Mashed Potato Parenting

mashed potato parenting

It was just a lazy afternoon so when my daughter and one of the children I babysit asked if they could eat dinner on the porch, I shrugged my shoulders and sent them outside with hotdogs, mashed potatoes, and fruit.

I returned to the kitchen to fix my own dinner and when I stepped back outside I found my daughter painting the other child’s face with the mashed potatoes.

I stuttered for a minute and the 5 year old piped up, “Look, Tasha! I’m Santa Clause!”

My daughter dissolved into giggles.

Of course, when I went inside to get towels, the child’s mother showed up.

Don’t worry, ma’am. I take good care of your son. You don’t mind dried mashed potatoes in his ears, right? 

When I looked at my girl with that, “You know you were misbehaving-what could you have possibly been thinking-I can’t decided if I should make you scrub the whole porch with a rag and a bucket of soapy water-or maybe I should just laugh…” look, she smiled innocently.

“It wasn’t really my idea,” she started to explain.

I held up my hand. “Sweet pea, I know you. Don’t even, for one split second, think you can put this on someone else.”

She had the decency to look at least a little sorry.

I ended up cleaning the porch myself while she did some other work for me to “wear out her mischievousness” and she only smirked slightly as she hurried away.  I knelt down and started scrubbing mashed potatoes from the gray floor boards.

When I was done, I sat back in the old green chair (which my husband calls “hideous” but my daughter and I love) and finally laughed.

She painted his face with mashed potatoes, y’all. 

And he really did resemble Santa Clause.

And no, I don’t have any spiritual application of this. Nor do I have any great parenting wisdom.

It’s just that… well, I am a parent! After everything– all the years of loss– all the years of wondering– all the years of dreaming and what-ifs…

And now I get to decide what to do about mashed-potato-painting-sprees.

God’s faithfulness to me is so great. His mercies are new every morning.

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