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by Lori Ann
I woke up this morning to a banging on the door. It was 8:12 am. I’d slept in nearly 2 hours past usual, but it didn’t feel like enough. I tried to calculate whether we’d been up more than 2 hours over night, but I wasn’t sure.
“Mama? Mama?” I heard at the door. I smiled, and rolled across the bed so I’d only need to take a few steps to open the door. There stood Tigger, grinning up at me. “Mama! Mama!”
“Shh, Mama’s sleeping… oh….” Baba said as he caught up with our quick new walker. “It’s okay, I’m up now,” I reassured, taking Tigger up in my arms and thankful Baba took her this morning so I’d have some time to sleep in (even though I found out later they’d only been up about 10 minutes).
by Lori Ann
Ever wish you were a little kid again?
Last week, Tigger didn’t feel very good (diarrhea throughout the day and keeping us all up at night) and developed a cute after-nap habit to replace her usual one, which is standing up and walking over to her stuffed animals to play the moment she awakens. For three days while was sick though, she woke, called for me, pointed to her shelf of stuffed animals, and requested, “ng” (it means “want”). I handed her a stuffed animal.
She played with it for a few seconds, pointed back at the shelf, and another “ng”. Then repeated until she had all the stuffed animals. I thought it was so funny I had Baba take a picture the second day she did it (above). I even had a few meditations on the way she depended completely on me to provide for her that which she wanted, which helped me notice in my reading in John the next day that Jesus fed the five thousand “as much as they wanted” (not just “needed”; from chapter 6).
I often wish I were — or at least acted more like — a little kid again. With a child’s trust, problem solutions, and complete dependence on Mama and Baba to make everything better. And to bury all yucky feelings in a pile of soft cuddly animal friends!
by Lori Ann
Listening to Tigger’s favorite new musician, Frances England, playing via Pandora radio. Seeing perfect skies, feeling a pleasant breeze, from the open living room window. Smelling apple salsa boiling in the rice cooker. Tasting sticky-with-fruit fingers as I kiss Tigger’s hands.
Thankful to be a Mama today.
What Mama moments did you hear, see, feel, smell, and taste this week?
by Saruskabeth, of http://www.threeinthree.com
At midnight, on a cold february day in 2007, I held in my hands a tiny, wrinkled, screaming infant. And I fell in love. Every day, all day long, I would kiss his little fingers and belly and toes and nose and tell him “I love you.” When he gazed up at me in awe, I told him, “I love you.” When he cooed and smiled and (finally!) laughed, I told him, “I love you!” When he cried and screamed, I told him, “I love you!” He learned to roll over, crawl, walk, talk…and everyday he heard, “I love you! I love you!”
I love my children with everything I am. They are my world, my priority above all else. But as they get older, as the “novelty” wears off, so to speak, there are moments, sometimes days, when I don’t express my love as easily as I once did. When Dewy spills his juice for the fourth time, or when Paby looks me in the face and screams, “YOU’RE NOT MY FRIEND ANYMORE!” When Mazzen throws a fit because I won’t leave my boobie hanging out all day, and when the boys destroy their room moments after I finish putting everything away.
And to be completely honest, in those moments I don’t feel very loving. I feel angry. Taken advantage of. Disrespected. At the very least frustrated. And, rather than speak out of love, I sometimes speak out of anger. I say, “you’re driving me crazy!” And “why are you trying to make me mad?” In those moments, I put the boys in time out and say, “you’re being very naughty,” and “I don’t want to hear it.”
One particularly rough day I became more agitated than I can ever remember being at a child. I was so angry I couldn’t speak. I clenched my fists at my sides, felt my jaw grow stiff, when to my surprise, I heard a voice in my head say “I love you.” I looked at my child’s tearful face and realized that he was fully aware of how angry I was; he didn’t need to hear me say it. What he did need was reassurance. So I knelt down, took him by the hands and said, “I love you.” And oh, the relief that flooded my body and my son’s face! To know that, despite his misbehavior and disobedience, he was still loved!!!
It struck me then how important it is to express your love; not just when the warmth of it overwhelms your senses to the point you can’t help but say it, but when you are so angry you don’t want to. Kids are strong, yet fragile. They aren’t fully in control of their actions, and can become frustrated at themselves when they feel they have disappointed a parent. Just to know that, despite their outburst, their behavioral faux pas, they are still loved…it can change everything.
Now, when one of my children does something that makes me angry, I remind myself of a few things.
1.) I’m not going to actually go insane because the kids are acting up.
2.) No, they really don’t try to infuriate me.
3.) This is the child I carried in my womb for nine months, in my arms for many more, and will carry in my heart for eternity.
Paby, Dewy, Mazzen, Baby#4: I love you. I always will.
by Lori Ann
“God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt” — this playground chant was popular when we ate outside on nice spring days, especially if an especially tasty treat fell to the ground. 10+ years later and the chant comes back to mind frequently these days as I realize how futile (and scientifically speaking, harmful) it is to keep Tigger away from every bit of good-old-fashioned dirt.
Unfortunately, the local Grandmas don’t agree, and “dirty” will probably be Tigger’s first word in Chinese.
I’ll give you three hints:
1.) I have been living off ice water and soda crackers.
2.) Madison’s new favorite game is pretending to throw up in the toilet.
3.) I started sobbing uncontrollably a few days ago because Payten sweetly offered to share his favorite toy with his little brother.
by Lori Ann
In the local (Yi minority) culture where we live, a married couple who has grown attached to another family’s child can propose a “new name” for that child. If accepted, the married couple becomes the godparents for the child, and there is a special relationship between the birth parents and these godparents. If the child was formerly naughty, it is also hoped that this new name and these new parents will change that, too (our friends joked about this, but I don’t think they took that part seriously).
We were excited and blessed to enter this relationship with close friends of ours who named Tigger, “Snake-Flower Girl” in the minority language. I don’t have any photos of our family — villagers rarely sit still long enough for a photo, which I suppose is true of most traditional farmers! — but here we are enjoying the hospitality of their home. Ah, the simple life!
by Lori Ann
No, we certainly did not find all of the above items under the couch at one time. No, Baba is not right 90% of the time when he answers “probably under the couch” to any “where is …?” question. No, Tigger does not hide plastic bottles like a puppy buries bones. No, there is not only one actual toy in the collection we found.
And, in case you weren’t sure: yes, this is a “Not-Me Monday*” post.
What did you absolutely NOT do today?