Sometimes as I watch the toddler tornado run through the house, I try to remember that cherub-faced baby who was so calm and so laid back...because surely this is not the same kid.
Two came early to our house...
But you get it.
Two came at about 19 months old...he will be Two in May.
Two came with it's own opinions.
Two came with attitude.
Two came with crazy curiosity.
Two came with the need to run...EVERYWHERE.
Two says "i do it" and "NO"...alot.
Two wakes up happy most every morning.
Two wants to do everything Dada does.
Two has learned to climb (Heaven help us)
Two thinks whatever we have must have been his at one time and demands it's return immediately.
Two thinks if he has ever touched it that it then belongs to him and must never be touched by you.
Two is in time-out...often.
Two has learned how to say "I sorry".
Two gives great hugs.
Two demands and craves attention and affection from his parents.
For all the new-ness Two is bringing to our lives, we couldn't be happier. We have the priviledge of teaching him how to act in our family and in our community. That is OUR job, and we take it pretty seriously.
He is a sponge soaking up every little word, action and affection we give him.
He repeats everything!
He models everything!
He has changed the way we think, speak, drive and what we watch on TV.
When Kris and I were in youth ministry I read an article that said,(karis paraphrase)
"for all the time, energy and attention you spend on your young children and toddlers teaching them basic living skills like; the stove is hot, don't talk to strangers, hold my hand when you cross the street, etc... We should be spending double that amount of time teaching our teenagers how to become adults. Teenagers crave and want attention as much if not more than they did when they were toddlers."
That quote has stayed with me.
Kris and I saw that first-hand over our 7 yrs working with teenagers. They craved attention. And they would try to get it with good things or with bad.
Toddlers and teenagers have a lot in common.
As much as I think that having a toddler is hard, I know it will be twice as hard when he becomes a teenager. I can only imagine...the actions of a toddler with the vocabulary of a teenager.(Lord, help me!)
I guess I'm writing this blog more for future me than anything...and my promise to my future teenager. I feel like God gave us those years in youth ministry for many reasons. But one I feel was to make us better parents, and I just don't want to forget what those kids taught us.
Of the many conversations I remember with our youth, these topics came up the most:
I will not give up because I love you too much.
We will spend time with you because we love you.
We will spend time with you beacuse we want to be a big influence on your life.
We will not leave you at home alone while we go somewhere over nite or out of town...ever.
Yes, there will be consequences.
You can always tell us anything. No, we might not like it and no, it might not save you from being punished but it will be a whole lot better than when we find out from somewhere else.
Your friends are always welcome to stay for dinner.
We will be your biggest(and loudest)cheerleaders.
We will monitor your time online, your texts and any other new tech thing they have in 13 yrs. We will have all passwords and logins. You're too important to us to let you wander that world unsupervised.
You will spend a lot of time with your Dad.
There are very few things in your life that can not be taken away as a result of stupidity. Most of the things you "own" were given to you because we love you. Things I will never deprive you of: food, shelter, clothing, a mattress...oh and LOVE!
I will listen. Tell me about your day, your friends, your problems. I will not offer advise unless you ask. I will just listen.
Ask us questions. We will answer honestly. No matter what.
We may or may not embarress you...alot.
So...to future Karis, mother of Hank...and other children...
Don't give up.
Stay in the game.
Take the time.
Fight the good fight.
Pray him thru it.
He's a good boy, he's just learning how to be an adult. He's learning from watching his parents.