A toddler’s prayer

We have begun praying together with Vera for quite a while now. And Vera has started to echo whatever we pray.

One particular evening, things started to get quite peculiar halfway through.

Here are the words to our prayer…

~~~

Dear God,

Dear God,

Thank you for the wonderful day we had.

Thank you for the wonderful day we had.

Thank you for the time we can spend together as a family.

Thank you for the time we can spend together with our family.

Thank you that Vera was such a good girl today,

Thank you that Vera was such a good girl today,

and JJ was such a good boy.

and JJ was such a good boy.

We pray for the week ahead.

We pray for the week on the head.

[Daddy and I swallow back our chuckles.]

We ask, Lord, that you be with us.

We ask, Lord, that you play with us.

[Laughing out loud now…]

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

~~~

Isn’t it funny how this goes to show what the important things really are to a 3 year old? Anyway, I think God’s pretty cool about it, after all, He created us with the desire to have fun, right?

Though I’m still not quite sure about the praying on the head part. Maybe it’s an expression of her desire to learn head-stands?

Have you had any funny conversations with your child lately?   

Let’s play dressing-up

We recently dug out a treasure chest of funny costumes, headgear, and toy guns. Vera pounced on it like a hungry tiger. Or maybe more like a rabbit princess…

Mummy says smile. Okay, I must smile.

Here’s our budding ballerina…

And now, a zorro-ine. (With an appropriate watcha-looking-at face.)

Obviously JJ is not a fan of the gauze skirt. Or maybe he’s just not in the dressing-up stage yet.

The daddy is obviously enjoying it though…I guess some kids just don’t grow up. 😛

Does your child love playing dress-up?

The tantrum

The Daddy and daughter were playing star jumps…

Then her mood changed,
swift and without warning.
Her eyes turned red, and she shook her head.
“It’s not like that”
Star jumps are not like that, she said.

Her daddy turned away, and she was left standing
in the same spot where the
jumps had been.

Mummy gave her the options:
Go have your milk, or go lie down on your bed.
She wanted neither,
she looked just about to burst.
And when a voice was raised, she did.

Mummy led the crying girl to her room, saying,
“You can stay here until you are ready.”
There were some screams and a pail of tears.

Then daddy came and she asked to be carried
so she can feel safe and loved again.
But we said, stop crying first.
Calm down.
Her sobs turned to whimpers,
her tears hung suspended
mid-cheek.

Lost in their moment of folly.

~~~

After the episode, we hugged and made up, and Vera said: “Sorry, papa…sorry, mummy”, without being prompted, for the very first time.

I learnt a big lesson that day. That we don’t need to let anger take over when something goes awry. And it need not be a battle between the big people and the little people. Sometimes, our little people just need a bit of help processing their emotions — which can be humongous by the way.

And because we stayed relatively calm through the entire episode, she was able to regain her feelings of normal-ness quicker and with less drama.

But it’s not always easy. I lose my cool more often than I would like, and I have to keep reminding myself to be more patient. What’s more, Vera seems to be at a stage where she can turn moody pretty quickly, when things are not done in the way that she expects. It’s a real challenge trying to get her to see things a little differently, but I guess as with everything else, she will learn. We just gotta keep at it, and hopefully it’ll be sooner rather than later.

Funny how something as innocent as star jumps could trigger a tantrum so quickly. But thankfully, this one went away as suddenly as it came.

Here is a photo of our little Shrek in a fit, taken at about 12 months.

angry shrek

What do you do when your little one throws a tantrum?

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Playing with my ABCs

These magnetic alphabets were taken off the fridge and lined up like a railway track.

Can you make out any words?

I thought for a moment that I spotted the word ‘eBay’, but oops the ‘I’ is where the ‘B’ should be.

Or maybe abacus spelt wrongly. ABYKS.

Anyway…

Nothing happier than a toddler who’s simply just playing with her alphabets.

Hmm, if we can’t find any words then this would be a very wordless Wednesday.

Communication with toddlers 101

It recently hit me. The realisation that I sometimes act like a military mum at home.

Vera, pick up your toys!

Vera, brush your teeth!

Vera, go to sleep now!

Hup, two, three, four, hup!

I sometimes secretly wish I could get her to drop 10 for me. Ahh, the unspoken thrills of a military mum.

I know I sound a bit smug, to think that I can wield this sort of power over my child. But guess what… I think I actually stop communicating with her when I go into this mode. I can even see her eyes glazing over, or switching attention to something else (anything for that matter). She may after some minutes comply with the instruction, but mostly when she catches mummy’s signature I-mean-business look.

But what do I mean when I say I stop communicating?

A close friend of mine recently shared with me what she picked up from a communications course. She shared that most of us are used to communicating as a means to an end — what we call task-oriented communication — as part and parcel of the busy lives we have grown accustomed to.

In the process of seeing communication as a means to get things done, we forget that communication, at its most basic, is all about loving and building relationships.

Particularly so in the home, and with our kids. If we only communicate when we need them to do something, and neglect that part of communication that is love-originated, and love-focused, can you imagine how our relationship with our children will be like?

Don’t get me wrong, I know rules and regulations have their place, that our kids need to learn obedience and to take on greater amounts of responsibilities as they grow. But in the midst of that, perhaps it’s good to call time-out everyday — just to love and to communicate out of that love.

No strings attached.

Unconditional love. Unconditional communication. Essentially, communication that is centred on the other person — my child. And usually, no words are required. More like a hug. Or two. Or just sitting beside her, watching her draw or fix a puzzle. That’s all I really need to do. The challenge is to be fully present, and I mean hundred percent, not multi-tasking or trying to reply whatsapp messages at the same time.

It’s hard, I know. Every fibre of my being screams out “I need to do ____ now, I can’t just sit here and not do anything!”

But it can be done. If we intentionally set aside time and energy to be fully available. It could even start with a few simple minutes a day, at a time when you feel most relaxed and unencumbered by your to-do list.

I don’t know about you, but the next time I’m tempted to do the military mum thing, I will come back to this quote.

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