Wednesday, November 13, 2013



This past Sunday morning was a busy morning. At one point, while I was downstairs bustling around preparing for the day, Ella made her way upstairs into her bedroom to ‘get herself ready for church.’ A few minutes later she came back down the stairs completely naked from head to toe, except for wearing a little backpack stuffed full of toys, and announced in a cheerful voice, “I’m ready, guys!” For my own amusement, I couldn’t help but make a few quips about modesty, even though the jokes were lost on all the kids.

Later the same day, after changing her diaper and getting her ready for bed, I was tidying things up in the kids’ room and I must have left the diaper-rash cream (which clearly reads “for external use only: do not get into eyes”) within her reach. Thankfully she’s in a phase where she verbalized the details of what she’s doing as she’s doing it. Her raspy voice alerted me with her absent-minded commentary, “I’m putting Desitin in my eye.” Obviously alarmed, I glanced over just as she was carefully lifting a massive, gooey, white glob of Desitin toward her eye. She was even opening her eyes wide, determined, it seemed, to make sure it got right onto the eye ball. Luckily I was able to dive across the room and stop her mid-application. “No, mama,” she growled, disgruntled that I’d interrupted her fun.


A few days back Justin cut both boys’ hair. They always look so dapper with freshly cropped hair. The day after his haircut, I was admiring how handsome my middle boy, Josh, was, and I said, “You look great with that haircut, buddy. So handsome.” Josh smiled humbly and said, “I know!” Amused, I asked him, “Can you think of a slightly less proud way to respond to someone saying you look good?” Josh contemplated this for a moment and then confidently offered a new response to the compliment: “Thank you, I know!’”


Jake loves playing guitar and his weekly lesson is often one of the highlights of his week. But as much as he loves it, he’s like every other kid I know and doesn’t always love the daily discipline of practising. Usually once he gets started, the rhythm of routine clicks into place and he enjoys the work. But occasionally he’ll continue to attempt various negotiations even after we’ve started practising. A couple days back we’re sitting together while he practises, and after he plays a new and rather challenging song for the first time (of the required three times) he puts the guitar flat on his lap and, with an earnest face, suggests a compromise. “Mom, how about instead of playing this song two more times, I only play it one more time. Just for today. If you let me, I promise I won’t sin against you for two whole weeks and I’ll obey you instantly every time you say something.” I couldn’t help but laugh as I asked, “Oh, you’re capable of that, are you, Jake? That’s really good to know.” We sat there grinning at each other for a moment, then Jake sighed in defeat and said, “Well, I guess if I really WAS going to obey you instantly every time from now on it would mean I’d have to play this again twice right now because you’re telling me to. My plan wouldn’t work anyway.”