The master bedroom in our house in downstairs in the finished portion of the basement. I like to lock the door when I need to run downstairs for just a minute to grab something. The other day I overheard Sophia tell Faith, “When Mommy locks the door, all you have to do is this . . . ”
So yeah . . . I’ve known for a little while now that my kids aren’t normal.
Like when Sophia was about 22 months old, and Faith was only 4 months, we had our first experience with trespassing and vandalism. We lived in a little ranch-style home. There I was able to put up a baby gate at the doorway of the kitchen, so Sophia couldn’t get in . . . or so I thought. I had just gone to lay Faith down one day when I realized Sophia was being very quiet. Red flags should’ve been going off everywhere. I went to the kitchen to find Sophia had broken a hole through the baby gate, crawled through it, climbed up on the counter (how she did that I still don’t know), grabbed Faith’s formula, and dumped it down the air vent. And if you’ve ever had to formula-feed a baby, you know all I saw were dollar signs literally vanishing in air.
Or what about the time Faith climbed up onto the counter to open the “child-proof” Tylenol bottle and downed the whole thing? Our first overdose at 2 years old! Does anybody else have the urge to lie about their name to poison control, because you’ve had to call so many times they probably recognize the number?
I now know that juice cures a lot of things… like when Sophia drank 5 ounces of dish soap, or when Faith drank hand sanitizer. What makes them think that tastes good anyway? It’s not like we don’t feed them, and they’re that hungry.
Then there was the time that Daniel locked me in the basement. I’m going to leave that sentence as-is; it sounds funnier that way. We have a child-proof lock (it only works, because the kids can’t reach it) to lock the basement when no one is down there. Daniel left the house to go run an errand and flipped the lock while I was still in the basement. I was locked out from the rest of the house. The first thing I had to do, of course, was call my mom and laugh about being locked out. I went out the basement door around to the front of the house, but Daniel had locked that too. So, I’m locked outside the house with the kids inside on the phone laughing at myself. Faith hears me laughing, so she comes out the front door where I can’t see her. All I hear is, “Mommy, what’s so funny?” SLAM! “AAAAAHHHHH!! ‘Phia!!!!” Sophia had closed the door behind Faith, so now Faith and I are both locked out of the house. Faith’s having a panic attack, because we can’t see each other – we only hear each other. Thankfully, Sophia let us back in.
No, I didn’t forget about Jacob. That boy’s a stinker in his own way. He knows when he’s in trouble to turn up the charm. He’ll be naughty then come running to hug you. Oh he’s good. He can charm just about anyone. The proof was in his stash of Halloween candy. Women were giving him the good stuff. You know what I mean? And he had a much larger haul than the girls too. It didn’t hurt he was dressed in a suit.
No, my kids aren’t normal. They’re crazy, into everything, loud, and full of life. They don’t always sit still like they’re supposed to. They frequently say the wrong thing (like Faith asking me if I had another baby in my tummy, because it looked like it was growing). Their hair never stays fixed, and their clothes never stay clean.
But they’re mine!
Being their mother, I can see what others can’t. I know that Sophia’s smart – she wouldn’t let anything stop her from getting what she wanted. Faith’s got a huge imagination – she has an insatiable curiosity (that sometimes lands us in the ER). She’s going to dream big and follow those dreams. Jacob is full of love. He’s always ready to give hugs . . . even if it’s to try to stay out of trouble.
So, when I see others with children behaving quietly and feel judged by their condescending looks as if to say, “Well, if you did what I do, your children would behave,” I’m going to claim my children with pride, because they’re God’s gift to me.
Psalm 127:3-5 says, “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.”
My children may be strong-willed, but I know they’ll have opponents later in life. Being born strong-willed, I know they’re not going to let just anybody lead them. They’re going to be the leaders. Being a leader isn’t the norm. If everyone was a leader, then nobody would be a leader. When I look at my kids, I know one thing for sure . . .
My kids aren’t normal.