Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Who Built the Ark?

Mommy:  "Eli, can you tell me who built the ark?"

Eli:  "PAPA!"

Mommy:  "No, not papa although he builds lots of things.  Tell me who built the ark."

Eli:  "YODA!"

Mommy:  (not quite sure what to say)  "Umm, not Yoda, silly.  Who built the ark with the animals?"

Eli:  "NOAH!"

I guess 3 times is a charm

Mother's Day 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011


Although Jason and I had read The 5 Love Languages many years ago, we hadn't read the sequel to it, The 5 Love Languages of Children, until recently.  Knowing my children oh-so-well, I would've bet money that I knew exactly how each one needed loved expressed to them.  So, I was surprised that my maternal instincts steered me wrong and I scored a big fat ZERO on correctly identifying Jacob's love language. 

To uncover your child's love language, the book suggests you give the child a list of options and ask them to choose which they would prefer.  My analytical brain wanted to make it so complicated when the solution was actually quite simple.  So, as I'm talking with Jacob, I say...

Me: "Jacob, if you could have any of these things from me, which one would you pick?"
Me: "A: Sitting down and playing a game with you?"  (Quality Time)
Me: "B: Cleaning your room and picking up all your Legos on the floor?"  (Acts of Service)
Me: "C: Surprising you with a small gift?"  (Gift Giving)
Me: "D: Cuddling with you before you go to sleep?"  (Physical Touch)
Me: "E: Telling you how great I think you are?"  (Words of Encouragement)
Jacob: "Oh, that's easy...snuggle time!!!"
(The 8 year old boy inside couldn't resist adding...)
Jacob: "Oh, and I'd kinda like a small gift, too....haha!!"

Here, I thought for many years that the way to his heart was with words of encouragement, when, much to my surprise after just a single minute of conversation, I discovered that it's actually physical touch.  Who knew??

So, we've been snuggling quite a bit these past few weeks.  I've even fallen asleep a couple of times with him wrapped inside my arms.  With 2 little munchkins, it has been so easy to shower them with physical touch because they always seem to be hanging off of me.  And, to be completely truthful, who can resist hugging, kissing and squeezing a little baby?  But, stopping and deliberately choosing to lavish that loving touch on my 8 year old, allowing him a moment to soak up the security and love that comes from my touch, has in return blessed me more than I would've thought.  Because, in that moment, I know that I am giving him exactly what he needs most...something that no words can convey.  Love, acceptance and purpose flow from my touch straight to his heart.  It creates a heart-wide-open moment when everything is right in his world.  Just this morning, I called him to my room:

Me: "Do you want to snuggle?"
Jacob: "Oh, I've been waiting for you to ask me!"

As we are half buried under the covers, I say,

Me: "Do you feel loved right now?"
Jacob: "Yes, SUPER loved."

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Sweet E-I

Because Jacob was significantly speech delayed as a toddler, I'm not used to having a conversation with a child under the age of 4.  So, it blew my mind and tickled me to death to hear Eli (not yet 3) talking to me about his day after he returned from riding with his daddy to visit his grandfather ("Pops") in the hospital today.

Our conversation went something like this:

Me: "Did you have a good time today, Eli?"
Eli: "Go see Pops.  Pops at doctors."
Me:  "Really??  What else did you do?"
Eli:  "Throw rocks.  I pet dogs."
Me:  "What did you eat?"
Eli:  "I eat Chinese.  Man cook E-I's food.  Man cook E-I's noodles.  E-I eat cookie."  (Jason explained that they watched the cook prepare their food).

I will pause to point out 3 distinct characteristics of Eli's speech....he talks about himself in third person A LOT.  He says, "E-I (for Eli) do this," or "E-I don't like time-out...."  We call it Eli's Elmo talk.  Another thing, he adds an "s" onto the end of nearly EVERY word.  Everything is plural for some odd reason.  Last, he has the sweetest raspy or somewhat hoarse voice.  Whatever it is, it is 100% Eli and I can never get enough of hearing it.

Here's the rest of our conversation:

Me:  "Daddy said you were a good boy.  I'm so proud of you."
Eli:  "Grandma like E-I's Titans jersey.  Jacob Titans jersey, too." (They both wore Titans jerseys)
Me:  "What was your favorite thing you did today?"
Eli:  "I push Pops."
Me:  Thinking that maybe he wrestled with Pops, I turned to Jason and said, "Did he really push  Pops?"
Jason:  "Yeah, he pushed him in his wheelchair."

{Insert mommy's heart melting}

My sweet, sweet many things you could've named as your favorite on this big day you shared with just the boys...your first taste of Chinese food, dressing like your brother (which THRILLS you), throwing rocks in a parking lot (which THRILLS any boy) or petting dogs.  But, you said it was pushing your Pops in his wheelchair.  What a reflection of your sweet little heart.  I'm sure seeing you and the sunshine that you brought into the room was Pops' favorite thing today, too.