This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves
to be my disciples. John 15:8

Inside Jokes

>> Wednesday, November 14, 2007

As parents, we find ourselves walking a fine line between fostering independence and making sure our children still respect our ultimate authority. This is true even for my two-year-old. That is why I try to avoid questions like "What do you want to wear today?". All that would lead to is him wanting to wear his diaper, sandals and his Little Einsteins shirt with nothing else. To church. Something tells me that might cause a stir. So instead I ask questions like "Would you like to wear the red shirt or the blue shirt?". This lets him have ownership in his day without giving him free reign in his closet.

The same is true for meal times. Because I am a creature of habit (and usually still half-asleep), my kids have some version of the same thing every weekday morning for breakfast. Oh, I mix it up sometimes.....occasionally the Eggos will have blueberries or something. For dinner they have whatever I am making for dinner that night and they are not involved in that decision at all. So at lunch I open things up a little bit. That is when I will ask something like "Would you like chicken nuggets or cheesy toast (grilled cheese) for lunch?" At which point he chooses one and he is excited to get it because HE picked it.

So needless to say it came as some surprise to me a couple of weeks ago when I asked Elijah if he would like PB&J or quesadilla for lunch and he said "No". This was not typical for him, so I figured he must really not want those things, so I asked if he would like a corn dog. "No." Hmmm...I wasn't sure what to do. On the one hand, I didn't want to start establishing a free-for-all restaurant type atmosphere where he gets to order his meals from a menu while his side-order cook (mommy) makes it, but this was so atypical that I didn't want to make a mountain out of a molehill.

So I did what any good mom would do. I reverted to humor as a distraction.

"Would you like to have stinky poops for lunch?"

Elijah looked up at me and with a twinkle in his eye and a sly smile on his face said "Please."

At that point we both laughed our heads off, shrieking "Ewwww!" every 30 seconds. It was the first time I can remember him getting a joke.

Fast forward to that weekend on our way home from church. I had forgotten about our shared humor earlier in the week and was simply telling Elijah what we would be doing with the rest of our day. First, we would be going home to have lunch......

"Stinky poops for lunch?" He asked with the same sly smile and the same twinkle in his eye and we laughed together again. "Ewwww!"

My husband, having no idea what was going on, looked at me and wondered what kinds of things I had been feeding our children when he wasn't looking. Let him wonder. He's just jealous because he wasn't in on the joke.


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