Tag Archives: parents

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday! And a busy one it was for us! Enjoy these late-night funnies!img_1400

J: I did all these things without you even asking me!
Me: What a helpful boy! It’s like you can read my mind!
J: Yeah! I just close my eyes and it shows me what you’re thinking, and I can do it before you ask me!

Me: Does your mama love you?
D: Yeah!
Me: How much?!
D: Five!

Me: What shoes did you wear to school today?
D: Matching ones.
(I found out later that he didn’t mean two shoes that were matching, he meant the ones he has that are the same as J’s.)

Me: How old do y’all think Daddy is gonna be?
EK: Mmm… 21 or 23.
Me: Okay… J?
J: 2012!
Me: Okay, D, how old is Daddy gonna be?
D: Uhh… I don’t know….

To her friend we took home after school…
EK: If you’re thinking our car is clean, it’s NOT.

Me: Necie is coming next weekend, and she’s bringing her friend….
EK: Who?! Who is it?!
Me: Stacy!
EK: Ooh! I love Stacy! I miss her so much!
J: How do you know Stacy?
EK: I saw her at Shianne’s wedding. (Shi is my brother’s wife.)

While I’m reading EK’s book to her at bedtime…
EK: Hey mom! What if your last name was Whitney, and your first name was Whitney?! You’d be Whitney Whitney! *laughs hysterically*
Me: I’m really glad this book is so interesting.

Learning to Savor the Littles

This piece originally appeared on Everyday Exiles under the title ‘The Years Are Short’.

If I’ve read it once, I’ve read it a thousand times: The days are long, but the years are short.

If I’ve been told once, I’ve been told a thousand times: Oh, but you’ll miss this.

I’m not here to argue with either of those things. But I will take a moment to respond.

The days are pretty frequently long, specifically when you’re not sleeping much, and you’re not able to easily get out of the house for a few hours. But recently I’ve been relishing this new season of mobile kids, flexible naps, and the youngest one almost being potty trained. The light is at the end of the tunnel for being able to just pick up and go somewhere without packing the whole house, or to eat at a semi-nice restaurant without calling a babysitter, or turn my back for a few minutes at a time. I’ve been waiting for the times I could read a book in a different room and not come back to wails and cries or colored walls. But there’s also evidence that we aren’t totally out of those woods, and likely never will be. They’re great playmates, but I still need to run interference sometimes. Yes, I am able to sneak off for a few minutes at a time, but they’re usually finding me and needing snacks within the first few pages I read.

As far as missing it, I do. Already. I’m in that strange limbo of knowing it’s over before it’s truly over, missing the little things I know will end soon, even while they’re still happening. So when my almost-three-year-old wants me to sing him eight songs, give him four kisses and three hugs at bedtime, I’m SO here for it. When my (truly very heavy) four-year-old wants me to carry him every once in a while, I pick him up and do it. When my six-year-old wants an extra bedtime song, or to help me make everyone’s breakfast – even if it’s much faster when I do it alone – I try to oblige her.

I don’t want to look back and live with a regret that I did not taken the time to soak up my little children… their summer-sweaty hair, their still-round cheeks, their improperly-pronounced words, and their affection for their mama that I’m sure as teenagers they won’t have. How much counseling would I need to live with that regret? How many times will I still ask God to never let these memories fade?

Yes – so many things are important right now in their short lives. They’re sponges, soaking up information, ideas, words, and actions. They’re learning citizenship, responsibility, faith, and love. I could spend an entire day just trying to keep up with those things in what I do. But sometimes I just want to sit and watch them, to hold their hands, to let them eat the ice cream for dinner because there are more of those toothy smiles that way.

So tomorrow morning, I’ll get up bleary-eyed and thankful, praising the Creator of these little treasures that are actually the biggest treasures I could possibly have.

10 Chores That Young Kids Can Do

This piece also appeared on The Grit and Grace Project.

One of the things I’ve tried to establish early in in my parenting is my desire to raise responsible children who contribute to their community (be it their family, classroom, society, etc). In our culture, this can be difficult… they’re busy, they want to watch TV, or they’re used to being told “You’re too young to do that.” But I’ve got 9 things my kids can and should be doing to contribute to the housework load.

1. Help unload the dishwasher. My kids do their plastic dishes, their cups/bottles/all those parts, and all the silverware (not including sharp knives). I just ask whichever of them is around when I need to get it unloaded, and almost always, they’re eager to help.

2. Put away their laundry. This one is a big one. We often watch some TV before bedtime, and I set a timer for 4-5 minutes at a time, and we pause the TV, and everyone puts some clothes away. Sometimes it’s their own clothes into their own dressers. Sometimes it’s towels, or something of mine or Hubby’s that I have them carry to our room for me to put away later. They’re quite good at helping, and they’re learning to keep their drawers organized… or everything won’t fit!

3. Clean up their toys/pick up their rooms. I don’t make them do this all day every day. We frequently have toys left out, even when we go to bed sometimes. But I do ask them to keep things fairly organized (in labeled bins!) and mostly off the floor. If it gets too out of control, we spend a morning or evening cleaning EVERYONE’s room. But I help, not really facilitate. They know what to do.

4. Bring dishes from the table to the sink. I like having them help clear the table. That way, they can’t just get up whenever they feel like it. They tell me they’re full, and I say when they can get up, take their dishes to the sink, get their hands and faces clean, and go play.

5. Gather/Sort/Switch over laundry. I have them bring their dirty laundry to the laundry room, and often to sort it, help me start a load, help me switch it to the dryer (they’re a little short to get in my top-loading washer), and bring it out to be folded.

6. Clean the table/windows/doors. I let them loose with a roll of paper towels and the Method Glass Cleaner. Boom. It’s not as streak-free as when I do it myself, but they learn that their contribution is valuable at any level.

7. Sweep/pick up crumbs. My kids really like to sweep, and I have a handheld broom and dustpan for them to get everything up off the floor. We try to do this once a day (but then again, it depends on the day).

8. Weed, water, and harvest in the garden. They love this one, simply because they love being outside. We’re teaching them to recognize weeds, and the right way to pull them up (getting the WHOLE weed). They’re also learning when our vegetables are ready to pick – or to eat right off the plant, in the case of several tomatoes and cucumbers!

9. Pack lunch. This one I’m going to start soon. Once I’ve given a good idea of what a healthy lunch looks like, I’m going to have things semi-prepared for my kindergartener to grab a few things to put in her lunch box each morning. I’ll choose a bit, and let her choose her snack and a few add-ins. That way, she’s more excited about eating it because she picked it.

10. Help make the bed. I haven’t set a good precedent about this one, but I often find myself having them help, even if it isn’t first thing in the morning. Having lots of decorative pillows can make the job cumbersome, but pulling up sheets and blankets and putting the animals on TOP of the blankets is pretty darn easy. As is helping Mom or Dad strip the bed and change the sheets! My kids like the putting-on of the pillow cases the best!

What are some things your kids to around the house? Are there other chores I should start my kids on early?

Things Toddlers Say

HEY! We are leaving for Florida tomorrow for a week, so I can’t promise how good vacation mom is at writing down the funnies… so enjoy these to last you till then! Happy Tuesday!!

Hubby helping EK with a crossword puzzle: What’s the thing that goes on pizza that’s round?
EK: Mozzarella?

Hubby: What do y’all want for lunch?
EK: We haven’t had Mexigan in a while.

J, knowing about science: Baby ducks are not chicks. Baby ducks are baby ducks.

EK on Easter: Does Jesus die every year?
Our friend Drew: Well, it only happened once but we celebrate it every year.
EK: I don’t know if I believe that.

EK to our pastor on Easter: You did a really nice job today.

D, being more like me than ever: *Using his bacon as a spoon in his grits*

J at bedtime: Daddy, your love makes me a happy boy.

EK to me: Phew. I better not get in trouble any more.

What are your kids saying these days?! Inquiring minds want to know!

Silence Is a Virtue

This piece originally appeared on Everyday Exiles. I’m now on the other side of this struggle, but it’s no less real and difficult because it’s already happened.

Let me set the stage. I’m a mom of three kids five and under. I’m a worship leader by trade, meaning, so to speak, that I sing for my supper. I taught music before that, and studied vocal music in school prior to that. I have been singing by trade for as long as I can remember. When I was a senior in college, my voice teacher noticed I struggled with something she herself had dealt with, and sent me to an Otolaryngologist (that’s a fancy name for an ENT) in town. He hooked me up with a little medicine and a slightly altered diet, and I’ve been seeing him once or twice a year ever since. However, I just began seeing a voice therapist to try to solve my ongoing problem of vocal fatigue (basically I’m hoarse after limited vocal use) once and for all. Fast forward to this week: I go into my therapy appointment very optimistic. I’ve been working my butt off to “relearn how to speak” so that I am using my voice to its fullest potential and not incorrectly (and thereby causing fatigue). I’ve finally started to feel like it’s sinking in, and I’m getting magical results. I get in there, she’s happy, I’m happy, and she says, “Let’s do a scope before we discharge you from treatment.”

A scope. Okay. I’ve had those. (It involves sticking a tiny camera through your nose or in the back of your mouth to see your larynx and vocal folds/chords. Ew. Not comfortable.)

She proceeds to tell me the therapy is working. (YAY!) Then she says I have a hemorrhage (that’s a scary word in ANY situation) on one of my vocal folds and I need 7 days of total vocal rest.

Total. Vocal. Rest.

Do y’all know that means I can’t talk… OR SING… or whisper or laugh or cough or chat on the phone with my bestie or read books to my kids. Or say anything. Period.

I began this stint of vocal rest by crying in the doctor’s office. Selfishly, I’m sure, because I’m a loud, outspoken extrovert (often to a fault) and it sounded like pure torture, but also because if the hemorrhage becomes a recurring problem, then I have to have a laser (!!!) procedure to make it stop. More stuff? More work, time, money, effort, and heartache put into this issue that hinders me from doing what I love most?

Let’s pause here, because this next part is what’s important. I believe my voice is a gift that the Lord gave me. I use it to glorify His name whenever possible, and now I do that professionally – which was/is my life goal. Boom. But having my voice taken away from me? I’m like Ariel – “but how will I communicate?!” (Ursula would say, “You’ve got your looks, your pretty face… and don’t underestimate the importance of body language – HA!”) That isn’t going to work so well. An extroverted singer doesn’t have time for not using her voice.

But what I’ve realized is that not speaking has given me a freedom to stay silent when I don’t know what to say. It gives me reason to think before I speak (or write something down, since speaking isn’t an option). It gives me extra margin to think, to pray, to consider what I’m ingesting from all the outside influences (good and bad) without needing to respond to them immediately, or at all.

It’s also given me cause and time to ask the Lord for healing, for strength for the next few days, for a blessing of quiet joy as I learn things about my personality I hadn’t known before – such as how often I interrupt people, which is impossible to do when you’re writing things down – the topic of conversation has already changed by the time I have written my quip. This silence has forced me to pause and appreciate being home (since going out and extroverting means using my voice more) and staying and resting in the stillness whenever possible. These things are hard for me, y’all, but I know that He provides strength. I’m crying even as I write this, because it’s a battle for me to know that in all things, He is working for my good (Romans 8:28) but I also know that we are sometimes grieved by various trials so that our tested and genuine faith results in praise (1 Peter 1:6-7).

Things Toddlers Say

I’m so glad it’s Tuesday! I love sharing these little quips and sillies with you. I hope you enjoy them!

J: Can I have a special drink tonight that isn’t sprite?
Hubby: What’s wrong with sprite?
J: Sprite wasn’t working for me.

J, trying to get his buddies to surprise us: Okay, on my count. One, two, threeeee!

J at an Italian restaurant: It’s nice to be in this place. Well, it’s nice to be in the whole world.

J’s new favorite word: defint-ly. (Definitely. And he definitely says it several times in one sentence.)

D, reaching his hand into my pasta: Let me share with you!

Annie (their grandma): Do you want five more M&Ms?
D: Six!
Annie: Six?!
D: Seben!

J, holding up one of his hands toward me: Every single finger on this hand has a cut. I look… damaged.
(Same convo, a little later.)
J: The most what is on me is cuts.
Ek: No, the most what is on you is hair. And pajamas. And dirt.

D, bringing EK’s mittens: I want EK’s thumbs!
Hubby finally explained to me why he might call them that… whenever we put mittens on him, we always tell him to stick out his thumbs!

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday!! I hope you enjoy the funnies!

EK: He made your soup so fast!
J: No…
EK: Yes he did!
J: No… he made it quickly.

Me: One, two….?
D: …
Me: …
D: …
Me: Three! Four, five, six,
D, interrupting me: Seben!!!!!!!
Me: You got seven but not three?!

D, with a rolling pin inside his shirt: Mama look! I got a sword in my pocket!

Hubby: Here’s some falafel for you!
J: This isn’t waffles!

EK: And guess what?! We got lollipops! J got strawberry and I got watermelon and D got… he got green bean.
Me: I think it’s green apple…

I had asked EK to run a bath, and she came back up shouting: Mom! The light has run out of power in there!

EK referring to hand, foot, mouth: …and we all had footprints.

D about pterodactyls: I need da carrot-dactyl!

A few one-liners this week, eh? What are your kiddos saying these days? Or shall I say “saying improperly” these days?!