First thing in the morning and late at night, my bonus room looks normal. It’s cozy, quiet, inviting, tidy, spacious and organized (thanks to storage ottoman’s). During the day, however, it blows up into something resembling a train wreck; like somewhere from another planet – planet disaster, planet chaos, planet JT!  My seemingly organized coziness converts into toys, toys and more toys! I’m talkin’ dozens of little puzzle pieces launched across the room, tiny little Tonka cars hiding in places for feet to find and singing trucks and dancing animals that DO NOT HAVE ON/OFF SWITCHES (hello, whoever makes these toys must NOT have kids)!!!!

I babysat my niece Luci last week and it was to the bonus room we headed. The bonus room is where I can keep them confined, where they can run wild, let loose, have fun, but mostly, it’s where I can keep them confined. Have I said that already?

Normally Luci and JT play very nicely together – normally. On this particular day, nice was not the case and I blame JT. He’s recently discovered his altar egos: me, myself & I. His dozens of toys are his for the taking but it’s Luci’s piglet he wants. He has 3 huge fuzzy blankets to play hide and go seek with, but its Luci’s snuggles he wants. He has 3 different sippy cups scattered across the room, but it’s Luci’s sippy cup he wants. And when he really wanted to test my patience, he would go for Luci’s hair clip. Poor Luci! With a head full of curls, you can imagine how much that would hurt. I would re-introduce a different toy to JT and the distraction would last for 3 seconds then back to piglet. Luci would put down piglet for 1 second and JT would swoop in like a starving scavenger. Luci would cry and I would have to use my sneaky ninja skills to steal piglet back. And when I was momentarily absent (a girl can grab a coffee can’t she?), there was pushing and shoving and clawing and smacking followed by crying and screaming and whining and tattle tailing. It was never ending. In fact, at one point, I just sat on the couch watching it happen. JT would push Luci and Luci would push him back. I applauded. JT would steal Luci’s sippy cup, Luci would shriek and grab it back. I smiled. JT would take Luci’s snuggles and that was it, his life was about to be over. And as Luci charged after him in full force, JT quickly dropped it and bolted. I laughed.

Note: Normally I don’t babysit like this, so Erin if you’re reading…. don’t worry; I AM a responsible sitter for your child.

Sigh! How come all the things I try to teach JT (like sharing and being gentle and kind) he doesn’t remember or act upon when it matters the most? Rather, he naturally does things I’ve never once taught him. How infuriating for a parent to observe…

Hmmm, aren’t us adults exactly the same?

I want blonde hair. Nope, now I want brown. I want a bigger house. I want a new vehicle. I want TWO new vehicles. I want a new Xbox, a boat, a quad, a cabin, a trampoline, a snow blower, and a condo somewhere hot. All because Luci has it, or Sandra, or Christy, or Angie, or Todd, or Natasha, or Mike, or, or, or….we’re never happy. We have dozens of toys that 2/3’s of the world would fall all over themselves to have, and we want more just to have more.

For the first time since I’ve had JT, I understood a little of how God must feel when he sits on his couch in heaven, coffee in hand, and observes us – HIS children. His heart must break. How sad that we don’t remember all he teaches us, but rather, we allow our naturally ugly selves to creep on in and take over. Envy, jealousy, greed… and me, myself and I are, ugly, ugly, ugly!

Contentment: satisfied or showing satisfaction with things as they are; happiness with one’s situation in life.

Luci & JT

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