The Meier Boys’ Bedtime Routine

Jared and Luke put Bible stickers in their notebooks.

Every night after getting ready for bed, we have a “story-time” routine.  In the past few months, this time has developed past simply reading a few story books.  We added a Veggie Tale devotional book for kids for a while.  Then, Jared joined Awana Cubbies and we began to add this Cubbie book lessons to our “story-time reading and activities.  Jared spends some time learning Bible verses and Luke sometimes tries to mimic what Jared is saying. 

When we are all done, we pray together before the boys go to sleep.  For several months, I would sit at Jared’s bed and Stephen would sit at Luke’s bed while the boys prayed laying down and looking up at the ceiling. A couple weeks ago, as Stephen began planning his school-visiting trips, I realized that I was going to be by myself during this process for several days.  So, I began to change their prayer time routine by having both boys kneel at the foot of Jared’s bed so we could pray together.  Luke sits on my lap and Jared kneels next to me.  My heart swells as I listen to them repeat after me.  Jared has actually started adding a few lines he thinks of on his own.

It’s both exciting and scary to think of his little mind trying to comprehend the spiritual aspects of our routine.  One night, he was lying on his bed and staring at the ceiling shortly after I got his pajamas on and I could tell he was thinking about something quite deeply.  Then, he turned to me and asked me, “Mommy, where’s God?”

I felt my heart stand still for a second as I tried to break down that question in a way that a three year old might understand it.  It’s amazing to me that he will soon be at the age where we can explain the message of Jesus’ love and sacrifice and the salvation of mankind.  It is also a bit terrifying that I am the primary tool for communicating that message in his life.  All I can do is pray that Jared will somehow see Jesus’ love in me in spite of my flaws and weaknesses.

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Jared’s Milestones

Jared poses at a butterfly exhibit.

When Jared turned three years old, I determined that I was finally going to get him potty trained “for real.”  Ever since Jared turned two, I have been going through phases of trying to potty train him and then giving up for months at a time.  This time around, I decided on a strategy that would put my focus solely on Jared.  We had just gotten back from our summer trip in the U.S. and I had a whole month before school would begin again. 

So, I pulled out all of Jared’s diapers and told him, “Jared, these are the last diapers I am going to buy for you.  When these are finished, you have to wear pull ups.  When those are finished, you have to wear underwear.”

It took about a week and a half with a few setbacks along the way, but I can now officially say that Jared is potty-trained during his waking hours.  We are still working on getting him potty trained during his naps and overnight.  So far, he has woken up dry in the morning at least three times in the last three weeks.  The best thing about the whole process is that Jared is finally on board with the activity.  He really wants to be a big boy and not use diapers any more.

Jared and Luke sit on the potty after having had their morning bath.

Besides the potty training, we’re finally getting Jared to eat his meals mostly on his own.  He’s really becoming a day dreamer, and sometimes I can just see his mind go off into another world in the middle of a meal. 

You can just tell there is a lot on his mind.  Recently, Jared decided to memorize the alphabet song and sometimes goes around the house singing it.  He has also memorized his first Bible verse.  We just started to do devotions with the boys each night.  And a verse that I’ve been reading to Jared recently is from Psalm 118:24. 

“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Sometimes that verse has really come back to bite me.  There have been times when I wake up in the morning grumbling to myself about all that I have to do that day.  I feel this dark cloud hovering over my head.  Then I hear Jared quoting Psalm 118:24 with a big smile on my face, and I know God’s using him to tell me something. 

I’m so glad that God can use little Jared to remind me to be glad for each day that He has given us on this earth.

Stephen thought it would be fun to scare his son by placing him close to the mouth of this alligator statue.