This coming week I will start leading worship for the kindergarten through second grade kids at my church. They post the songs with motions on the web so we can come prepared to lead well. I opened up the first song and started to sing and sign along with it when my three year old came up to me and said, "Mom, there's smoke coming out of it." It?
Ahem . . . not words to brush off, definitely. I follow him into the kitchen where he and his older brother had each gotten a piece of left over pizza out of the fridge. Apparently Nathan decided to take it into his own hands to heat his up in the microwave! Fortunately, he must have realized when the smoke started coming out that he should turn it off and come get me (instead of leaving it go for the 13 minutes still on the cook time when I came in . . .) After I ascertained that the contents were not actually on fire, I unplugged the microwave and ran it outside to finish smoking.
We had a clear talk about not using the microwave, "Always ask Mommy, or Blake, or Daddy to cook in the microwave for you. You never use the microwave by yourself. " His response -- "Okay, but Daddy's not home." (Does that somehow negate your other two options, that are both home?) Oh well. No serious harm done. The microwave needed a good cleaning anyway, and the plastic plate that now has a hole on the bottom was near the end of its life anyway. And, I figured while my house stunk like smoke I may as well turn on the self cleaning oven and get that done, too.
About this time, my husband popped back in for a bit to help me get the pool started. We got a new simple set pool (you blow up the ring and then fill with water) for Christmas and the kids have eagerly awaited the warm weather to set it up. The kids love to play in it as it fills, so they jumped in their suits to "help." After a little splashing around, my two little ones decided to take a break from the pool and play on the porch a little bit, while I cleaned out the microwave which still needed some airing out. I look up to find them covered in ash and burnt wood residue from the fire pit. Nathan was gleefully picking up the pieces left from our last fire and throwing them around. I honestly thought I was in a time warp back to when he was 18 months old. At that time, when Brooke was three, they were always scaring up trouble together, but I have enjoyed some relative calm for a while now. I guess he thought my life must be getting boring. Fortunately, the hoses were out for filling the pool, so we hosed them off and swept the porch (which probably needed it anyway). No real harm done.
Once again, I could have easily gotten frustrated at the "disruptions" to my day, but I know God's plan is for me to continue to train these kids. It is a long job. Doing it well today doesn't mean tomorrow will be any better, but I need to not lose heart because there is such joy in the prize, and in the day to day if I look for it. The progress in their little lives is sometimes small and comes in baby steps, but it is plainly there. We can't grow weary in these high demand preschool days, because they need us to continue to remain consistent and help them mature through it. And, my oven, porch and microwave are a lot cleaner than they would have been otherwise, and we still had a great time playing around in the pool together. Definitely not what I planned for today, but a great time anyway. Oh, and I figured it is about time to start potty training . . . should be exciting!