Every now and then I go back through older posts I have written – especially ones having to do with my precious children. I wrote this one a couple of years ago for a parenting blog, and I couldn’t help but smile as I compared the Steven of those days to the still-talkative Steven of now. Yes, parenting is still so much fun…
Sometimes I think parenting is one of the best sources for laughter. Think about it – our kids can just do the funniest things!
My almost three year old son provides the perfect example. Steven is very verbal. Very. He talks through everything. Just as an example, go back with me about an hour and step into my kitchen. Steven saw that I was emptying the dishwasher and said, “Mommy, can I help?” Now, how could I resist that? So, he handed me the dishes so that I could put them away. With each dish he exclaimed, “Dadoo!” Then he decided he wanted to put the silverware away, a job he absolutely loves. So, I grabbed a chair for him to stand on, opened the drawer, and handed him the silverware basket. He talked his way through the whole process. “This big fork goes here. This little spoon goes here. This big huge one goes here.” And, if he thought I wasn’t interacting with him enough, he changed the phraseology just a bit. “Mommy, does this little fork go here?” Or, “Mommy, where does this one go?” Just in case you weren’t sure, yes, he did know where each piece went – and in fact he had each piece practically put away before he asked each question! He just needed to talk it all through.
And, it’s not just in the kitchen! You should hear him in the car. “Where are we going? Is this the way to church? Are we going to run errands first and then go home? Why are we going this way? Do we go that way to get to the house? Can we go backwards?” It is usually non-stop and usually we answer the same questions about a dozen times in the two mile trip from our house to church or the store.
If you’re not laughing yet, take all of this information and apply it to what happened this morning. Steven ran into the bathroom where my husband and I were brushing our teeth and, with a huge grin and an exuberant hop, exclaimed, “I need to go potty!” I chuckled, helped him pull his pants down, and set him on the potty. He indicated he was all done, but as I picked him up off the toilet and leaned over to pull his pants back up, he said, “I was trying to get my poo-poo out!” (Now, keep in mind, I could not see his head at this point.) So, I asked him if he need to get back on the potty. No answer. “Steven, do you still need to potty?” Still no answer. Rather insistently, I asked a third time, but still my son was silent! Meanwhile, I heard Doug making noises behind me. His mouth was full of mouthwash, so he couldn’t say anything, but he was trying to alert me to the fact that Steven was shaking his head insistently – he was answering me! Without words! My exceedingly verbal son was shaking his head as hard as he could in answer to my question – without making a single sound!
I pulled his pants up, sent him on way, and enjoyed a great laugh with Doug. Ah, our silly son.
And then I wondered – how much fun would parenting be if I would laugh at their antics more instead of being irritated by them? When my oldest gets tickled while doing her math flashcards, do I laugh or get impatient and remind her to get them done? When my middle child makes up a goofy word, do I remind her to use real words or just chuckle with her?
Parenting can be such fun! Yes, we do need to make sure we maintain boundaries and guidelines, but we also might do well to let the goofiness of our kids rub off on us just a bit every now and then. Who knows but that it might help us maintain those boundaries even better when our kids know we enjoy their silliness now and then!