Friday, January 29, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
1) They have no concept of cause and effect (so they have no idea that if they refuse to let you change their poopy diaper they will have a red, itchy, sore bum).
2) They must do everything themselves (which takes twice as long and is never quite adequate).
3) The entire universe is “MINE!”
4) You can’t understand what they’re thinking because they have no logic (or if they do, it’s two-year-old logic, which makes no sense)…
5) …therefore, it’s impossible to reason with them—you’re wasting your breath.
6) You can’t physically control them, especially if they weigh close to 30 pounds!
If they decide (for whatever illogical two-year-old reason) not to comply with your desires, your only options are:
a) Cajoling (which requires twice as much creative energy, takes twice as long, and works only sometimes)
b) Threatening (which hardly ever works—see complaint No. 2 above),
c) Brute force (which results in huge amounts of noise, is nigh unto impossible with a 30-pound toddler, and is illegal in some countries).
However, when your two-year-old...
...looks up at your new hairstyle and says "Pretty, Mom!"
…skips over to his baby brother with “Hi, Ben!” and plants an unsolicited kiss on his forehead
…insists on wearing his blue baseball cap (that exactly matches his eyes) backwards at the most rakishly adorable angle
…prays spontaneously before eating with “Dear Jesus, yum food…Amen”
…willingly offers hugs to people he’s just met moments before
…at the suggestion of blowing bubbles starts singing, “Bubbles pop… bubbles pop, pop, pop!”
…puts on Daddy’s sunglasses upside-down and comes running over laughing uproariously, and then carefully puts them on his head like he’s seen Daddy do and says “on head!”
…asks “dat foah?” about every new object
…remembers “gud-duh” (cluster) from yesterday’s episode of bubble-blowing
then you remember that this two-year-old phase is like those bubbles—ephemeral and quickly popped—and you decide to deal with the impossible as quickly and deftly as possible, and savor the adorable.
We’re launched! I feel like one of those wrapped T-shirt parcels at big sports games that two clowns pull back in a bungee and hurl into the crowd. We’re still hurtling, but at least while we’re hurtling I’m allowed to suspend my list-making temporarily and try to relax!
Here we are in Bangkok, all of us pretty tired and cranky from jetlag but at least the hotel is air-conditioned and we’re all napping during the day. Will had two pool sessions yesterday, and we finally managed to get him all the way into the water (briefly) by the end of the second one… He’s quite content to just sit on the side splashing, and would do it wearing all of his regular clothes if we let him. It took at least half an hour to get him to let us change his diaper and put his bathing suit shorts on after his nap. And that was as far as it went—he stubbornly clung to his regular T-shirt, until it started getting wet down by the pool and I quietly took it off while he wasn’t really paying attention. ::sigh:: This hating-to-take-off-clothes phase has been going on for several months now, and is really getting old… We’re not sure whether it’s a privacy thing, a personal space thing, a genuine fear of something, or just “don’t mess with me, I’m TWO”—but it’s definitely annoying, whatever else it is. James and I vacillate between trying to understand and empathize, and then losing patience and just barreling him through it while he kicks and screams. I sympathize with the water thing—I’ve always hated getting water on my face—but changing clothes is a part of life that happens multiple times every day. And baths, unfortunately, combine the two… too bad we don’t live back when people only took baths once a week at the MOST. Let’s hope five days at the pool helps to shorten this phase.
Interestingly, even though we now have two babies to lure them, people still gravitate to Will. I think it’s his blue eyes and long lashes, and that he’s pretty polite and responsive—smiles, shakes hands, says “Thank you” and “Bye”… I thought they’d go for Ben since he’s so much littler, but everyone seems far more interested in Will. This morning there were Italians at breakfast gushing over him—“Que bella bambino! What a beautiful child!” I just hope he doesn’t figure out what they’re saying.
Ben is pure enjoyment. He is such interactive baby: he loves to be held, talked to, tickled, played with, and rewards us with whole conversations of gurgles, coos and grins. He smiled at 4 weeks and chuckled around 7 weeks; his eyes just dance at you while you talk to him. He’s chubbier at 3 months than Will was—chubby thighs, chubby belly, chubby cheeks and chin—so edible, and he chuckles appreciatively when gobbled and munched. Where Will attracts with his looks, I think Ben will attract with sheer charisma. I just pray they both grow a genuine love for Jesus that draws people to them, rather than relying on looks or charisma…
So. Three more sleeps in Thailand, and then on Friday we fly back "home" to Central Asia. I am so hoping that God will be gracious and let us stay in this new home for at least the next two years... that would be the longest time we've ever lived in one place since we've been married, and probably the first house Will will remember. What a life. Good thing we love it!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
- The boys and I have all come down with colds this week, so ask for health, especially on the plane. And since Benjamin is sick, I'm not sure I can get his second set of shots done on Thursday like I'd planned... bummer.
- Also pray that our house is in good order and heated up for us when we arrive (at 2am!) with two tired boys and a whole heap of luggage in -10 degree weather... We are kitted out with warm clothes, but still-- that's COLD!
- Pray that our visas come through without a hitch in Thailand, and that we're able to extend our initial 1-month visa to a 1-year visa shortly after arrival without problems.
- Pray for a good resettling into relationships there, and that people will remember who we are and be willing to pick up where we left off.
- Praise God with us for anticipation and excitement about going back! That was really on my heart, and it has happened-- I am really looking forward to these next 2 (at least) years in our new context.
- And finally, pray for LAND for the projects we want to start over there... nothing has happened yet, and the waiting is getting really old. Several deals have fallen through, and it's very clear that nothing will happen unless God makes it happen.