, trust me.
If you are the grandparent of a toddler – yippee
You win. You get to enjoy the benefits without all the hassle. My advice for you is:
1. Support your child in his or her parent effort.
Remember trying to figure it out? That’s where they are now. Focus on their strengths and be sure to praise them for their efforts.
2. Help them out.
Yesterday I walked down the stairs and right into a stand-off between Tiny Tornado and his mama while he stood up against the front door, ready to exit the building and refusing to eat lunch. I decided to be the “bad guy”, and, picking him up, I “flew” him into the kitchen and straight to the sliced watermelon. Now, the kid loves his “memon” so guess who won and everybody was happy.
3. Stand back and let them parent.
There are times when you’re sure you know better, and you may. But you had your chance. Now it’s their turn – it’s a new level of parenting and letting go for you. This goes for letting them pick out names, too. For goodness sakes, leave off with the opinion, will ya? You got to name your own kid, now let them do it.
4. Be careful of your words.
Listen, this one isn’t easy and I fail just like everyone else. But chances are, your kid is doing the best she can at this parenting thing, so off-the-cuff remarks and insinuations are not constructive criticism. Give grace, just has you have been given. And if you feel you must give advice, don’t do it without a lot of prayer and humility. And then, “Let it go” (just like the song – which “TT” is also becoming proficient at singing, even if it is just, “Wed id do, wed id doooo—“). At least you said it, now you must accept whatever your kid (the parent) decides.
When Sawyer and his parents came to live with us, I was in the throes of getting my blog up and going, with MUCH technical difficulty, which continues to be the case.
I had several personal goals and deadlines, and struggled a bit with the balance of things.
Last night, I finally threw up my hands and said, “Ok, God. I give up ‘x’ goal. I can see it’s not happening. I haven’t had the time to properly prep for it, nor the technical support for the problems occurring. This obviously is not YOUR goal – it’s mine. So, I give up. I’m not meeting the deadline, and You know that I’m not. You’re the one in charge here, not me. So, I trust You. You have your reasons. I’m standing down.”
And then, peace flooded my soul, and I knew I’d chosen right.
God has His reasons for what’s happening in your life too.
He’s putting those “little interruptions” such as your toddler, your pre-schooler, your teeny bopper, your teenager, your college age child, your adult child, and your married, parenting child in your life because they ARE your life. (Oh, and don’t forget the husband – he’s important too.)
Goals are nice. If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.But if you aim at something and you don't hit it, don't go all kamikaze on everyone. Click To Tweet
Take a step back and look at what DID get accomplished because you had that goal.
…to be ok with that.
After all, God is ok with you. He’s the one saving you and forgiving you. If He can give you grace,
…you can give you grace.
And don’t forget to take the time to look at things from a three foot height range once in a while.
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9
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