Sunday, May 6, 2012

Where Is Her Owner's Manual?

Why does every computer we have, every cell phone, radio, vacuum cleaner, washing machine, toaster and coffee maker have an owner’s manual but I was handed a child without one?  Seriously, if I’m working in Microsoft Word I can simply hit F1 and a little box pops up where I can type in my question.  On my iPhone I can do a simple search by word of phrase and find almost any answer imaginable.  But I have a child who is crying and I can’t seem to find her F1 button, she has no pop-up question boxes and no search fields.  She doesn’t have an index to flip through for trouble-shooting or a customer service representative.  

I was 33 when I became a mother.  For years I had been paying attention to what other mothers did with their children so I would be prepared.  I baby-sat, helped in the church nursery, and held every baby I could get my hands on I also had a few years under my belt as a Registered Nurse, so surely I would know what I was doing, right?  Uh, yeah…I know what I’m doing…yeah…  At least that’s what I keep telling The Little One! 

No, I don’t have an owner’s manual for my child and there is no help button. But I did read the Babywise book (worked GREAT for us, thanks to my sister-in-law for that recommendation!), watched The Happiest Baby on theBlock videos and read numerous books, websites and more. I have also found amazing blogs and message boards to help me learn new things (thank you Chocolate Hair, Vanilla Care!) I have friends and family who are willing to support me when I ask for advice.  And most importantly I have my Lord who listens when I am down on my knees saying “Lord, I’m tired and weary and don’t know what to do to help my child.  I promised to comfort her and keep her safe, and I feel like I’m letting her down.  Show me Your way, Lord.  Teach me how to do this and provide us both with comfort.  Show me how I can help her be happy today.” 

And in just a few short months I have learned that a simple prayer like that will often be answered with laughter.  And that laughter will be mine (although I’m sure God is having a good chuckle too!)  A few days ago I said that prayer and then put TLO in her high chair to eat dinner.  She kept reaching to put her hands in her food and I kept moving it away. Because of course if she got her hands in it there would be a huge mess.  However, the maker of the mess was me.  I wiped her face in between bites and as my arm came back my elbow landed squarely on the side of the plate, sending the whole plate of rice cereal and squash flying through the air.  Um, yeah God, comfort?  Okay, but she’s happy – some of the food landed on her high chair tray and she’s feeding herself!

See, she's happy!

Lord, thank You for the gift of laughter to break my moods. Sometimes the laughter is mine, sometimes it belongs to our little one and sometimes I think it’s Yours! I Thank You for the showing me the times when I need to drop to my knees and ask for Your help and for the help You have placed in my life to support me through my journey. Thank You for reminding me that I may not have an owner’s manual but I do have a 24 help-line available at the drop of a knee. And Lord, help keep me laughing! Amen.

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