By the time I finished writing earlier this week about the woes in Tiger's life, I had run out of room and time to update you on the happenings in the lives of the Cartwrights, mainly the two young(er) and untamed Cartwrights. I felt I needed to quickly follow my Tiger thoughts with an update on Elliott and Ian, lest anyone think for a minute things were quiet on that front. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
One night last week Elliott was saying the blessing for dinner. He did his usual God is great - God is good prayer. When he was finished, Katie asked him if his class ever did any "other" blessings at school. She was obviously craving a little variety of prayer with her dinner. Elliott shot her his three year old's version of "there is no pleasing you adults" look. But since it was his mother, and he loves pleasing his mother, he bowed his head and started another prayer. "God is great - (pause, you can hear his mind thinking at this point) - God is broccoli."
I'd like to say Elliott put deep thought into this and picked broccoli because it was good for you and would help you live a healthy life. I think God would approve of that comparison. But Elliott doesn't like broccoli, which might leave God wondering about his choice of vegetables. Don't over think this one God, if he had identified you as the food group he most loves, the prayer would have included "God is McDonalds." (There might be a commercial in there somewhere).
To illustrate Elliott's love for McDonald's, let me share a conversation he had with his mother before school last week.
Elliott: When we get in the car I'm going to tell you I'm hungry
Katie: If you're hungry, eat something for breakfast. Do you want some Cheerios or a Nutrigrain bar?
Elliott: No, I'll wait until we get in the car to tell you I'm hungry.
Katie: If you're hungry, I need you to eat something now.
Elliott: But if I wait to get in the car to tell you I'm hungry, then you'll have to take me to McDonald's.
Katie was one proud mama and applauded his genius the entire walk to the cabinet to get him his Nutrigrain bar.
Katie took a trip with her sister last weekend to visit a friend. For an entire 24 hours. Me,Ian, and Elliott alone. It was a recipe for disaster. Any dad ever left alone with children under the age of 21 for more than 15 minutes understands this. When friends at work asked me last Friday if I had big plans for the weekend, my pat response was "Ask Elliott and Ian." I've come to accept that any plans I make beyond tending to the fluid-as-the-Mississippi River plans of my young boys are about as useful as the evacuation plan we have pinned to the wall to be used solely in the event of earth's collision with a giant meteor.
It was not a disaster, though. I give more credit to the boys than me though. Outside of the occasional outburst of the official household battle cry - "Ian is biting me", there was little drama. In fact, they went way beyond my expectations of maintaining a riot-free environment and in some cases proved to be helpful.
My sense of smell has nearly disappeared over the years. Before you gasp, think of all the unwanted odors in your life and you decide: blessed or handicapped. Anyways, Saturday morning Elliott told me he smelled poop. I was sure he wasn't telling on himself, I was even more sure it wasn't me, so it was clear Ian needed a diaper change. So I changed it. An hour later Elliott reported the same smell. I thought he must be "trickin" me as he likes to do these days, but to play it safe I checked Ian's diaper again. Good thing I did. It wasn't an hour later when Elliott's nose crinkled up once again. I didn't hesitate; Elliott had taken on the role of Ian's bowel alarm. For the weekend he was 4-0; there were no false alarms. Ian and I will be forever grateful.
AT ONE POINT OVER THE WEEKEND THINGS GOT VERY QUIET. WHEN I TRACKED DOWN THE SOURCE OF EERIE SILENCE, I FOUND ELLIOTT FEEDING IAN OREO COOKIES LIKE HE FEEDS 25 CENT PELLETS TO THE ANIMALS AT THE PETTING FARM.
There were many times like this over the weekend that I just sat back and watched in amazement as Elliott and Ian played together. I couldn't help but draw from a sermon I had listened to earlier in the week:
Matthew 18 The Greatest in the Kingdom
1 About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”
2 Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. 3 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. 4 So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
5 “And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me. 6But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.
I am thankful that God allows me to see children with the same sense of wonderment that Jesus did.