From Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler's Soul

Red-Faced and Remembering

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.

Psalm 127:3

I had a mother and her preschooler in my office this week. In the middle of our conversation her son abruptly announced that he needed to use the potty. The mother directed her son to the restroom just outside my door, and we continued our relatively serious discussion. After a few minutes, the boy returned to my office and enthusiastically declared, “The plunger sticks to the wall!”

Stunned, the mother and I looked at one another for a moment without saying a word. As her child’s statement sunk in, I held my breath, attempting to stifle my laugh. The red-faced mother looked at me sheepishly, and I couldn’t maintain my composure another second. I burst into laughter.

My own son recently turned fifteen. (It’s amazing how quickly Big Wheels are exchanged for automobiles, and nursery rhymes are swapped for rock music.) I spent his entire birthday reflecting on precious memories of similarly embarrassing, but equally hilarious moments.

When he was three, my husband and I invited over friends who had a daughter the same age. While the adults conversed in the living room, my adventurous son and the agreeable girl emptied a jumbo-sized jar of petroleum jelly on their heads “to make shiny hair.”

Another time, our little entrepreneur gathered acorns from the oak tree in our front yard and sold them door-to-door for three cents each. Remarkably, our lighthearted neighbors bought every acorn his pudgy hands could carry.

Yes, I know the sheepish look of that young mother all too well.

I know, firsthand, that mothering preschoolers can be frustrating at times. But how I wish I’d known then how much I would treasure the memories of my son’s antics now. Perhaps I would have found more relish in hugs, more delight in kisses . . . and more laughter in greasy hair!

Mindy Ferguson

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