Military Family, Food, & Fitness Fenestrations

Raising the Bar on Personal Expectation

A little about Parenthood

You must already know that there is no sweeter, more pure sound than the genuine, heartfelt, bubbling laughter that flows out of the mouths of our young toddlers. Anyone fortunate enough to be within hearing range of that literal shower of joy and warmth can not doubt but that they are being offered a fleeting glance of what heaven must be like.

Lately other things have been flowing out of our son’s sweet mouth, falling wayshort of heavenly but certainly not hilarity.

I assign nicknames to items or creatures with exceptional value in my life, and the names have no particular underlying rationale or make any sense whatsoever except to me, the only person in the entire world who has any interest in using them. Hearing our son call the dog “Mr. Lookey” immediately doubled me over in delighted mirth. No one else probably understands this.

But anyway, some of my slogans aren’t so sweet when used out of context, so it was to my initial deep mortification to hear our son inform the dog in high-pitched insistence that he had a STINKY BUTT and that he planned to SHOOT him. He waited for a crowded place to tell me the same thing and to take a big handful of my offending butt. Our son is an exceptional speaker for a 2.5 year old, and his volume appears to have an inverse relationship with polite speech. Even if 80% of the Germans around here didn’t speak perfect English, “stink” has the same meaning, and the words “butt” and “shoot” are universal.

Adaptation is necessary for survival, and I think it is because God understands our disparate situation that he has gifted mothers with the skill for promptly achieving it. I don’t get embarrassed by my son’s outbursts nor even by the (so far infrequent) tantrums he pulls in crowded places anymore. This is something I could never understand before as a non-mom. Being on occasion a first-person witness to toddler tantrums was equitable to 100% effective birth control for us, and certainly one of the major factors responsible for our 9-year delay.

Everyone has a different experience and a unique and perfectly justifiable perspective to share, but me — if I could do it all again — I would never delay. My priorities are refocused, material objects just don’t hold much worth anymore, my empathy has deepened, our marriage has strengthened, and I am experiencing wonder and gaining appreciation for normal everyday phenomena all over again. Well, that’s my story 85% of the time, anyway. 75%?

…like this morning, when Ian finally realized that directing his peestream can be fun. Fortunately one of the perks about having a 2.5 year old is that you can completely convince them that cleaning up is a blast too (I will enjoy this short-lived phase as long as I can). Now he just needs to get a little better at it (that does happen eventually, right?) and I can set him loose on the house….

What are your experiences and some novel discoveries you’ve shared with your mouthy toddler?


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