23 hours and 37 1/2 minutes with a toddler


Often, We get the chance to babysit my brother’s and sister-in-law’s child, a two-year-old toddler. The baby is a delight, the first baby in our family in over 30 years. So you can imagine we are all absolutely ga-ga.

So, this Sunday, Toddler stayed overnight because the parents needed our help with a Dr. appt. the next morning. We always have fun when Toddler stays over. God bless my brother and his wife, Hubby and I only get a small taste of what they excel at everyday.  I never thought I’d be pulling leftover MickyD’s hashbrowns out of my purse at the end of the day!  But oh, how worth it!

And, of course, this weekend was the weekend my husband finally decided the time was right to remodel the living room, something I’d been nagging about for over a year. He does things in his own time, you see. But it made no difference to Toddler, because, like in many areas, Toddler approaches any situation with the innocence and acceptance of a child. We learn a lot from her.

For instance, yesterday, Toddler put me in my place with one word. One of MY words. We were playing, and she distributed two small throw pillows between us. We played with them awhile, then I tossed mine frim my chair over to her on the couch with a “Wheee!” Great fun we were having. Later, when we were putting away her toys, she’s really good at that, she started tossing them a little hard into the basket. So I told her that she needed to be careful, we don’t throw toys, she cocks her little angelic head at me, grins with a knowing-that-she-has-my-number twinkle in her eye and says, “Wheee!” Then grins wider, actually smirks (I swear, she smirked) turns away and begins collecting more toys.

Oh my. Nothing like being pointed out as a hypocrite by a two-year old. Wow.

Anyway, each time we keep her, I wonder if, in fact, I am too old to be thinking about having a kid of our own. I know, it would be different to have a child from scratch, so to speak, and get used to the routine. One thing I know though, is that when I’m around Toddler, getting up in the mornings isn’t a chore. And that says a lot, everyone who knows me knows what a dud I am in the mornings. I am constantly amazed while I watch Toddler learn new things, things I take for granted. Looking through her large, crystal clear eyes, I look at life differently. When I am around her, I see things more purely.

I think we could all use a dose of that, a washing away of the heaps of cynicism and tainted life experience, like Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9, New Testament) when the scales were removed from his eyes by Ananias, by the command of the Lord, and he saw the light. Saul was one of the most viscious men to persecute Jesus, threatening any who would proclaim Christ as the Messiah. Often, I think, when life doesn’t go our way, we rail against it and become so side-swiped by the disappointments or blase about life in general, we become blinded too. Until a truly remarkable experience or person comes along, and removes the scales from our eyes. When Jesus met Saul on the road to Damascus, He asked Saul why he persecuted Him. Then Saul was stricken blind, and told what he must do.

What happens when someone has lost their sight? They have to pay attention to life in a different way. They have to listen, really listen and attempt to understand what is going on around them. And then someone extraordinary comes along and helps them see how things should be. The way children do naturally. Jesus sent Saul to Ananias in Damascus. Toddler was sent to my brother and his wife, who share their gift with us. So I can’t help but think that we all should be more like Toddler. Because Toddler is more like Jesus than anyone I know.

_________________

Don’t forget about Romantically Inclined’s new Romantic Notions chat, this Saturday, October 14th at 8 p.m. EST! It’s the grand opening, and there will be a lot of fun and prizes to go around!

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2 Comments on “23 hours and 37 1/2 minutes with a toddler”

  1. Bonnie says:

    I think that’s why Jesus loved children.

    I don’t think you’re too old, April. I know it’s awfully difficult, though, to keep on hoping and waiting.

  2. desperatewriter says:

    Thanks, Bonnie. We haven’t given up hope yet…


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