Friday, February 24, 2012

Grab 'em while you can!

Young children are notorious for darting away, dashing ahead and dangling on things from which they should never dangle.  You know the routine...

You're in the check-out line when one of your li'l muffins decides to dangle from the metal rail dividing you from the other check-out lanes.  Hanging upside down, no less.  And squealing ...

"Look at me, Mom!"   Being the good mother you are, your arm darts out before his little head meets a hard floor up close and personal.  

Or you're walking in your neighborhood while your children bike along beside you.  It's a sunny day, it's a safe place to get out for some exercise, and your kiddos know the routine:  Listen for vehicles.  Stay on the side of the road facing traffic.  Pay attention.  Stick close to Mom.  And then it happens: A car tops the hill going way too fast ...

... and your youngest biker is looking back over his shoulder, wobbling and weaving while hollering back to a sibling.  He doesn't see the car coming nor hear it (due to his lack of volume control).  You dash ahead, snatch his handlebars and yank him back to safety. 

Then there are children who like to play hide and seek in public.  They know better, but their childish bent is to play!  So while you're browsing for t-shirts and jeans, they're actually casing the joint for action.  Yes, indeed.  Soon, when they spot a huge rack of clothes that looks like a great hideout, they dart underneath ... and disappear.

To make matters worse, they pick this moment to be as quiet as church mice.  You panic, call out their names and beat yourself up at the same time.  Did someone slip by and snatch your darlings? Moments later, one slips out from his hiding place and grins.  Then the other appears.

At that moment, you are trembling with relief and feeling as mad as a wet hen.  Do you cuddle them or correct them?  Rain fire on their heads or pull them close and cry?

This little hide and seek game our children play is fun to them and sometimes devastating to us.  We choke on tears while silently screaming at the top of our lungs.  We panic and we pray ... harder than we have in a long time.  And inwardly, we wonder if hide-and-seek is a smart game for little people.   

As a young Mom, I sometimes doubted my ability to keep up with three preschoolers.  I'm very thankful to say our three children made it to adulthood in spite of  their antics.  They are fine, healthy, intelligent young adults now.  And I find it interesting to observe them in action, because two of our children are now experiencing the parenting side of life.  :-)

They say what goes around, comes around...

We have two healthy grandsons who are ages two and three.  Our children now have the responsibility of raising little people who also dart, dash and dangle.  I know they (the parents) will survive, as long as they pray their way through. 

I also know they (the preschoolers) will survive childhood as long as their parents stay one step ahead of them  As a Nana, I'm thinking ... Better grab 'em while you can -- and hug them, please!

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