Do you ever find yourself repeating everything you say?
I read a friend’s Facebook post about how she is constantly repeating the same words of correction to her little ones and it brought back some funny memories. My favorite one is of a time that I took the children to a restaurant. Jonathan was still small enough to sit in a high chair and was not yet talking, but Caleb, the next one up was big enough to speak fairly clearly. Oh my, that brings up another, funny but embarrassing memory! Hmm, shall I share that one or not…I can’t decide. Anyway, back to the first flashback in time that prompted this jaunt down memory lane. We were sitting in the restaurant enjoying our meal and the waitress came over to speak to us. She commented on the children being well behaved and was trying to engage Jonathan’s attention. He just watched her as she said the things people say to little ones that can’t talk back. Then she asked him what his name was and since he couldn’t answer, Caleb jumped in the conversation. “His name is Jonathan No-No, and I am Caleb Benjamin Stop-It!” We all just stared at him for a second; I am not sure if he actually repeated it or if it was his words echoing inside my head…” Jonathan No-No, and Caleb Benjamin Stop-It, …Jonathan No-No, and Caleb Benjamin Stop-It!” My initial reaction was to be embarrassed, but then we all got tickled at the realization that Caleb was indeed correct- we all uttered those words countless times a day. It was just the stage of life they were in and it seemed the natural response to the situations that arose. I will confess that I was a bit dismayed that they heard it often enough to think it was part of their name!
Where has the time gone?
That seems like so long ago, especially now that we don’t have any toddlers that need that constant supervision and correction. It has only been a couple of years since we were in that stage with our youngest and I can clearly remember wondering if I would ever get to the stage when I could have a conversation without every other sentence being aimed at a misbehaving or straying toddler. Will I constantly be examining the contents of tiny, tightly clenched fists, or sticking my finger in someone else’s mouth to swipe from side to side in search of inedible contents? Not that these things are bad or that I minded doing them, it just seemed that these small interruptions distracted from the meaningful conversation I was trying to have with my husband or my older children. So here we are, our baby is six, and we haven’t had to stick our finger in his mouth in years, or change a diaper, and guess what…I really do miss it! I miss the joy of watching them experience things for the first time in their little lives, the wonder with which they approach everything! I miss not having a little one crawl up in my lap when they get tired or just need the reassurance that mom is there for them. And believe it or not, even though we have passed the stage of toddler interruptions, life and conversations do not take place without interruption! The phone rings, someone needs assistance with something, visitors drop in. Life keeps coming at you, perhaps the interruptions come in different shapes and forms, but they still cause distractions.
The seasons of life change so quickly!
Enjoy the season you are in to the fullest, because it truly won’t last forever. They really do outgrow the stage of blurting out those embarrassing things that only a child could get by with saying. Oh yeah, that other story! I think I will have to wait on that one, I’m not sure I am ready to share that one with the world. After all, the girl in the peach tank top that one of my children accused of not having a shirt on might read this someday! Remember, those Caleb Benjamin Stop-It’s and the Jonathan No-No’s grow up quickly, and as they grow into fine young people, you’ll be glad that you took the time to shape and mold them with those words of correction!
Surely I am not the only that has been publicly exposed by my children, I’d love to hear your experience!