When you first opened your eyes, The moment before I blinked With vista full of tears, I thought I saw The galaxy swirling. That a universe so incomprehensibly vast Could be confined to such small vessels.
As hopes and
All shot by at over eleven million miles per minute.
As you became,
I became something new under sun and moon.
More than dreams imagined.
Wishes turned truth.
With a soft cry pushed into being by tiny lungs.
I thought I saw the galaxy be born.
I believe I heard the voice of God.
Safety First: wear your helmet, buckle your seat-belt, tie your shoelaces, and always use a drink coaster before putting a beverage down on mommy’s nice end-table.
Learn to listen before speaking. You have two ears and one mouth which means you need to listen twice as much—especially to me, listen to me. Plus, people will just assume you’re smarter if you stay the strong, stoic type.
Inactivity kills. Get moving. But always use the potty before going on a long trip.
Wash your hands you filthy animal. Ain’t nobody got time to be sick.
Always do the right thing—which is usually the harder thing—and never assume that someone else will do it. Just be the one who does it.
Drink Dunkin’, not Starbucks.
Try not to care too much about what other people think. People are dumb. Except me and your mother. And your grandparents and maybe some of your other relatives. Also, probably the pastor. I guess there’s a handful of people that aren’t total nincompoops, but still.
Write down your goals and plans to accomplish them. Write down thoughts, inspirations, prayers, and checklists. When writing a list for the Internet, be sure to try and include an even 10 things like the “Top Ten List of Top Ten Lists.”
When you grow up and leave home, please remember to call your mother. You don’t have to call me.
Start and end each day with gratitude.
“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.” (Proverbs 1:8-9)
We have this little, wooden Noah’s Ark shape sorter—a toy set with pairs of animals that match slots in the ark so your little one can put the animals inside. (God’s judgment poured out on the entire earth always seemed like an odd choice for nursery paintings and children toys… but I guess it is a convenient way to teach animal names?)
The other day, our two-year-old (or two-and-a-half, thank you very much) was playing with this wooden ark toy. What transpired was equal parts hilarious and horrifying. A sight to behold; a just can’t look away at the impending disaster moment.
In her infinite creativity and premature cynicism, our cute, precious, little child was grabbing the various animals out of the ark, one by one, and throwing them out into “the ocean” and commanding the wooden figurines to “Swim you animals! Swim giraffe! Swim zebra! Swim lion! Swim!” The only thing missing was a maniacal cackle.
I guess these animals had been found wanting, and now they would feel the full measure of wrath of 26 pounds of pure, unbridled princess rage. The day of reckoning had come.
I’m really not sure what lesson to take from this. Don’t mess with the princess, I guess. You shall rue the day. But everyone already knows that. Also, learn to swim just in case you ever find yourself in an Aqua-Armageddon scenario.
Do you have a terrifying toddler tale? Let me know, and we can commiserate with one another on that true life.
Our niece and nephew recently offered some interesting insight into the miracle of childbirth. As a little context, my wife is currently very pregnant—like within two weeks of delivery pregnant!
The conversation centered around the whole “got a bun in the oven” idiom, which they found rather perplexing. The discussion quickly turned to making toast, I suppose because they were more familiar with cooking bread in a toaster rather than an oven.
However, their toaster doesn’t quite work at the optimal level. The toast doesn’t just pop out when it’s ready. You have to manually push the lever in order to retrieve your warm, crispy wheat square. And sometimes, the lever gets stuck and it’s rather difficult to get the toast out.
At this point, my brother-in-law was able to point out to his children the meaning of this timely metaphor: getting toast out of the broken toaster is just like getting a baby out of the mommy… except without a lever, I guess?
So, when my wife is writhing in pain during the delivery, I’ll just need to remind her not to fret and that it’s just like making toast.
Well, now it’s time to grab some seasonal pumpkin butter and enjoy a slice of processed gluten with high fructose corn syrup.
Welcome to another tickling tidbit of Thrilling Tales of Toddlerdom!
The other day I was sitting with our toddler (me on a stool, her on the potty) and waiting for the punctually scheduled morning bowel movement. After one-two-three little grunts and a squinched up face like a dehydrated lemon, I knew we had another successful fiber deposit.
Suddenly, she peeked down into the toilet bowl and exclaimed with astonishment, “Oh! There’s a mommy poop and a daddy poop and a baby poop—the baby poop goes ‘waahhh!’” A terrific example of transfer and application of knowledge. A truly laugh out loud moment.
No convoluted life metaphor this week. I’m not comparing poo portions to some deeper philosophical thought. Just: it’s good to take time to find and enjoy the funny moments in life. At work, over a meal, in bed, or on the potty; allow yourself a chortle or two. Enjoy the odd and comical and absurd, like warm soup for a sick soul.
On one such day, when our wobbly, bobbly toddler heard the roaring clouds, she exclaimed with fierce certainty, “The thunder is loud…! Just like me!” Oh yes, the thunder is loud just like you. Well, almost. Maybe the thunder isn’t quite that loud.
It reminds me of the often reconceptualized proverb: “Fate whispers to the warrior, ‘You cannot withstand the coming storm.’ The warrior whispers back, ‘I am the storm.’”
Perhaps you’re in the midst of a cruel storm right now. It’s dark and deafening and there’s no end in sight. But let me tell you a secret: the storm is not greater. The sun rises, not the night. Darkness never covers the light. The smallest flame spreads and illuminates the entire room.
When the thunder yells, you can yell right back: “I know you are, but what am I‽” 😝
And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about. – Haruki Murakami