Did I say I enjoy this age?
Yes, I did, and yes I do (well, at least in these cerebral moments of reflection I do). Because while my little guy is throwing his share of tantrums, it is in the tantrums that I often get a picture of how God parents us.
Two days ago Weston bee-lined for the west end of our creek where there is a great supply of rocks. He loves throwing rocks into the water (what boy doesn't?), but alas, he does not swim. And being by a creek by yourself at the ripe old age of two is not a wise thing. But he doesn't know that. All he knows is that he is having a grand ol' time - or he was, until that meanie Mommy came and scooped him up and carried him kicking and screaming to the upper lawn. There is really no amount of logic that I could pour on him that would calm him down enough to say, "Oh, I see. That is dangerous. And danger is not the best for me. Thank you for saving me from a potentially dreadful situation." No, he will not be saying that any time soon.
Today and yesterday he suffered from probably the worst diaper rash of his life so far. I had to carefully, gently wipe every last stubborn smear of poo off his bottom (torture for the both of us) so that I could smear a hefty load of Butt Cream on his swollen, red little cheeks (so the torture continues). You have never heard a child scream such a miserable, distressed cry. And all the time I kept thinking, I know this is so painful. I know you would prefer me to leave it alone and avoid the pain. But if I left it alone the end result would be so much worse... pain that is immeasurably greater and long lasting than you can imagine. I also know that he sees me as the source of his pain, not the ultimate healer of it.
Just last week when I decided that he could eat a still-warm chocolate chip cookie (like, the chocolate was still super gooey and messy), I called him over to me for the delicious treat only to use the phrase, "Mommy do," which means that I would be inserting the morsel into his mouth on his behalf. The instant he heard that phrase he opened his mouth wide, but not to submit to my request. He opened wide to yell at me, "ARRRRRG!!" and walk off, not having tasted the good thing I had for him.
In every scenario, I see the bigger picture and he sees barely to the end of his nose. Every time I know what is best for him and he sees me as preventing him from experiencing pleasure. And every time he has the choice to submit his will to mine - whether he understands the reason behind it or not - or push away from me. Though I have proven my faithfulness, care and concern for him since the day he was born, his tendancy and first urge is to assume that this time I will not be faithful, I will not care, and I am not concerned.
You can understand better now why parenting a child this age is so enjoyable. I learn more about how my Lord cares for me and shows his faithfulness. So rich a time I have with the Lord in this season when I have the chance to reflect upon how well my heavenly father parents me.