Why We Don’t Believe in Babysitters…

Oh, don’t get me wrong…
I’m all for using babysitters
and date nights
and time-for-just-the-two-of -us.
And actually we do have a few great sitter options.
And would love more…

We’re in a tricky parenting stage right now with one of our kiddos.
And it means we need to really be here.
And thankfully,
We’ve walked this road before with other children,
It’s not completely new territory.

Let’s just say–
She’s gifted in problem-solving, ingenuity, creativity, boldness, spunk, determination, courage…
But very lacking in wisdom.
And she’s two.
So it’s not that we’re against babysitters,
But it’s tricky to find one that we believe is ready to take on the challenge.

It’s not that she’s directly defiant–
She’s just very spontaneous.
Yesterday she “did her own hair” with half a bottle of olive oil.

When I mentioned that the guinea pig might need a hair cut… 
She took care of that for me.

When I was taking a shower during her nap time, she noticed the mailman in our driveway so…
She unlatched the gate on her bedroom door, went downstairs by herself, unlocked the garage door, pushed the correct garage-door-opener-button, and went out to get the mail from him.

(Thankfully we are good friends with our mailman and he stayed and talked with her until I came running frantically out into the driveway.  Since then, we’ve removed the gate and have installed door handle locks for when I just need to know she is in a safe place.  And we’ve also made huge progress when it comes to the staying-in-bed-battle).

It’s not that she’s overtly rude or angry–
But she’s pretty persistent…
The day she figured out how to climb out of her crib (at 15 months)…she did it 27 times.
(Our son kept tally marks).

And she has incredible problem-solving-skills.
When I took her music player out of her room as a secondary consequence to music-player-misuse…
She simply went across the hall, climbed up her brothers’ bookshelf, unplugged the cord from the back of their CD player, transferred it to her room…and used her own cord to plug it back in and get things running again.

And please note…
The whole time I’m typing this I have a huge smile on my face.
This kiddo is a total God-gift.
She has a huge personality and is tender and fun and she is JOY in our lives!

But there have been some dangerous moments as well.
Like the time she opened the child safety latches in the bathroom and drank mouthwash.
Or when she found her sister’s scissors and cut holes in her shirt (while wearing it).
Or when she tried to clean out her own ears with Q-tips.
Or when she ate a staple.
Or when she thought she could jump-fly from our long flight of stairs at the half-way point.
Or when she pushed a chair over to the high-up-hand-rings in our garage and did a flip off them.
Or when she stacked up the toy boxes in her room to reach the off-limits-box at the top of her closet and I found her, clothes stripped off,  covering a thermometer with Vaseline, as she was preparing to take her own temperature.

Thankfully, by the grace of God–
She has not once faced serious injury.
And I fully believe that her incredibly-incredible personality will one day be HUGE for God’s glory.
And we’ve seen some wonderful glimpses of wisdom shine through.

Just yesterday, when she started to lie to me about getting into her brother’s candy box…
She stopped and said,
“I think maybe I just didn’t tell the truth to you.”

And thankfully, by God’s grace–
We have special people in our lives who know her well enough and who love her deep enough to watch her when we need them to.
But, we’re in the thick of it right now.
This parenting journey with this little one.

So what do you do when you find yourself in a–

You keep on in God’s strength…
With patience and consistency and courage.
You cling to His words…
On teaching and training and loving and parenting.

You examine your own heart…
For impatience and anger and inconsistency and doubting.
You fall to your knees…
With deep parent-prayers-pleading.

You take note of small growth…
Of changes and right responses.
You delight in the tender moments…
Of song-singing and book-reading and warm-milk-in-pjs.

You look for the God-gifts…
Unique-hearts made by Him.
You take note of the God-glimpses…
Where prayer-answers are given.

And You look forward in faith-hope.
Faith in results-not-yet-seen.
Faith in each-child’s-unique-design-and-purpose.
Faith in God-who-reaches-little-hearts.
Faith in–
Our God who “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think,  according to the power at work within us (Eph. 3:20).

And you don’t wish it away.
And you give thanks for His good gifts.
Even if it means that for a season…
You have to stop six times while writing a blog post because someone is not napping during nap time.
Even if it means that…
It’s difficult to find a babysitter.

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