Tag Archives: children
Listen to the Children
Believe it or not, there are many who swear that true wisdom can be found in the words of young children. Especially in the aftermath of the last school shooting in Florida, political activists are jumping on the opportunity to drag them to state capitals and the White House.
Forget the need for a lifetime of experience…forget that the ones to whom some of these teens are mouthing off to have more security clearances than the Avengers…forget the idea of listing to one’s elders…listen to the wisdom of those who just learned to wear pull-ups and cut their own meat.
If we did what they wanted us to do – listen to the children – what would the world, or at least our country be like?
* No one would ever work … except those who need to work so that others would not have to work.
* Every day would be Christmas, Halloween, and summer vacation … as long as someone else buys the gifts, provides the candy, and drives them to the beach.
* There would be peace on earth and no more wars … except when someone disrespects you or takes your candy.
* Everything should be available for the asking whenever it is wanted … as long as we don’t have to be the ones providing it for someone else.
* There would be no need for multiple television channels … only Disney, Nickelodeon, MTV, VH1, or Netflix (when not watching internet porn on smartphones, or sexting each other before hooking up).
* Everyone would have everything they always wanted, whether they needed it, or not … and still act like brats that never get anything they want and are always mistreated.
* No one would ever eat at home, only restaurants … then complain about their weight.
* Education, if desired, would be determined by what the child thought was important … like “Queer Translation (UC Berkeley 250)” and “The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender, and Media (Skidmore College).” Don’t believe me? Just Google it.
* Teachers, Doctors, Policemen, School Teachers, and Ministers would be disrespected and maligned … while movie stars, rap and rock stars, and vulgar athletes would be deified.
* Animals would be considered equal with humans … except when it came to leather clothing and Happy Meals.
* Hate would be outlawed … unless you’re a policeman, a member of the NRA, a conservative Christian, or if you dare disagree with a crumb-crunching skull full of impressionable Silly Putty.
Wait! Maybe the children are already in charge!
“Too many parents try to reason with little individuals in whom ‘foolishness is bound,’ then in vain try to ‘drive it far from them’ with timeouts. I propose that a loving, biblical approach to parenting would serve themselves, their children, and the world much better.” – A. Baker
I’ve heard it many times before, and I’ve even said it a time or ten myself, “Enjoy them while their young.” But as my children and I age, the truth of that statement becomes more profound with every day.
When they were young; when they were just wee little crumb-crunching Barney lovers; that was the time when we only thought we were pulling out our hair. Those were the days when babysitters were hard to find. Those were the days when milk got spilled and urine only leaked through diapers when you were wearing church clothes.
I’ve seen poor young moms, all frazzled and worn, look forward to the day when their terrible tikes could feed themselves, go to school, and go to the bathroom alone. Yet, if only those moms and dads could realize the physical stress of the moment is nothing compared to the emotional and spiritual stress of later years.
Those of you who still have small children, may I give you some sage advice? Those of you with children still at home, whether toddler or teen, will you listen to what I have to say?
Don’t waste a single minute, don’t even read to the end of this post, and get down on your knees and pray for your children.
I can’t tell you how much I wish I’d prayed more for my daughters. I can’t tell you how much my wife and I regret not praying for our girls every day, day after day, since before they were born. You might not be able to change the past, but would you change your future? Pray for your children!
We live in such an evil time, friends. Satan (I believe he is real) has never been more active in seeking the destruction of innocence. There is no way we can keep them from every danger, so we must intercede for them like their lives and souls depended on it…because they do.
We are in a war for the souls of our kids, and the only weapon proven effective in this conflict is the effectual, fervent prayers of righteous men and women. Are your prayers effective? Are they being fervently offered? Do you even care enough about your own life and character to be concerned if whether or not your prayers are being heard?
Again, we are in a war, a war of sedition, and the casualty rate is swallowing our sons and daughters!
Parenting 101 is easy stuff. Parenting 201 is the practical stuff. But Parenting 301, if there is such a thing, break your heart and bend your knees. If your not used to it, the fall to the floor is going to hurt – a lot.
I know I’ve posted a lot, already, but this is my daughter we’re talking about.
Katie is a Music Education and Biology Education Major at Bryan College. Today she performed a piece while I was at work, so my wife filmed it.
I downloaded the video and then uploaded it to Youtube so you guys could see it.
I don’t have the foggiest idea what she is singing, but it’s pretty.
If you didn’t know by now (I don’t know how you wouldn’t), I am a mild-mannered school bus driver by day…I can’t tell you about what I do at night – it’s top secret.
Because I drive a school bus, I am privy to many things children will talk about when not around teachers or parents (they seem to think I can’t hear – I’m too focused on the road, you know). Most of what they talk about is mundane and full of drama (especially with the girls), but sometimes their conversations DEMAND that I insert my two cents.
However, it is rare to hear my elementary kids (grades K-5) talk about “the birds and the bees,” especially when the words they use are ones like “egg,” “sperm,” etc. Therefore, what was discussed today was destined to be turned into a blog post.
Not Supposed to Know
I was just driving, looking ahead at the road, when a 5th-grade girl (let’s call her “Sue”) sitting in a seat right behind me uttered the words “sperm,” “egg,” and “sex” in the same string of words. I am only assuming the string of words were put together in the form of a sentence, but the key words stood out above the rest she used. Immediately my eyes looked up to the rear-view mirror.
“Blah blah sex blah blah blah sperm and egg, blah blah blah, isn’t that right?” Sue asked a male student across the aisle from her.
Looking at Sue’s reflection in my student mirror, with a combined look of shock and inquisitiveness, I asked, “What in the world are y’all talking about?”
“Oh…yeah…we’ve been learning stuff in 5th grade…probably stuff we shouldn’t know at our age,” Sue replied. Then she called upon a 5th-grade boy (let’s call him Jack) and asked, “Isn’t that right, Jack? Tell Mr. Baker what we were learning about in class.”
Like a typical boy with little on his mind, Jack at first responded with a “Huh?” Then he went on to say, “Yeah, we talked about sex, and where babies come from, and all that.”
“And eggs and sperm, right?” Sue continued.
“Oh, yeah, that too,” Jack confirmed.
“Well,” I said, shaking my head, “you’re probably right…you’re too young for that stuff.”
“And a…a….a….” Sue stuttered, trying to complete a word.
“Asexual?” I questioned, attempting to complete the word she was trying to remember.
“Yeah! Asexual! We learned about being asexual, too,” Sue replied.
So, as you see, I was drawn into a conversation that grown-ups dread, especially when it comes to dealing with little kids that are not your own. Therefore, taking charge of the discussion, I immediately began to extend my wisdom on the subject.
“So, you know what asexual is, then?” I asked.
“Yes,” sue replied.
“Well, that’s what you should be…asexual,” I said. Sue tilted her head with suspicion.
“Yep, that’s what you need to be – asexual. That means you don’t need a boy; you don’t need to date anyone; you don’t need any of that – just have babies all by yourself, or cut off your arm and in no time you have another you, just like a starfish. Simple.”
“I don’t think that’s the way it works, Mr. Baker,” said an incredulous Sue. Then she looked at Jack and asked, “What wrong?”
Jack, looking a little sad, then said, “I don’t want to be asexual…I don’t like asexual. That makes me sad.” Then he stepped off the bus.
Cabbages On a Tray
With a serious, yet “no duh” look I caught Sue’s eye in the above mirror and asked, “Do you really want to know where babies come from?”
“Sure. Where?” replied Sue.
I explained it this way…
You see, first of all, all that stuff you see on TV, all that stuff in the movies…especially that Rated-R stuff…all of that is fake; don’t believe it. All that stuff you see them doing is not real; men and women don’t really do all of that.
Secondly, I have kids, so I know about these things. That whole “Stork” thing…that’s made up, too.
Here’s the truth, OK? What happens is when a woman has a baby, she goes to the hospital to get it. She goes to a really nice, expensive room, where she gets really comfortable and waits around a while. They put her on a bed, lean her back, and then cover her up with a blanket, making sure she has everything she needs. Then, at some point, the doctors and nurses roll in a cart with a big tray on it. On that big tray is a bunch of cabbages.
What happens is when they roll in that tray full of cabbages, the woman is then given one choice, one cabbage, to pick. She picks the cabbage she wants, then they turn it over. Whatever baby is under that cabbage is the one she gets, the one she has to take home.
That’s where babies come from. You understand, now?
“Cabbages, huh?” asked Sue, her lips snarled up to one corner of her face.
“Oh, and Sue,” I said, as I was approaching her stop, “this means if your mom wants to have another baby, she doesn’t need another husband, either.”
Sue looked at me, head tilted, with a look on her freckled face that screamed “this oughta be good,” and then asked, “Oh, really?”
“Absolutely!” I exclaimed. Knowing Sue’s mom is divorced, I went on to explain, “If she wants another baby, all she needs to do is call down to the hospital and order a tray of cabbages, and they’ll get one ready for her. Then she can just pick.”
Stepping down the stairs after the bus came to a stop at her street corner, Sue looked back at me with a smile and said, “Cabbages, huh? Have a great day, Mr. Baker…see you tomorrow.”
And THAT is how a bus driver explains the birds and the bees.
It may have never crossed your mind, but it’s pretty common to have complaining children on a school bus. Really? Yeah, really.
But every once in a while this fortunate driver is blessed with a child or two who has no concept of social skills, much less an understanding of what is or isn’t fair. Therefore, should anything at all not go their way, the usual response is a river of tears, an emotional breakdown, and the inevitable attempts to make deals.
Honestly, these kids will drain all the energy from you. Had we not already had three children, I would have been the one in the marriage to claim a headache, even on the honeymoon.
First One Off
This week, the big argument with my ever-complaining, ever-competing, socially-challenged, inconsolable brother-and-sister tag-team was who would be the first one to get off the bus when they arrived at their stop. Dear Lord! Help me! Why??
“Can I get off first, Mr. Baker?” came the first request. Then, from a panicky sibling, “Can I get off first, Mr. Baker? Please!” Back and forth, pleading like people about to face the death penalty, the brother and sister would argue their cases.
At one point they started playing “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” but they ended up finding ways to cheat. Then they tried a game of “Quiet Mouse,” but who were they kidding? Nothing they tried helped them decide who would get off the bus first, especially when the loser of any game they played wanted a do-over.
Finally, I came up with an idea.
At first I thought about the whole “short straw” thing, but then I decided to modify it for the occasion. Since a total of four elementary children would be getting off at the last stop, I took four drinking straws, grabbed a Sharpie, and marked on each one.
I said, “I have four straws, and each of you are going to pull one out of my hand. If you pull out the one with only one mark on it, then you can get off the bus first.”
“Can I have that straw,” asked the little girl?
“No!” I replied. “That wouldn’t be fair, now would it? You have to pick it from my hand.”
The little brain surgeon never missed a beat, “Well, can I pick that one, then?”
Life Isn’t Fair, Or Is It?
So, as you might have guessed, once it got down to actually drawing straws with marks, nobody got the straw they wanted, except the kid who drew the straw with one mark – and that kid didn’t really care!
Picture, if you would, a little boy flopping around in the seat, kicking, and bellowing out through snot and tears, “But my sister CAN’T go in front of me! It’s not FAIR!”
After having all I could take I looked in my rear-view mirror and said, “You know what? Life isn’t fair! You don’t always get what you want!”
Then something profound hit me: “What if life IS fair, but it’s just that we are selfish and don’t want to accept the results of the straws?”
Learn to be Content
If there was anyone in history who could have claimed that life wasn’t fair, it was the Apostle Paul. I mean, good grief, this man had everything in the world happen to him! He was beaten, shipwrecked, imprisoned, starved, and a whole bunch of other things – all for trying to do what was right. Was that fair?
But what did Paul have to say about all the things he endured?
“…I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances.” Philippians 4:11b (NIV)
Maybe if we were a little more like Paul, having the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5), drawing the wrong straw might not matter as much. Maybe we could better accept our position in line and wish the best for others going before? Maybe we could see the sovereignty of the Master Marker of Straws at work and learn to be content?
Maybe more of us should just be happy we were allowed on the bus in the first place!