Happy Easter! Christ has risen! He has risen indeed, Alleluia!
In the ebb and flow of pew wrangling Babykins, we’re in a bit of low spot. Babykins isn’t being particularly naughty; she’s just being a toddler in church. But a toddler in church means wiggles, kicks, yells, and an occasional toy tossed over the pew.
Palm Sunday wasn’t any different for us. Before we even got to the sermon, Babykins managed to chuck several toys behind us while staring directly at my disapproving face and had a couple of good yells during the Bible readings. Even though I know her behavior is developmentally appropriate, it’s hard not to get frustrated. I got a moment of peace during the sermon hymn, but only because Babykins was taking out the entire contents of my wallet.
The sermon hymn was “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna” (LSB 443). The first verse caught my attention,
Hosanna, loud hosanna,
The little children sang;
Through pillared court and temple
The lovely anthem rang.
To Jesus, who had blessed them,
Close folded to His breast,
The children sang their praises,
The simplest and the best.
I was reminded of Jesus’ love for little children and babies, His call to, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14). Despite Babykins’s seemingly disruptive behavior, she belongs in church with her family in Christ.
I can’t claim to have seen many glimpses of Babykins’s growing faith. All she shows at 18-months-old is folding her hands (briefly) when we pray and a love for flipping through the hymnal. However, I believe her faith exists because she is a baptized child of God and has therefore received the baptism’s benefits–forgiveness of sins, rescue from death and the devil, and the gift of eternal salvation. Therefore, I bring my loud, wiggly toddler to church week after week so that I may not be a hindrance to her growing faith.
I wasn’t going to buy rain boots for Babykins. It seemed like such an impractical purchase since she would only wear them for a short time and it’s almost impossible to find inexpensive, toddler size 3.5 rain boots. However, after spending a few days playing in the mud and splashing in puddles, rain boots seemed less impractical.
This time my search for tiny toddler boots brought me to H&M. Surprise, they carry rain boots in Babykins’s size for $10!
Her new boots arrived today. They are a smidgen bigger than her snow boots but they are still adorable! I can’t wait to take her outside to romp in some mud.
I’m back again to test another parenting hack. In one of those “Genius Ideas for Parents” lists that float around the internet, it was suggested to use a fitted sheet to help keep sand off your things when at the beach. Well, it’s currently March in Iowa–not exactly beach-going weather. However, I thought this hack might be useful for Babykins’s sensory playtime (a.k.a.–“Let’s distract the toddler so Mommy can get something done” time).
About once a week, I dig out a container of rice and let Babykins play in it. The first time I did this, I learned it’s a big pain to vacuum dry grains of rice off of carpet. The next time I laid out a tablecloth but rice was still strewn around the kitchen. Yesterday I decided to try the bed sheet hack.
-The majority of the rice stayed in the sheet during playtime.
-It was free (the sheet was my old XL twin sheet from my college days).
-The objects holding the corners have to be very heavy (the two books in the upper corner weren’t heavy enough).
-The sheet didn’t stay perfectly smooth, so bits of rice would get covered by the folds.
-I still got rice on the carpet when I tried to shake it out.
Overall, I will probably use this hack again since I didn’t have to vacuum after Babykins was done.
A couple of years ago, one of my sister-in-laws taught me how to cut my husband’s hair. I was so excited to cut barber fees out of our budget (ha, I made a pun!). Then I got pregnant with Babykins and morning sickness and fatigue sapped my energy to do things like cut my husband’s hair. Back to the barber shop he went.
After we moved to Iowa, I had more time and energy again. So, I picked up the razor and continued to learn how to give my husband a haircut. It was a short-lived endeavor because then Babykins made her big appearance and once again my energy was limited. Back to the barber shop he went.
When Babykins was around 8 months old, I decided it was time to really push to get our lives back in order. We had a nice electric razor for haircuts and I wasn’t quite as exhausted as I was when Babykins was itty-bitty. However, Babykins was still a terrible napper and would often wake up and need to be soothed after 30 minutes. My plan was to try to cut my husband’s hair while Babykins was freshly awake and fed. She could sit in her activity saucer and watch me play barber.
I got everything set up in the bathroom–chair, razor, broom. Babykins watched from the doorway. I carefully started to trim my husband’s hair.
Everything went fine for the first couple of minutes, but then Babykins started to fuss. “It’s okay, we’ll be done soon!” my husband and I cooed at her. Then Babykins started to cry. “Shhhh, Babykins, you’re okay!” we continued to coo. Then Babykins started to scream.
Have you ever tried to concentrate while a baby screamed 5 feet from you? It’s difficult. Now imagine that you’re doing this with an electric razor.
Trying to hurry the haircut, my hand slipped and I cut off a big chunk of my husband’s hair. I was completely flustered by this point and Babykins was screaming louder and louder. I started to swear. “I’ve ruined it! I’ve ruined your *@#$% hair!” I cried.
My husband, ever patient and rational, calmly said, “It’s okay. We can stop now and finish later.”
“No!” I yelled, ever impatient and irrational, “I have the #$%* stuff out NOW, we’re doing this @#$*% haircut NOW!” I was crying, Babykins was crying, and my poor husband had to watch as his daughter sobbed and his wife went into hysterics with an electric razor in her hands.
I’m not really sure how I finished the haircut, other than it got done. Still crying, I grabbed the red-faced Babykins and locked myself in her nursery to feed her.
A few days later, my husband suggested that maybe he should just get his hair cut at the barber shop for now. I begrudgingly agreed. I still feel guilty from time to time that we’re spending money on his haircuts when we have a perfectly functioning electric razor sitting in a closet. After all, $12 a month makes a chunk of change at the end of the year. However, I’ve decided to look at it as part of our contribution to the local economy. Likewise, a friend recently pointed out that $12 a month is much cheaper than a divorce or counseling fees.
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but Babykins is extremely small for her age. She’s clung to the very bottom of the growth chart her whole life. Since the doctor determined over a year ago that Babykins is maintaining her growth curve (for those of you not in the know of baby terms, this means that she is growing at a consistent rate), I try not to worry about her small size.
One of the fun aspects of having a tiny child is shoes. Baby shoes are one of those things that make me squeal in delight. There just so small and cute! But I refrained from buying any because shoes for a non-walker are mostly impractical.
Then Babykins started walking and shoes became more of a necessity than a fashion accessory. At first I stuck her in a pair of soft-soled crib shoes, but she really started walking the week of Halloween. She needed a warmer pair of shoes to get through the winter. She needed a pair of boots to keep her feet warm when we went outside.
It’s not easy finding a pair of toddler size 3 snow boots that actually keep a child’s feet warm and dry, but I found a pair at Target thanks to their Surprize by Stride Rite line (they don’t have boots in stock now, but I bought Babykins a church sandal through this line). The boots have worked great this winter! Even better, they are just so small and cute that I just want to squeal!