Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Tots on a Tuesday {Trouble, but totally adorable, Tabitha}

So far, my "Tots on a Tuesday" posts have been more about what I do with my little boys, who are 4 and 2.

All of a sudden, it's Tabitha that's also becoming my "Tot"!

She is getting bigger, and suddenly getting more "grown up".  She is understanding more, doing more, and trying to talk more.  I told her she needed her nappy changed, and off she toddled and got a nappy and wipes! She's no longer my baby, she's growing up.

Today, that truth hit home in a slightly different way.  She's started doing things that I remember Simeon doing - pulling the children's plates and bowls out of the drawer they live in.  Then, she was pulling my purse out of my handbag, which I quickly returned to where it belonged.  This afternoon, I was doing science with the older children, and thought Simeon and Tabitha were just playing upstairs. I should have learnt by now - silence, with tots, is not always golden...

I went upstairs, later on, to find a trail of disaster.

My purse (pocketbook?) was now upstairs, totally emptied, with the contents strewn across the girls bedroom.  The toy room had toys all over the floor.  There was an entire bottle of strawberry scented bubble bath tipped all over my bath in my en suite.

Yes, my tot is getting in "trouble".

To be fair, a good part of it was her older brother leading her astray.  Regardless, it heralds the beginning of a new phase.   I have come to realise this phase can be challenging...

For a first time mother, this phase can be exhausting, and leave you feeling like the men in white coats should be on stand by, ready to whisk you away.  It's a stage where they are working out they can DO stuff, and then doing it.  ALL THE TIME. It's a trying stage, for sure.  It doesn't need to be a negative one, though.  If you are going to be a mother who takes charge of her life, this phase just requires a few simple realisations.

* It's a time for training
The reason why a small person starts to get into mischief is because they are developing and learning.  They are trying out new found skills, and their wonderfully created little brains are working out that they can do things they couldn't do before. To begin with, it's not wilful disobedience, it's just exploring.  This is where the training part comes in, if you want to try to avoid immense frustration.  You need to then TEACH them what they should and shouldn't do.  Train them what's ok, and what's not ok. Take the TIME to do it. It doesn't just happen naturally, I have found! It's our role, as the parent, to teach them. It's not easy, and it takes a lot of time, and effort, but it IS worth it.

* It's a phase
When you remember that "this too, shall pass", it helps you get through it.  Sure, some days will seem looooooong, and you will be pleading for it to be bedtime, as your little one gets into one pickle after another. However, it won't be long before they are out of that phase, and have learnt what they can and can't do. They grow up SO quickly. I am sure it was just yesterday that it was Joshua I was training. Hang on, that was 12 years ago. Yikes.

* God provides for ALL your needs
You know those days where you are screaming, in your head at least, "I CAN'T DO THIS!"?  You're right. YOU can't. God equips those He calls, and He called YOU to be a mother.  He gave us our precious children, and will provide for all our needs, as we seek to raise them to His glory.  God providing for our needs isn't simply some promise for our "daily bread". It's for ALL our needs.  If you need patience to deal with a toddler, God will provide it.  If you need wisdom to discern how best to train your little one, God will provide it.  If you need physical strength because your day has been demanding, God will provide it.  If you need a sense of humour because the day has only been filled with despair, God will provide it. We can do it, because God is our strength.

* The trying moments balance out with the sweet
All those times when you feel like you say "no", over and over and over, and THEN, you get those precious moments when they hug you. Or they say a new word.  Or they finally obey when you tell them "no". Or they just SMILE at  you.  There are endless little precious moments when you realise that it's all totally worth it. Children ARE a blessing, all the time. Blessings are not dependant upon life being perfect. Blessings are not based upon things all going well.  Blessings are not based on how we feel, or how we act.  Blessings are a gift from God, seen most clearly when we look through eyes of thankfulness, and not frustration.

My day didn't end with that list of trouble.  Let's just say that poo was involved.  Thankfully I didn't jump to the conclusion that I first came to, and that naughtiness was involved. (You KNOW, don't you? - if you have small people, you KNOW that yucky, naughty moments can happen, right?) I remained calm, and ascertained that it was my shoddy nappy fastening that had caused the trial. That same adorable little person is still the one who, having given me a kiss goodnight, whilst I was in the middle of something, but didn't hug me, looked all sad and said "Mummy, CUDDLE"!

Tots can be trouble, without doubt, but totally adorable, too.

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