Recently I had this great mushy pseudo-ephinany about parenting a two year old. (Yeah, go ahead, if you missed it, click the link and read it. Honestly, I can be quite profound when I have no caffiene and no sleep.) It dawned on me, however, that I left some important things out.
Real parenting begins at two because that's about the time the hard questions start popping up - at least in our household. No, we're not into birds and bees quite yet, but real meaty issues are starting to poke their ugly little heads in my peaceful existance. Its the curse that comes with verbality and awareness - something that comes as your child leaves infancy and early toddlerhood and starts to take on the mantle of real-live-little-person.
For example, as a two-year old, Logan goes to a 'real' Sunday School class - as opposed to just playing trucks in the nursery. Now granted, there are days the teenaged teacher for the 2-3 set fails to do much more than let them play and eat animal crackers, but more often than not they read a story. This means that more often than not on a Sunday night we re-read the story or we read something from his 5-minute Bible Story book. One such night Logan looked to his father and said "Where is God?" IF you want to know what he said, you'll have to ask Daddy. ;)
Ahh, just kidding. The answer was something about God being all around us and in things like nature. IT was not an answer that satisfied inquiring young minds. "But where is he?" Logan asked. Mommy finally settled it by saying "God is in Heaven. Up there. (pointing above our heads) He's up there in Heaven." In turn Logan said simply "Oh. Ok."
Another example? I came out of the shower one morning to find Logan sitting on my bathroom floor with his shirt pulled up to his chin and a finger poked into his belly button. He looked up at me with a puzzled little face and said "Mommy, what my belly button do?"
Being the kind of Mom that thinks honesty is the safest policy I tried to explain the simplest way I knew how that when babies are inside their Mommy's bellies they are connected by a long cord to the Mommy. The cord connects to the baby at his/her belly button and the baby gets food through said cord. I then explained that when the doctor helps the baby come out of the Mommy, the baby doesn't need the cord anymore so it falls off and leaves behind the belly button. Then we talked about Megan's button since Logan had noticed her cord stump and how it one day fell off.
"What's a cord?" he asked me. So, stumped for a good response, I explained it was sort of like a rope.
"Where the rope go?" he said. And so again, we talked about when the baby was born...blah blah blah.
He thought about it some and then, with a soft "Humphf" sound eminating from his satisfied little head, he got up and started marching down the hall. . .still holding his shirt up to his chin. "Where are you going?" I asked him.
"I'm going to get some food to put in my belly button," he said back apparently determined to make that button useful.
And these are nothing compared to the day he wanted to know why the people that go to the Synagogue we have Gymboree at each week don't believe in Baby Jesus. I just stared a moment and said "I don't know Logan. They just don't. There are many ways in this world to pray to God and worship him. We have our ways and the people that go to that Synagogue have theirs. We just have to respect everyone else's way to pray and ask them to respect ours."
"What's respect mean?" he asked, so I tried to explain in terms he might understand - concepts we delve into often - be nice. "Respect means share?" he said.
"Well, sort of," I said. "Sharing is one way to respect other people." And again, we did the be nice thing.
He was quite a moment and then said back to me. "Hmm, God's up there," and he pointed to our ceiling. I'm hoping he's referring to the aforementioned "heaven" discussion and not my attic.