Toddler Tornado + Twelve = Trustworthy Teen
Speedy since the day of her arrival when she made her appearance ten minutes after we stepped inside the hospital, Manda has always been in a hurry. And when she was a toddler, though that wasn’t necessarily her aim, she left devastation in her wake. Scissors and paint were our little Panda Bear’s preferred medium, and she seemed to have a sixth sense for finding them. Once when I’d stepped outside to walk down to the mailbox, a three minute round trip, she somehow discovered a paint set in the kitchen junk drawer, opened it, stepped in multiple colors, and proceeded up the carpeted stairs, leaving little footprints all the way up! Many times she found scissors and cut everything from her beautiful curls to her dresses to all the floppy ears on Kristen’s beloved bunny quilt. (Eventually we managed to find all of them, and I sewed them back on. Kristen still has the quilt, but it has never been quite the same.)
I don’t think it’s any coincidence that our most active toddler tornado held the sixth place in the sibling line-up. With the first several children mama usually stays right with the little ones more, and the house can be toddler proofed. By the time you have older children, not only is your attention more divided, but the older ones have toys with intricate parts like Legos or jewelry making supplies. Perfect toddler fodder.
Instead of leaving chaos in her wake, these days Amanda leaves behind calm and order. Yes – as crazy as it seems, this child who wins the prize for most destructive tot of our nine, grew into a young woman who loves to bring beauty and harmony to her world! When she is bored, Amanda will tackle a closet, bathroom cabinet, or the food pantry just for fun. Never in my wildest imagination would I have dreamed this outcome a dozen years ago when I stood staring openmouthed at the little scissor cuts my sweetheart had made all over her curtains and many of her dresses when she was supposed to be napping.
If you have a tornado in your house, I want to give you some courage. Take heart! He or she will only be in this stage for a short time! Keep training these sweet little ones, precept upon precept, but also love each one for who he is, including who he is at this moment in his life. Before you know it, he will know just what should and what should not go in the toilet, and will not derive any great satisfaction from trying to flush your cell phone, but will be asking when he can have his own.
Isaiah 28: 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.