February 21, 2012

Adios, Sweets

Once again, I am giving up desserts, sweets, and sugary treats for Lent. We need this break from each other, trust me. I will keep you posted on how it goes.

February 11, 2012

Levi Lately, Part II

Levi is emerging from a strange phase wherein his typically sunny disposition disappeared behind a cloud of whiny, disobedient discontentment. I can't parse how much of his unpleasantness stemmed from his aforementioned trauma and how much comes with the territory of being a two year old, but it was an unpleasant phase, and I am glad it seems to be gone.

Before Levi returned to the land of sweetness and light, he offered me some glimpses into my own heart, and I didn't always like what I saw. Here is one example.

One day I decided it would be sporting of me to load up the kids and take them to the playground so Levi could have a chance to ride his birthday bike. He hadn't been able to ride it for several months, so it seemed reasonable to give him another go at it. Well, in addition to the normal struggles of getting two kids buckled in the car and bringing the Baby Bjorn so that Shields could nap at the playground, this task held a few extra challenges:

1. Go to the garage to look for the bike.

2. Discover the garage was locked and call Lindon to find out where the keys might be.

3. Go back to the house to get the keys.

4. Locate and extract the bike from the rubble of our lives in the garage.

5. Load the bike into the car to take to the playground.

And then there was the self-inflicted problem of me declaring my intentions to Levi before even beginning step 1. Because of this critical mistake, I had to complete steps 1-5 while being followed by a whiny narrator who began to seriously doubt whether we would ever get to the park.

"Levi ride bike? Levi ride bike park? Levi ride bike park? Levi ride bike park?"
"Yes, Levi," I answered. "We are going to take your bike the park so that you can ride it...after I find it."

This conversation repeated over and over with increasing desperation in Levi's voice.

Finally I located the bike, returned the garage keys, and prepared to load the bike in the car. At this point Levi was elated to see his bike, and the thought of having to wait any longer to ride it was simply more than he could bear. He got on the bike and tried to ride it down the driveway (which would have been pretty dangerous given the slope of the driveway) when I stopped him and ordered him off. He melted down, assuming he was not going to get to ride his bike at all.

"Levi ride bike park!" he sobbed.

I tried my darnedest to keep my cool up until now, but this tantrum was the last straw. As I made Levi go inside to have his tantrum out of earshot and loaded the bike into the car, I thought to myself, "Levi, don't you know that I am a good mom who desires to give good gifts to her children? Don't you know that your having to wait to ride your bike is simply because I want to take you to a better, safer place to ride?"

Of course, the answer to these questions is no, my two year old doesn't understand these things. And it made me wonder if my prayers to God sometimes sound like Levi's requests to ride his bike.

"Job? Job for Lindon? Job for Lindon soon? Job for Lindon soon? Job for Lindon soon? Job for Lindon soon?"

And my little tantrums because a job hasn't come yet probably closely resemble Levi's tantrums at having to wait for his bike ride. Except that I DO have some knowledge of God's goodness, even though Levi cannot fully comprehend his mother's intentions. And still, God doesn't lose his patience with me when I throw a tantrum the way I lose my patience with Levi.

Ultimately, Levi did get to ride his bike that day and enjoy a sunny afternoon at the playground. And I repented of my uncharitable response to Levi and my lack of faith.

Here is Levi riding his bike on a different, less stressful occasion when we went down to the boat launch to ride. The Allegheny is beautiful this time of year, and Levi loves his "river track" for riding.

February 2, 2012

Levi Lately

Levi has been through a lot in the past two months.

It is hard to know what Levi might be like at 27 months of age if he did not recently gain a little brother, lose every friend he has ever known, and take up residence at the home of his grandparents who until yesterday had not even been here.

I say this because I often forget how much this little guy has endured, and I find my patience wearing very thin. This could also be due to how much I have endured in the past two months, but still.

Levi's newest hobby is talking. Constantly. About everything. We joke that he is preparing for a career as a narrator. From what we are eating to what we are doing to what he sees as we drive, Levi describes everything. Unfortunately, the narrator has no off switch, no filter, and no mute button. The requests "be quiet" or "stop talking" are parroted back to us, but not heeded.

Yesterday the narration was at its usual feverish pitch, and I was weary of it. So, during lunch I started simply ignoring him. After roughly 9 seconds of quiet, Levi said, "All done talking?" I tried to encourage this line of discussion. "You can be all done talking," I replied. Instantly Levi got weepy and pleaded, "No all done talking!"

Fine. You win, kid. Can't keep the narrator from practicing his craft.