What did you just say?!?

I will never forget the day we brought our older daughter (barely 3 years old at the time) home from daycare and sat her in her chair to get ready for dinner only to have her blurt out, “Shut up, Mommy!”

What in the? Where did she learn this? And ouch! My beautiful baby who was perfect in every way just told her Mommy to shut up. We couldn’t decide if we were angry, astounded, speechless…and, let’s be honest, a teeny bit tickled- very teeny bit. But seriously- we were not happy!

You can’t “unring” a bell and as much as we tried not to show any sign of being unhappy with her latest statement, she apparently saw the shock on our faces because she instantly repeated herself to us with sparkles in her eyes and a huge grin on her face.

“OK, that’s enough…it’s time to eat dinner,” I “calmly” said. Then, silence as she poured over her dinner and babbled blissfully about other things. Without notice, it happened again. “Shut up!”

We need to nip this in the bud before it gets out of control…so Daddy said, “No, ma’am…we do not say that. It’s not nice. If you say ‘shut up’ again, you will sit in time-out.” That sent her into a giggle fit where upon she repeated it again.

OK, now it’s on…we pulled her chair from the table and turned it around to face the garage door. More importantly, she was no longer in front of her audience which sent her into a crying fit! She did her time in time-out and the rest of the evening was largely uneventful. But that incident was the first of several wake-up calls we had about how we needed to start really developing our plan of how we were going to combat this type of information breech.

Our first and immediate solution was to change the daycare from a public one to a private, Christian preschool. One that taught Bible lessons, addressed negative behaviors rather than simply “redirected” them, and one that made the children accountable for their actions in age-appropriate ways. Thank God we found one- they are actually a little harder to find than you would think!

You cannot imagine the peace we felt when we were getting ready to sit down at the dinner table soon after the children began attending “church school” as they called it. Out of nowhere, our daughter- with her eyes sparkling and her smile huge- began to tell us…

God made the sun

God made the sea

God made the fishes

And God made me.

Thank you for the sun

Thank you for the sea

Thank you for the fishes

And thank you for me!

Amen.

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