Last Saturday, I needed to leave my two-year old in her room to play for a couple minutes. I checked carefully to ensure that there was nothing she could get into. Whew. All clear. Off I trotted.
When I returned a few minutes later … whoa boy! Apparently little Evelyn had climbed up the change table shelves, grabbed the tube of baby lotion, and was going wild with it. Buck wild.
She had smeared it on the crib. She had smeared it across the length of the window sill. She had smeared it on the curtains. Then she stood in front of the window – on her dollhouse so that she could better reach every square inch of the pane – and happily smeared away.
If that wasn’t enough, her shirt had a layer of lotion on it. Her face was white with lotion. And her hair was hanging in greasy, wet tangles. Of course, there was no time for a bath if we wanted to be on time for church.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a very, um, stoic person. But somehow, by the grace of God, I remained calm. I disciplined Evelyn and sat her on time out while I cleaned up the mess. I then cleaned her up and explained that what she did was wrong because we’ve told her not to touch the lotion. And then we prayed and she asked Jesus to forgive her.
Didn’t I handle that soooooo well? Parent of the Year! I thought Evelyn had learned her lesson very effectively.
We were on our way out the door and I needed to quickly fix my make-up. In the thirty seconds that I was gone, Evelyn pulled my lipstick out of my purse (which I left within reach because we were on our way out, but that shouldn’t matter because she knows not to open it). Confusing the lipstick for concealer (which she also knows not to touch), she scribbled all over her face with it. Then, with her hands, she rubbed it into her cheeks. Then she touched her coat. And then her hair. And then my purse. Lipstick everywhere.
Thirty seconds, people. I left the room for less than a minute. But wait, because it gets better. When I returned, Evelyn looked at me, smiled and said, “Make-up!” And THEN, still with a smile, she cheerfully requested a discipline. I complied. Then we prayed about it.
You can see how deep her remorse was by her prayer: “Jesus, sorry. [Giggles.] Make-up funny! [More giggles.] Amen!”
At least the tantrum stage seems to be waning.