Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What I've Learned from Lauren...Again

First I have to start with the amazing events that just unfolded before me, which need to be recorded...

I think Olivia is phasing out of two naps a day. She will often need a day or two with both naps but she's doing much better with just one most days- she's getting so old. Matt and I are happy but a little sad for her being the big girl that she is. So anyway- this has created a change in routine around here. Lauren has enjoyed her "alone time" with mommy while Olivia napped in the morning, so as we grow and adjust I'm trying to find some time when her and I still get a little bit of one on one time. 

Since this change is very recent I'm still working it all out. So far my plan is to put Olivia down before Lauren, at around 1. She sure isn't going to be able to make it until 2, which was her old afternoon nap time and Lauren's 'nap time' as well. So it worked out rather nicely today. Lauren and I did some school stuff after Olivia went down and then we headed upstairs to play a game of candyland before I let her pick- nap or quiet time. She picked quiet time but wanted to play in her bed. I told her sure. So she found Pictionary Junior under her bed (where I keep all of our board games) and I gave her the gist of what to do and left her with the radio on, windows open and she seemed rather content. I did have to remind her mommy was planning for bible study tonight- so no calling mommy upstairs (this is a reminder that I need to make or quiet time is not very productive for either of us). I set the timer and left the room. When I finished planning and doing a few other little things and I headed upstairs to surprise her since I was done early and excitedly headed up to greet her with a snack and was hoping we could snuggle and read with our extra time. Well I walked into a room with a sleeping girl- in her bed, snuggling her lovey and under the covers as if I had put her down myself. What?!?!  Well I don't think this will happen everyday, which is why I wanted to get it down here but she is blowing me away today and yesterday with what a big girl she is becoming. Last night with Matt (I had a LebCamp meeting at church) she picked up the tub without being asked or without any assistance, got herself out of the bath, dried herself off, and started doing lotion while Matt was putting Olivia down to bed. This has never happened before! We have ourselves two sweet girls growing so big before our eyes. 

That leads me to my original story....

So Lauren is going through a phase in preschoolhood (I know that is not a word, but you know what I mean) where she wants EVERYTHING and she wants it NOW! She loves Thomas the Train- she has a good stash of the trains from holidays and garage sale finds from her Grandma. She just wants them ALL. She loves the Cars movie and talks about getting this car and that car too. She also enjoys reading and so many of the Clifford, Berenstain Bear, Franklin, and other books have pictures on the back cover showing other books you can get and she would love to have them ALL. So you get my drift- she's got a case of the "Gimmies" as they would say in the Berenstain Bear book. Please understand that I am fully aware that this is normal preschooler behavior and am in no way appalled or upset with her for acting this way- but it is a bit wearing on us, as you will see. 

We've been talking for a while now about not being able to have everything we want. How even if we just want "one more" it will never be enough because as soon as we get that "one thing" we'll find just one more thing to want. We've had this conversation over a dozen times. Well this morning it happened again...much to my delight (sorry I know that I'll have to have it two dozen more times and I'm okay with that but sometimes I just wish she get it so we can move on...on to what you ask...the next life lesson I guess, so what's the rush- oh bother, as Winnie the Pooh would say).

The morning starts with her wanting to watch a movie (another struggle right now). I said no we couldn't and that created an immediate temper tantrum and whining- oh the whining. Then we getting ready for breakfast and Matt, completely oblivious to her intentions, tells me that Lauren asked to go to Tractor Supply this weekend and Matt thought it would be fun. I informed her,yes that would be but we would NOT be getting a tractor (which I knew is what her little heart desired). Again with the temper tantrum and whining- have I mentioned how whining is my ultimate pet peeve and I can't stand it at all- scream, fuss, pound your feet- but don't whine!) This begins, again, our conversation about not getting everything we want and how she has two tractor toys and that is plenty. And again, if she's too busy worrying about what she doesn't have she's not enjoying the stuff she does have. Like the two tractors upstairs. And how we can't have it all. 

Now it's after breakfast- oh my brain and energy are still recovering from the last two meltdowns of the morning but Lauren has more in store for me. As I'm getting her dressed she informs me she needs a new Mater the tow truck, she needs ALL of them. I'm now envisioning in my head just hitting against a brick wall again and again as I once again start my speal. So I start back at the beginning of my and go at it again but this time add "how would you feel if all of your toys went away and you had no toys?" I told her mommy could take them all away and then she would miss what she had all along and how we need to be grateful for all that we have. Wanting stuff isn't going to make us happy, we're just going to keep wanting MORE and MORE stuff- that's why we need to focus on the things that really matter- love and family and friends. 

But it wasn't until lunchtime that this very long, exhausting lesson/conversation/discussion came full circle. I had finished eating my lunch before the girls, which is very normal in our house even though I feed them first. So I got out our Jesus Storybook Bible (great, great book) and read the second chapter to them (we've gone through it multiple times and had started over again- we rotate books and usually get in our devotional time at lunch) about God creating the earth and man. It was after reading it that Lauren asked why God didn't want them to eat from the tree. I said "Well God had created us with free will, or the ability to make choices. He created that tree to be extra special and asked Adam and Eve not to eat from it. He gave them all of the other trees in the world to eat from- all that God created was theirs, except that one tree. And Adam and Eve made the choice to disobey God and have the ONE thing they couldn't. You see Lauren they had everything they could have ever needed or wanted- everything but they wanted that one thing they didn't have just like you. When they ate the fruit they did the one thing God didn't want them to do. That is why we are people who always want ONE MORE THING- that one thing we don't have. When all we really need is the love God can give us and the love our family and friends give us. That is what is really important."

My daughter is a thinker- she may not have understood all of what I was saying but let me tell you she got some of it and so did I. This is a lesson I'm still learning- for sure!! I know I'll be saying it again and again- and I might want to hit my head against that brick wall again, but she will get it one day. I feel so blessed to have this time to teach her, lead her, and instruct her. She'll someday understand that our hearts can NEVER be filled with things but only with LOVE, and most importantly the love our heavenly Father has for us. Oh how she teaches me over and over how I need to live my life. I'll be forever in awe of the wonderful child God gave me because he knew I would need her as much as she needed me!

"God is so good, God is so good, He's so good to me!" - Our school song this week!

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