Marme and E and WC

I love you to the moon and back again…

The Negotiator

The NegotiatorThe Priceline Negotiator has nothing on E. I often marvel at the maneuvering skills he has when it comes to just about anything he wants. Case in point: he loves sweets. His life revolves around when can he get sweets, how can he get sweets, and just how many sweets he can have in one day. Meals, not so much.

Recently, I was on the phone with his mother and he says, “I need energy”, which translated means he wants a snack. But below the surface in his acute negotiating mind he is thinking, “If I eat a healthy snack, then I will get some Easter candy.” The snack is merely a means to an end to get what he really wants–candy.

It didn’t take long before he figured this technique out. He is so good at it that you often don’t even realize when he is negotiating until he walks away with exactly what you knew he wanted. It’s almost comical at times.

The last time I was in Dallas I took him to the mall for a day of fun–translated riding the train, getting a cookie, and a visit to the Disney store. On the way in the car, he says, “Maybe we can find some super hero shoes.” I said sure, but we’re just going to look because I knew his Mommy wasn’t exactly gung ho on the idea. When we found some at the store, he tells me, “I promise I will only wear these when Mommy says I can. I will still wear my Pumas.” He knew that the only way he was getting those shoes was to negotiate a compromise. Smart little kid. He got the shoes.

And on the heels of E comes WC. I wonder what his tactic will be? I’m sure E will teach him well.

 

 

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The terrible 3’s?

photo(4)The twos are gone. And the threes are in full swing. The twos may be for the temper tantrums. The threes are for challenging every aspect of authority with a firm, “no”. With all the strength they can muster they begin to exert their independence.

It’s hard to believe that the sweet little baby boy that you once held in your arms can make the most awful faces, turn away in anger, and point his fist at you in defiance. But he does. And it’s not pretty.

Sometimes, though, you just have to laugh. And that makes it hard to tow the line with discipline. At the same time, you know he’s just testing the waters and trying to figure out where the line in the sand is. No parent likes this phase, and neither do the grandparents.

Here’s the good news though . . .this too shall pass. Soon the fours will come, and then the fives, and then you will be knee deep in puberty. At least, we’ve got baby WC to remind us that the sweet little boy we fell in love with three years ago is still there–hiding inside of the rebellious little toddler.

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Genes and the Next Generation

Photo by KM Digital Images

Photo by KM Digital Images

I can’t begin to explain how overwhelmed with joy I feel at this moment. WC entered our world on February 28th at a whopping 7lbs 2 oz (much smaller than his big brother). He is the most even tempered, calm baby anyone could ask for. Even more so than E (and E was the best!).

It’s hard to explain grandparenthood to those who have never experienced it. Much like it’s hard to explain parenthood. But your heart bursts with love for these new little family members. It could be because you get to experience childhood all over again. Or it could be that you see a little of their mommy or daddy in them, a little of yourself, and even their grandparents and aunts and uncles. That’s how cool genes are–they carry a little bit of us to the next generation.

Grandchildren make you more aware of your mortality and thankful beyond words that you get to experience this aspect of life with your own children. Watching them be parents and experience what you felt so many years ago is priceless. Knowing that everything you taught them is going to be passed down to another generation is mind numbing and awe inspiring. It’s just how God planned it to be.

For me, it’s even more special I think because there was a time when I didn’t think I would even live to see my kids graduate from high school, let alone see them have kids of their own. And yet, here I am. It don’t take any day for granted and I wake up every morning thankful to be allowed the time. The time to watch my kids grow, and watch them have kids of their own. It’s the greatest gift of all and it’s nothing short of a miracle.

Every time I see E’s smile it reminds me of my mother. His willingness to give and share, reminds me of my father. WC’s little feet and lanky legs remind me of his grandfather and great grandfather. Only time will tell as he grows what other family members we will see in him.

There’s nothing like seeing a child being born to make you realize that your life should have meaning and purpose–what better way than to pass a little of yourself on to the next generation.

 

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And then there were four

e shirt

It’s happening. E is going to be a big brother. The grandpuppies are going to have another little person in the house to torment them. I’m going to be a grandmother…again. Everyone’s life will change forever.

E has no idea what is going to happen. He just knows there’s a baby in his mommy’s tummy. What he doesn’t know is :

  • He will no longer be the center of attention
  • Mommy and Daddy will be focusing on the baby–all the time
  • He will be sharing his toys (eventually)
  • The grandpuppies might become his friend (especially since there is another torturer in the house and they will need protection)
  • The baby is going to be LOUD (something he does not like)
  • Instead of Cars he may have to watch Baby Einstein
  • Another child means some sacrifices (fewer cake pops)

Lucky for him he doesn’t know. At least for now, anyway.

When my son was 2 1/2 E’s mommy entered his world. He was so excited to get a baby sister. That was until she was the picture of cuteness and stole everyone’s heart. Then the competition began. He loves his sister but little girls often steal everyone’s heart.

As of now, we don’t know if it’s going to be a brother or a sister. But one thing is for sure, the baby will change everyone’s life. Another little one to love, spoil, and treasure. God is definitely good!

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Kids say the darnedest things

Years ago Art Linkletter used to talk to kids on his show and ask them questions. They would come up with the most interesting answers. Today, it’s the AT&T commercial with the guy sitting on the stool with the kids asking them questions like, “What is the biggest number?”

Kids. They come up with some of the most hilarious things to say when their vocabulary takes off. E is no different. When he says them we look at each other and ask, “Where did he come up with that?”

That sounds like fun.

When he turned two, and the terrible tantrums began, we started giving him something to look forward to. It seemed to curtail the anxiety and helped ease the transition from place to place. It wasn’t long before he started saying, “That sounds like fun.” And then everything sounded like fun. Let’s eat–that sounds like fun. Let’s read some books–that sounds like fun. Let’s feed the dogs–that sounds like fun.

Please I can

In the process of teaching him to say “please” and “thank you”, he started saying, “Please I can…” for everything. Please I can play with my cars? Please I can watch “Cars”. He’s three and got the words turned around. But every time he says it we all have to smile.

That’s not tasty

Just the other day we gave him some new treats. He took one bite and said, “That’s not tasty.” We have no clue where he came up with that. He had never used “tasty” before.

What about we…?

What about we build a garage? What about we go to the park? What about we play with play dough? Everything is “what about we…” lately. Again–no clue where this one came from.

Hey baby doll.

The most recent darnedest thing he said and did was to grab your face and say, “Hey, baby doll”. This one was an absolute shocker.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

This one isn’t funny. He picked it up watching a Pixar film and one character says it one time. My daughter is working to get him to stop saying it.

Kids are so incredibly impressionable. They hear things and repeat them without knowing exactly what they are saying. That’s why it’s so important to say the best things, be encouraging and stay positive. If he’s anything like his Uncle R.D., he’s going to be a talker (and I mean talker).

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Potty training isn’t for cowards

potty trainingThe games have begun. E is almost three and the time has come to get him potty trained before school starts. E has other ideas, however.

If you get online, there are thousands of sites, books, forums and parenting groups who discuss the subject extensively. There are songs you can sing to motivate them. There are pottys that sing when they are successful. There are those who advocate rewards as an incentive: stickers, m&m’s, small toys and the like. Some say you shouldn’t rush them until they let you know they are ready. Others say that’s an excuse for bad parenting. Honestly you could drive yourself nuts listening to all these opinions and tips.

When my kids were little, we didn’t have all these resources. I do remember, however, telling a friend of mine at the time that of all the obstacles I had faced with my children thus far, potty training was the worst. She said, “Suzanne, potty training ain’t nothing compared to raising teenagers.” I cringed. At the time I was struggling with training my daughter who was unusually obstinate about the entire process.

E is following in her footsteps. He knows what to do. He just prefers not to do it. After explaining to him that if he at least tries, he will get an M&M, he concocted a plan. (Of course he didn’t really, but he figured it out for himself). If he simply tried to go, he would get some candy. So…..he wanted to go to the bathroom often. He would sit there for a bit and announce, “I think I’ll try again later.” Then he asked for his M&M.

Someday this will all be behind them, but for now, it seems like they will never reach the summit. One good thing: I don’t have to do it. And another good thing: I don’t have to do it!

 

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Lighten up!

Sometimes in life it’s difficult to find things to laugh about, especially as you get older. That’s why God gave us grandchildren. All you have to do is look at their smiling faces or listen to them laugh and you can’t help but smile.

E has finally started singing and it’s been so much fun listening to him pick up on songs and in his own way attempt to “sing” them. Lucky for me, I videotaped one of those songs when I was with him a few weeks ago–The Wheels on the Bus. I don’t think there are many of us that don’t know that words to that song. If you don’t, you won’t understand a word he’s saying. So here’s a quick translation: the wheels go round and round, the wipers go swish swish swish, the driver says move on back, the babies go waa waa waa, and the people go up and down all through the town.

If you’ve not smiling today, this little guy will make you laugh and smile, and hopefully remind you that “a  happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful heart brings healing” (Proverbs 17:22).

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Dedicated to God

IMG_7548This morning at church, a baby was dedicated to God. This happens in all religions. But it wasn’t the baby being dedicated that struck me to the core. It was the commitment that the Pastor asked the grandparents to have in helping the parents, encouraging them, and supporting their decision to raise the child to know God. There are many paths in life and if given the right instruction and guidance, it’s our prayer that our grandchildren will take the path that God lays out before them.

It’s great being a grandparent. E brings me unspeakable joy, even when I’m not with him, his heart and his spirit make me smile. It’s easy to love him. But it’s not easy to be a spiritual role model to him and to his parents. We are the generation they look to for support and guidance. The commitment required to teach the child about God is the most important part of being a grandparent.

E’s other grandmother got him a Bible for Easter. It’s just a sample kid’s Bible with all the usual stories: Noah and the ark, David and Goliath, Joseph and his coat, Jesus, Peter the fisherman, Paul the preacher, and others. There are life lessons in each of these stories. Noah teaches him to trust God and always look for His promises. David teaches him that even thought obstacles may seem insurmountable, God will always be with him. Joseph teaches him that sometimes we can’t always see God in what happens but He is always working in our lives. Jesus teaches him about God’s unconditional love for us. Peter shows him that his life should be invested in the lives of others and that mistakes, even though they will happen, can be forgiven and used to mold him into God’s image. Paul teaches him that you can be on one path, and an encounter with God can change your life.

I’m writing in a journal that I will give him someday filled with all kinds of life lessons that God has taught me and my hopes and dreams for him. All of these things play a crucial part in our desire, as grandparents, to help him grow up to love God. It’s a huge trust God has given us, but He has always used the elders to teach the younger ones. It doesn’t take a village to raise him; it takes a God-fearing family, a loving church family, and a commitment to show him the ways of God. It’s my prayer that one day, E will stand up with his own grandchildren and vow to do the same.

 

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Somewhere

photo (3)When my son and daughter were merely babies, my mother began praying for them. One of her specific prayers was that they would find godly mates.

When little E was born, I began doing the same thing. You see I know the value of those prayers. My daughter is married to a godly man. On her wedding day we all celebrated her godly heritage and the wonderful godly family she would be marrying into. My mother’s prayers from all those years ago were finally being answered.

Somewhere in the world there is a sweet little girl whose parents and grandparents are praying for her, just as we are for little E. This song is for my sweet little grandson and his future wife.

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Marme’s house

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It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. My little buddy E is growing and changing every day. It’s exciting and heart warming to see him recognize my voice and come running to me when he sees me. I love talking to him on the phone and hearing him say, “Go Marme’s house”. It honestly makes me cry every time he says it.

I remember my son especially asking to go to Granny Sue’s or MomMom’s house. He enjoyed visiting with both of them. I looked forward to the day when my grandson would feel the same way.

My grandparents lived far away and I rarely had the chance to visit them. I didn’t spend summers with them or even weeks alone with them. I missed having that grandparent relationship and I was so happy when my kids were able to know the joy of having a grandparent around to love on them as only grandparents can do.

I hope that as E grows older, he will always love to go to “Marme’s house” and see Marme and PopPop, “uncle” and the “mean puppy dog”.

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