I know you know my heart even before I pour it out to you. You know every hair on my head. You knit me together. You created my inmost being.
So what I’m about to say won’t be a complete shock to you – in fact, you probably knew it before I even knew it myself.
God, I’m “Toddler Tired”. It’s a new epidemic that is spreading among several women of my age. Most of us are in our thirties. Our toddlers are our second, third, fourth, and for some, fifth, sixth, and seventh babies.
We’ve had toddlers for a very. Long. Time.
Don’t get me wrong, God. I adore each one of these bundles you have entrusted me with. I have always wanted them and there were times in my life that I literally yearned for them.
But I have to be honest and say that if my three year old screams “NO!!!!” more time or tells me “I WILL NOT!” when I ask him to do something as little as let the dog in, I just might decide to ship him off to an island that deals with strong-willed toddler boys for a while. God, it won’t be permanent. I’ll send for him after a while.
I had more patience with the first child. A little bit less with the second. And now? Pretty much nil. And yes, I realize this is unfair to the third.
I’ve had a toddler in my house for FIVE YEARS STRAIGHT. Four of those five years, I had TWO toddlers at any given time.
Yes. TWO. Double the chorus of “NO’s” and “I WILL NOT’s”.
God, I know I’m 38 and they are three but there are days that I can’t handle the push-back. I’ m exhausted by the dramatic tears over a lost gumball. I’ve heard enough of the reasons why we need to eat chicken nuggets for every meal.
And yes, I’m keenly aware of the fact that as I write this letter to you, as we are dancing this waltz, you have revealed a very poignant statement that humbles me immediately.
“I know how you feel”
And I am humbled. Now I see.
God, I am YOUR toddler. You feel this way with me sometimes.
But your love? It just doesn’t ever fail, does it? Not once have you wanted to ship me off to an island far away. In fact, it was during those times that you held me even closer.
And me? I just want distance from the local tyrant that is currently living in my house. I get frustrated. Lose patience. Say things I shouldn’t say in my lack of energy to deal with even one more insignificant drama.
But there you are. Always. With mercy and grace on a platter held out to me. Correcting me, yes. But gently leading me, too.
God, please. Empty me of me and fill me with more of you.
And I know you do things on your own time schedule but can I request that you do it soon? These years, they’re passing by so fast. I’m not foolish enough not to realize that there will be a time in the very near future that I will miss the years of being “toddler tired” – as twisted as this sounds right now.
God, help me to remember how little they really are. Help me to be slow to anger. Help me lock a guard over my tongue – particularly during the hours of 4 – 7:30 p.m.
Empty me of me. Fill me with more you.
God. Thank you.
Your 38 Year Old Toddler Daughter
The blessings multiply. Thank you, God, for:
591. Precious time with my three just having fun
592. A family that feels incomplete when one member is missing
593. A lookalike best friend for my daughter
594. Oh, alright. I AM thankful for his sassiness. I KNOW it will serve him well someday. And yes, I hear you saying “Exhibit A” in your response. You are just so funny, God.
595. The contribution that Henriette Lacks made to modern medicine
596. Conversations of the heart with my favorite 85 year old
597. Three children who adore their great grandmother
598. Golf cart rides in the throes of autumn
599. Turtles in the creek
600. Your patience with me when I dig my heels in and say “NO!” or “I WILL NOT!”
This week may you feel his grace and mercy when you just want to shout “NO!” and “I WILL NOT”!