Tag Archives: two-year-old

A Mind of Her Own

The children are dismissed for children’s church. Tina’s two, and children’s church is for  three- to five-year-olds. But I think she’d like it. Should I go down and stay with her? As I think and pray about this, a polite little voice asks if she can go. “It’s just for the big kids,” I explain.

“Tina big kid,” says the little voice.

We go downstairs. Tina doesn’t know the songs, but she enjoys the music. Then the children play with play dough. I’m not very artistic, but I try. “I’m making a ball,” I announce.

“Tina ball,” comes the response, and we both make balls.

I grow bold. “I’m making a snowman,” I tell her, piling up three balls.

“Tina snowman,” comes the response.

I must be an artist! I have a protégé.

***
Now she’s three, and I no longer have an apprentice. Tina operates entirely on her own.

We’re in the bathroom brushing our teeth, and she notices an owie on my hand. Ever so gently, she rubs some of her own cream on it. I’m impressed.

“You’re so gentle,” I say. “Maybe you’ll be a nurse when you grow up.”

Tina’s back stiffens. She’s just thought of an idea, all by herself. “I’m going to be a nurse!” she announces, eyes flashing with determination.

If only she’d listen . . . .

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Strong Man

Two-year-old Tommy’s cold, really cold. He’s shivering violently and his lips and nails are blue. Does he want to get out of the water? Of course not!

But it’s time. We take the life jacket off him and put it on his three-year-old cousin, Tina. Then Tommy’s mom takes Tina across the pool. Poor Tommy! His heart breaks as he watches HIS mom take his cousin across the pool with HIS life jacket. He weeps.

In the sauna, I wrap the shaking child in a towel and rock him. I pray for him, with him. “Dear Jesus, thank You that the sauna is warm. Thank You that I’m getting warm now. Please help me to stop crying now. Please help me to be a strong boy.”

Tommy stops crying and I dress him. “You’re so strong,” I tell him. “You stopped crying.”

I take him back out to the pool and we again watch his cousin swimming with his mom, this time without tears.

In the days and weeks that follow, this incident becomes a part of Tommy’s psyche. “I share Tina,” he announces out of the blue. “I share jacket. I stop crying.”

It’s become a part of who he is.

“Train up a child in the way he should go” Proverbs 22:6

Even a Child

“Go dark, Grandma! Go car!” It’s 5:30 a.m. and I’ve come to babysit two-year-old Tina. She doesn’t want me to babysit her. She doesn’t want her mommy to go to work.

She wants to hurt me with her words, and she does.

I put her sharp words behind me and Tina and I spend a happy morning playing.

Then, at lunch, a little hand touches my arm. “Sorry, Grandma!”

“Why are you sorry?” I ask. “Did you hurt Grandma?”

“I hurt Grandma any more, okay?” she promises. “Won’t” isn’t in her two-year-old vocabulary yet, but Tina’s meaning is clear. Her conscience—or may I say her Father in Heaven?—has been working in her.

I lift up a prayer of gratitude.

Later that afternoon, we play in the bedroom. After awhile Tina grows quiet and curls up in her toy box. I suspect she wants to go to sleep, but don’t want to leave if she still wants me there. I wait quietly.

“Go play, Grandma,” she says. Kind words, tactful words from a little girl who’s ready to sleep.

I leave the room, heart full of gratitude, and Tina drifts off to sleep.

“Even a child is known by his doings” Proverbs 20:11