Checkout ladies love my boys.
I HATE that by the time we reach the checkout, it's all I can do to grit my teeth and growl "Thank you," and listen to the cashier and patrons behind me in line coo to Teddy. "Oh you were an unhappy boy weren't you! I could hear you two aisles over! There, there now, dry those tears, aww, there's a smile! You're a happy baby aren't you!" And to Gus (as he adoringly strokes the top of Teddy's head and helpfully loads the conveyor belt): "What a good helper you are! Are you a good big brother? So handsome!" And to me: "Oh I remember these years. This is such a great age, cherish every minute, they grow so fast. You have some really great kids, you know."
Rewind a few aisles...Gus is throwing stuff out of the cart. I tell him no. He smashes chips or bread to let me know he disagrees with me. I tell him to stop and move yet another item to the overflowing bottom of the cart. Helpful patrons point out the stuff falling off the cart as I trundle down the aisles at warp speed. To express displeasure at being thwarted Gus reaches over the top of the baby seat and pokes Teddy's eyes (or hits him on the head, or pulls his arm, or something else guaranteed to provoke screams from the baby and wrath from mom). I give the whole if you want to ever want to eat ever again spiel...he may or may not get disciplined...usually I have to abort the shopping trip and leave immediately. When we get to the checkout, Gus is pretending he can behave for more than 12 minutes at a stretch if only I'll reconsider and not make us leave because he LOVES grocery shopping and it's SO MUCH FUN!! ("Store! Not bye-bye! Fun! Store! NO GO HOME!!! MY fun store! I be nice! Puh-LEEEEASE!")
And now, we get to go grocery shopping AGAIN in two days because I didn't get everything we needed.
That night, while rocking Gus for the second time because, "Need more rock, more hold, mommy PLEEEASE!" he begs to pray again.
"What do you want to tell Jesus?"
"Tell Jesus I sorry."
"What are you sorry for baby?"
"For poke Teddy's eyes and make him owwies."
So this is me.
Cherishing every minute. Crying. Laughing. Rocking as many times as he wants it because he's rapidly outgrowing my lap. Leading him through repenting the first time. Repenting myself for not showing the same patience with him that God has shown to me time after time. Awed that our two-year-old desires to "Not make Jesus sad." Rejoicing over one less time-out a day. Thankful for the many, many opportunities to teach him how to behave in grocery stores.
They are pretty great kids you know...
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. -Matt 18.4