The other day, my 4-year-old son and I were looking for bugs, and he wanted to hold a “roly-poly”. He was having a good time. I looked away and turned back, and I didn’t see the roly poly anymore. I asked where it went, and he said, “I smushed him with my fingers because I was done playing with him.” I told him sternly that we don’t do that, and later when he was recounting the scene to Amanda, he said, “I smushed him, which was not nice—He is dead, and he needs a Jesus roly poly to make him come back alive again.” I almost peed my pants. I think Amanda spit out whatever was in her mouth.
My younger son, who is two, just figured out that he can bother my older just as much as he is harassed him. Aaaaaaaaah… these kids… How did you do it, Mom and Dad?! Sometimes I secretly wonder if there were more of us kids to begin with and Mom and Dad only kept the better products alive….my 2-year-old is super cute though.
My older son is crazy, funny, frustrating, and messy. He loves to draw! He is very good at taking apart clicky pens and putting them back together successfully, springs and all. Sometimes, he doesn’t feel like putting them back together and thinks that playing with the ink is more fun—as we learned last week. I got home from work, and he was in his room having some quiet time and drawing. When I went to check on him a while later, he had pen ink smeared all over his face, legs, arms, stuffed animals, dresser, bed, box fan, and the walls of his bedroom. It was like someone threw a paint grenade in there. I started to yell and told him he could never use a pen again, when he burst into tears and said, “Daddy, Daddy, I drew a picture for you, see?! See, Daddy, this is for you!” I almost burst into tears looking at him with tears streaming down his face and his bottom lip quivering just trying to show me his accomplishment. Whelp… So much for that discipline… Daddy’s a sucker and just melted like Silly Putty melts into carpet (another story for some other time…). I gave him a big hug and told him how proud I was of his drawing. I still told him that his stuffed animals were gone and that he could never use pens again (today, he is still only drawing with pencils).
This experience allowed me to reflect on the Savior’s atonement for each of us. I thought of how many times I have screwed up in my life and the Lord has been very patient with me. It was those experiences, knowing that I have been in my 4 year old’s shoes so many times throughout my life, that allowed me to keep my cool and be proud of his drawing. It was difficult, and I was still very disappointed in his behavior, but I wanted him to know I was proud of his accomplishments. I feel this is how the Savior is with each of us. He is disappointed when we make poor decisions that we know are wrong, but He is there for us to join us in our celebrations of our accomplishments, and He encourages us to make better choices in the future.
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WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:
- Photo, messy pen—www.justdezineit.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=316
- Photo, “Roly Polies, Rolled And Unrolled”—the-most-popular-girls-in-school.wikia.com/wiki/Rachel_Tice
- Photo, “Splatter Of Ink”—apowl.com/how-ink-is-made/
- Photo, “Family Studies Scriptures Together”—Ensign, Aug 2013, Page 3, photo illustration by Cody Bell
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