It shouldn’t take even the casual observer long to notice the princesses in this picture. At the moment this photo was captured, they are both occupied with attempting to take off their *distasteful headbands* [read in a British accent] that aren’t quite to their liking at the moment. But, my, aren’t they pretty in them?! I only wish they would keep them on for longer than two seconds.
It’s a small picture of life in our home these days. This trivial matter didn’t cause much fuss on that Sunday morning, probably because both sets of grandparents and an aunt and uncle were visiting and kept them otherwise distracted. And, really, having the girls keep their adorable headbands on isn’t a battle I’m going to fight every day. (at least not in my sane moments) As babies-turning-toddlers, however, there are many more “princess” moments that we are (ahem) dealing with right now. Like the 10 second delay between me putting her in her high chair and then moving into the kitchen to get the food to place on her tray. Or their propensity to explore the world and find the off-limits areas especially appealing (tall floor lamps, electrical outlets, and the dishwasher dial among their favorite). It never ceases to amaze me, in a frustrating way, how they can have a nursery full of toys but be inextricably drawn back to the nightlight in the corner or the diaper pail that seems tasty.
Seth and I are in a whole new world of parenting. Some days it feels like sink or swim, and many days we think we missed those swimming lessons we needed. Where is the instruction manual that should come with a baby?!? We are eager to learn and are finding these resources immensely helpful for this stage of parenting, as our need to discipline and instruct moves more into the foreground, replacing the “let’s just survive” days of early infancy. Perhaps this is a strange blog post after over a month without writing, but I had to start somewhere and this is where I’m living these days … welcome! So – those resources are:
Paul David Tripp’s “Getting to the Heart of Parenting” DVD series – we are loving this series from one of our professors we had during seminary days. I love how gospel-focused he is.
“The Obedient Child: A Practical Guide for Training Young Children in Confidence, Character, and Love of God” by Ken Wilson – My mom shared this now out-of-print book with me, and I’m finding it immensely practical for dealing with the younger years.
“Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches” by Rachel Jankovic – My mom gave this one to me as well. It’s a recently published book that really “gets it” as far as how to encourage moms through her short 3-5 page chapters that are both witty and challenging.
“One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are” by Ann Voskamp – This memoir is not just for mothers by any means. She beautifully invites all of us into a life transformed by “eucharisteo” so that mundane becomes glorious. I am savoring each page of this gift given to me by my best friend.
And one last thought about parenting princesses. When I see their tenacity to return to what we are clearly instructing them is dangerous (they will often shake their head “no” as they approach the very task we have told them not to do) or their impatience with our momentary delay in meeting what must feel to them like an immediate need, I am reminded of the very first princess in whose footsteps I follow daily. Eve, who bit of the forbidden fruit though she was in fact surrounded by Paradise itself. And I see in them a mirror of my own desire for what’s beyond my reach and my impatient demands to have right now what my good Father will provide in the future. He loves princesses like them … and me!