One thing we have begun to realize about our children learning to talk–we cannot control what they say or where they say it. This can make an interesting tool for self-revelation.
Yesterday after a delightful dinner with some friends south of Oxford we were headed home on the bus around 8 p.m. Buses run less often on Saturday nights, so this one was extremely full. Harriet and Norah were in their buggy parked facing the rest of the bus; the rows of silent people forming, it seems, an excellent audience.
She started straining against the seatbelt of the buggy before proclaiming proudly,
“I’m making poopy, Mommy! I’m making poopy on the bus! Good job, Norah! Very good job, Norah!”
From the nearest seat facing her, I tried to shush her a bit.
“I did make poopy! Oooooh, I did make it!”
This was a bit embarrassing. She was silent for a while.
Then she leaned forward and asked me to hold her hand. I reached out and took her soft pudgy little fingers in mine and gave them a squeeze. She said,
“Pray for me, Mommy. Mommy, pray for me! Let’s pray.”
I’m sorry to report that one of my first feelings was still one of embarrassment. Pray? Out loud on the bus in public?? This is awkward!
I copped out. I said quietly, “Do you want to pray, Norah? You pray.”
“Yeeeesss! I pway. God, thank you for this nice day! And thank you dinner, and party, and bus. Thank you for Jesus, God. Thank you for Jesus. God thank you for bus. This nice bus! And thank you for the people. And these people, and this people, and this people.” (Waving her arms and pointing at different passengers)
The potty declaration was indeed embarrassing. The prayer certainly shouldn’t be. I spent the rest of the ride home thinking that I want Norah to know that Mommy and Daddy can proclaim Christ on the bus as readily as we can at home behind the closed door of our flat.