I will confess to you, I am just not a "baby" person. Everyone told me, "Oh, that'll change when it's your own kids you're talking about" but honestly, it didn't. Sometimes I feel guilty about it - that perhaps I didn't enjoy all of those infant days because I was longing for the next stage to get here. Even now I watch videos of Camden, and even Alison, from when they were born and I just don't remember them being that small. Maybe it's the fact that you're so caught up in "survival" that it is hard to stop and smell the roses...or perhaps it's that you can't smell the roses for all of the dirty diapers!
But, what I am, is a "toddler" person. I love the stage that Camden is in right now - I love the black and white, logical, common sense he uses in every situation. I love that everything is literal and everything is linear. I love watching him learn - seeing him master new skills, make his own decisions (yes, even if they are different from what I would have decided) and marveling at how he's becoming his own little person - not just a baby that pretty much just eats, sleeps and poops all day (no offense Alison!).
Case in point:
At our house we have a red plastic bucket full of stickers, silly putty, etc. that I use to encourage (okay, bribe) Camden to stay quiet when I am on the phone. It's a simple equation: Mommy's on the phone + you stay quiet for the entire phone call = you get to choose a prize from the bucket. Last week I received a phone call that lasted all of 12 seconds (a wrong number) but still long enough for Camden to remind me that he gets a prize from the red bucket if he's quiet while I'm on the phone. As I attempted to explain to him that this situation didn't warrant a prize, he continued to remind me "that's how it works". Finally, my exasperated response was, "Camden, I just can't get you a prize right now." His reply to that, "Well mommy, if you can't do something you should pray and ask Jesus to help you because my Bible verse says 'I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.(Fa-wip-e-uns 4:13)' I was completely speechless. Not only at the fact that he could apply a verse we'd learned together to a specific situation, but that he was using scripture to "correct" me! :o)
And yes, after praying together, I gave him the stickers.
Camden keeps us on our toes, keeps us laughing, keeps us guessing, and keeps us learning how to love on a level we never understood until he arrived in our lives three years ago. Yes, there are challenges (c'mon, he's a toddler) and there are days that I spend almost his entire nap time researching how to get my license to teach here b/c I don't think I can take another full day at home with him. But more days than not, it's a job that I love and I am grateful to God for assigning him to me. I pray that he will always enjoy learning new things, that he will always make his own decisions, and that he will continue to grow in the wisdom and knowledge of Jesus Christ. I pray that I will have a child that will always think to share scripture with me when I am "struggling" with an issue. I pray that I can be the mom that God has called me to be and that He will strengthen me and intercede for me when I fail (because I do so on a daily basis). I pray that Ryan and I would together show him what true love looks like - not only the love we have for each other, but the love our Heavenly Father has for us as well.
Happy Birthday little man! You are my "first wish!"
You Are My I Love You
Author: Maryann K Cusimano
I am your parent you are my child
I am your quiet place, you are my wild
I am your calm face, you are my giggle
I am your wait, you are my wiggle
I am your audience, you are my clown
I am your London Bridge, you are my falling down
I am your Carrot Sticks, you are my licorice
I am your dandelion, you are my first wish
I am your water wings, you are my deep
I am your open arms, you are my running leap
I am your way home, you are my new path
I am your dry towel, you are my wet bath
I am your dinner you are my chocolate cake
I am your bedtime, you are my wide awake
I am your finish line, you are my race
I am your praying hands, you are my saving grace
I am your favorite book, you are my new lines
I am your nightlight, you are my sunshine
I am your lullaby, you are my peek-a-boo
I am your kiss goodnight, you are my I love you.