Again with the prayer

A friend and I have been having some meaningful conversations about praying with our children.  Or, more specifically, our children praying.  I am going to share some thoughts on that here.

While I usually opt to let my girls use their own words to describe the desires of their heart when they pray, I do have to correct them from time to time.

I will interrupt them when the prayer sounds more like a nursery rhyme.

Jesus sat on a wall.  And then He fell.

When they pray selfishly, I correct them afterwards.  I try to direct them to the attributes of God.  I figure if they know more about who God is then they will approach Him in prayer more appropriately.

Dear God, Please let me best friend A come over tomorrow.  And let there be tons of new legos for me.

They are always watching me, so I try to model good behavior and prayers.  As such, I have had plenty of opportunities to teach them about prayer and God.

Recently I was having a very stressful morning, and at the first stop sign on the way to school, I prayed to God to show me His presence.

But, MOM, you are praying in the car!

It was good for me to show them that it doesn’t matter where we pray because our Mighty God is everywhere.

Back to the nighttime prayer, I have been able to witness how my girls understand the world.  I asked them if they wanted me to pray that evening or if they wanted to do it themselves.  To which I was told:

Only small girls pray.  The brown and yellow ones.

For a while, I’ve known that Chickadee can’t tell the difference between brown and black.  Well, she does see the difference but she always switches them up.  I think it has to do with the fact that her black sister has brown skin.  I also think that she has also been told a few times by an embarrassed mom that we don’t draw attention to the skin color of people in public.  (Chickadee can be very loud.)  So I think she was describing her sister and herself by their hair colors.  (Yes, Wren’s hair is black, but remember she gets the two colors confused.)

But I got the point.  They wanted to pray by themselves.

What a blessing.

Dear God.  And Jesus.

Oh, maybe we’re getting the point!  I thought to myself.

Please don’t fall off that wall.

Nevermind.

The end.

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A Prayer for Outer Space

A dear aunt gave Wren a book about outer space for Christmas.  Rather than continuing opening the rest of her presents, Wren paused to “read” this new book about her favorite topic.

She carefully reviewed each page before turning to the next.  When she closed the book, she pronounced, “There’s no Pluto in this book.”

I was startled by this observation that I had to check the book myself.  She was absolutely correct.  Poor Pluto!

Now that Wren is five, her interest in outer space has only grown.  Last night her daddy found her kneeling beside her bed.

“I’m just praying,” she told him.

He inquired if he could pray with her.

“No, I’m just praying for outer space,” she replied before concluding the rest of her prayer in whispers.  “… and let me go to outer space.  The end.”

Snow, Flower, Sun and Rainbow

I came across this very short poem I wrote about Wren when she was turning two.  She was full of energy and joy (as a matter of fact, she still is).  One of our favorite things to do together was to walk around the little circle in our old neighborhood.  She loved going outside to play no matter the weather.

The other thing about Wren was that her speech was slightly delayed.  I yearned for her to talk so I could know her desires… her dislikes… her imagination… her.  I’d get one word out of her, but I wanted more.

This poem was jotted down in the late winter long after the beauty of the first snowfall and I was getting antsy for Spring like I do every March.  The structure of this poem is akin to the Wheel of Fortune “before and after” theme.  Enjoy.

Snow, Flower, Sun and Rainbow

The robin in the white
Snow
A word she knows so well.

I hope she’ll learn
Flower, sun and rainbow
Should be here soon.

She sings to them

It was just a thought I dismissed as I made the six-hour drive “home.”  Could I get the girls a chick or two?

My parents have had a variety of foul on the farm over the years. There have been chickens, geese, doves, ducks, and even emus.  These birds found their way to our various houses over the years in a manner of ways. One came home as a result of a school project in which several eggs were hatched in the classroom.  Some were purchased at auction.  Others were delivered by mail.

When grampa mentioned this very same idea on our gator ride, I let him know I had thought of it as well.  We conferred with gramma, and it was settled.  The girls were getting chicks. Continue reading

In their words

Chicka has been waving for a long time now. Only recently has she added “hi” and even “hey” to her warm greeting. Ever since she was a newborn, she has commanded attention.

She is starting to babble a lot. She likes repetition, and she will utter “dada” x 50. She is also keen on repeating the phrase “I did it.”

We stayed home recently from a trip to see family because she spiked a fever. Then she developed a rash. A trip to the doctor’s determined she had a viral infection which was contagious, so we stayed indoors for four more days — an eternity to a toddler and her mother.

Despite her illness, Chicka was determined to check off a few more developmental milestones off her to-do list. Stand unassisted, check. Crawl up steps, check. So, yes, she did do it.

Sometimes I wonder though how often her big sister puts her up to it. For example, if I were to ask, “Who drew on this wall?” who do you think answers “I did it.” Right, not the one who did.

I don’t know how much Wren understands, probably more than she lets on and probably more than I want to admit. The age of complete innocence is definitely going away.

I asked, after spotting lotion and wet paper towels on the carpet, “Who made this mess?”

Wren replied, in her sweetest voice, “Daddy.”

“I don’t think Daddy did this. He is working,” I countered.

“Ohhh.” I can read Wren’s mind, and this is what the “ohhh” meant: “I should have pinned this on Chicka.”

Wren does actual speak in sentences now. She likes to talk about her sister. And every now and then she sparks interest in crossing off a developmental milestone herself. Like this morning, when she said, “I want to go potty now, Mommy.”

Rejoicing

The breeze was gentle.

The sky was the perfect blue.

Her arms stretched upwards.

Her smile grew.

“Ahaha,” she laughed.

Down the sidewalk she flew.

This is the day that the Lord has made.

I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118 v24

Parenting Two Children: The Differences

Most times, we feel like we got this parenting thing down. This ain’t our first rodeo after all.

We’ve been through the sleepless nights, the explosive diapers, and the random crying spells which result in what I call “mommy hold me” days.

With child #1, we couldn’t wait for her to meet every milestone. She did not disappoint either. She offered her first smile at nineteen days! You’re supposed to begin offering “solid” food at four-six months, but we started at sixteen weeks since she expressed interest and ability super early. She became mobile at five months and mastered walking at the end of ten.

And that’s another thing, it was easy to keep track if her age.

With child #2, I actually want to slow down time. I want to savor each and every second with her because now I know how quickly those moments go by.

I’m lucky if I can remember how old she is, too. I couldn’t keep track of the weeks anymore so I rounded by months. I started doing this when she was one month old.

“Mommy hold me” days throw the whole house into upheaval because it’s okay to ignore the laundry for a day but not another child.

Child #2 does not nap. Well, she does close her eyes for ten minutes but then wakes up with a loud cry. She doesn’t want to miss a thing, I think. (Big sister is very entertaining.)  She does sleep through the night which is more than I can say for child #1 right now.

We’ve been trying to transition child #1 to her toddler bed. She likes the new bed and all the praising we give her for being such a big girl, but she is one who needs limits and literal boundaries. She senses her new freedom at one in the morning and would rather jump out of bed to play. We remain in our bed listening to her talking to her stuffed animals. Sometimes she goes to the baby gate and bangs on it. More than once we have found her asleep on the floor next to the gate, having brought the contents of her bed (pillow, blankets, Sammy, etc.) with her. More than a dozen dozen times we have put her back into her bed.

As much as I want to savor these infant moments with child #2, she’s outgrown her bassinet and soon she’ll outgrow the pack and play. She needs to go in a crib in the other room.  I’m sure we’ll find a solution even if that means we buy a second crib.

Child #2, I’ve often said, enjoys being a baby. At six months now though I’m starting to worry and find myself comparing her to her older sister who by this time had eaten several puréed vegetables, moved on to puffs and rusks, and could roll over. We had our check ups last week and physical therapy was discussed. She’s not interested in swallowing her rice cereal even if I have sweetened it with puréed fruit. The thought of rolling over is abhorrent to her, to put it frankly.

We’ve got a lot to figure out and I’m sure everything will turn out well in the end. What we’ve got going for us right now is smiles and lots of them, from both girls and us.

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