(I forgot to spellcheck that last entry….sorry about that to any detail-oriented readers who are irritated by that.)
Anyways, tonight at bedtime I thought I would use the opportunity to address something with Drew in a creative way. So I told a story.
There was a little panda named Buzz and a little water buffalo named Wyaff (Drew chose that one…I kind of wonder if he was trying to say Goliath as he watched that Veggie Tale this morning!) Ok- the brief version is like this: the two little guys are friends and they do lots of fun stuff. One day Buzz gets a little computer for his birthday, goes on a train trip and loves to play with it. Pretty soon Wyaff is going on a trip and Buzz’s mom thinks maybe he should let Wyaff borrow the computer for his trip. Buzz is sad, heartbroken, cries out in protest. He then takes time to think, pray, and decides that he wants to help his friend be happy.
Drew listened smilingly, nodded, and particularly liked the train trip. Then at the end of the story he sat up with an alarmed expression and asked, “Where’s Claire?”
A few weeks ago when talking to some friends who are going on a long trip (we’re talking 10 hour flight with three kids under 4!) I offered to let Claire borrow Drew’s Leapster, a gameboy-like contraption for preschoolers. When I mentioned this to Drew, he flipped. Tears of protest…wails of denial…it was over the top. I thought maybe he was tired or just caught off guard, so I dropped it for the time being.
Well, tomorrow is the day to hand over the Leapster. Even tonight as we talked about it, Drew repeatedly said, “I can’t do it. I just can’t do it!” In the end I gently informed him that he not only can but will. Because he’s so into choices, I told him that he had a choice. He can do this with a kind heart and try to make his friends happy. Or he can do this with a mean heart and only be thinking about himself.
The whole situation has been surprising but good for me to see. I guess I wouldn’t have predicted Drew’s response, so I’m thankful for the opportunity to teach and the warning for me to tread cautiously. I want our kids to value people, not things. I want them to be generous and open with the things that God has given us.
In the end, I tried to tell Drew those things in a way he could see. He cried and sniffed and remained unmoved. As we prayed at bedtime, he asked, “God- please don’t let them take my leapster away.”
Oh the challenge of shaping kids contrary to the nature within them and the world around them! =)