“I want a loose toof!” My two-year-old stood beside the bathroom sink and watched her big sister smile at the mirror, revealing a fresh gap of missing tooth.
“You’ll get one when you’re older, sweetheart. I promise.” I patted my toddler’s head and squeezed a blob of fruity training paste onto her toothbrush. “Right now you’re still growing your baby teeth.”
“But I want a dollar, too! Under my pillow! Please, Momma?”
“Sorry,” my five-year-old chirped, “but you have to wait until you’re a big girl in kindergarten.”
“Hmmpf!” My toddler crossed her arms and sunk her chin into her chest.
It’s tough being little.
My younger daughter looks up to her big sister. She wants to be like her. They play with the same toys, eat the same food, hold to the same bedtimes and wear matching outfits. In my toddler’s mind, she and her sister are equals.
Except they’re not, really. Of course their dad and I love them both equally, and we treat them with the same standards of affection and discipline. But certain privileges come with age.
Five-year-olds go to their classmates’ birthday parties. Two-year-olds stay home.
Five-year-olds whiz down the big slide at swimming lessons. Two-year-olds sit on Mom’s lap and watch.
Five-year-olds cut and paste crafts to their heart’s delight. Two-year-olds aren’t allowed to use the scissors without close supervision.
Such cruel restrictions! And the deprived toddler argues—Me, too! Me, too! I want that, too! Why can’t I have it? I don’t understand!
Well, now. That sounds familiar. I’ve whined those words a few times before—to God.
I want that promotion. Give it to me, please?
I want another baby. Why is this taking so long?
I want to write a book. She gets to! Why can’t I?
I pray. I plead. I grumble and dream. But sometimes God answers—wait.
Not yet, my child.
You’re not ready.
You’re still growing and maturing.
I’m equipping you to handle what you’re asking for—on my timeframe.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time,” (1 Peter 5:6).
“Look, Momma!” My toddler clutched her bottom front teeth between two fingers, squishing her nose with a fist full of knuckles. “I can pull my toof, too!”
“Oh, sweetie, don’t do that.” I steered her hand away from her mouth. “Your tooth won’t budge. You might hurt yourself.”
Her lips drooped and she looked up at me with glossy eyes. I cupped her cheek in my palm and grinned.
“Your teeth are beautiful just the way they are. You’ll get bigger soon enough. For now, just enjoy being two.”
Words of wisdom for my own eager heart.
Yours, too? Are you praying to grow up too fast? Let’s stop yanking at the root. Rest confident that God will lift us up in his perfect timing.
Until then, keep smiling—with every toof you’ve got.