As the middle child, Tobin sometimes gets overlooked, except when it comes to discipline issues! He had a screaming, raging meltdown at the park on Saturday, which didn't end until well after I had dragged him to the van, struggled for 5 minutes to buckle him up, and made the 3-mile drive home. He proceeded to rage uncontrollably another 10 minutes after I parked the van in the garage and let the other kids go inside so I could collect myself and help him gain some self-control. All of this commotion over the tiniest little thing that just completely set him off!
Anyway, that is typically the type of attention that Tobin gets, simply because of his lion personality (referenced in a recent post). So, I decided that it would be good to focus on some pretty cool things that Tobin has been learning of late.
First of all, he is becoming quite the letter-sounds master. He randomly informs me what the first letters of various words are. He says it backwards, though, as in, "Mommy! [He yells this, because it is an enormously important revelation that he is about to tell me.] B starts with Book!" This type of announcement has become very commonplace, but it is always neat to reinforce his learning. The other day he was looking at one of our Sonlight books, an Usborne book called First 1000 Words. Each two-page spread has common items drawn around the borders with the name of the object. When we read this book for school time, we let the kids take turns finding the objects in the big picture. Anyway, when Tobin was sprawled out on the floor, playing find-the-object on his own, he looked up with a concerned expression and said, "Mommy, knives doesn't start with K!" Pretty perceptive kid! I congratulated him for noticing that the word was a tricky one, and then we had a 10-second lesson on how sometimes K can work together with N to make the N sound.
Another area I have noticed Tobin improving in is his willingness to help with chores and to do tasks even before I ask. Almost without fail, he is the one who does his "table job" after finishing a meal without being told. (His "table job" is to collect our cloth napkins, keeping them in order so we know whose is whose, and putting them on the counter.) He also enjoys keeping the "shoe wall" organized. The shoe wall is the wall area between the bookshelves in the school room and the end of the stair rail. This used to be Charis' job, but after Tobin did it perfectly one day, we decided he was ready to take over so we could give Charis some bigger responsibilities. Tobin does a great job of lining up all the shoes and occasionally does them in the middle of play time!
Tobin's spiritual sensitivity is growing in leaps and bounds as well. He loves memorizing Scripture and quotes his verse of the week (as well as previous weeks) at random times, which is great because it helps us put what he is learning into action!Also, he has told me on several different occasions that he asked God to come into his heart one night when he was praying by himself in bed. He first mentioned this maybe 3 or 4 months ago--I'm not sure when. We were reading an Easter story book one Sunday morning when I was helping in his class. At the end the text asks the question, "Would you like to ask Jesus to come into your heart?" When I read this, Tobin looked at me and said, "I already did, Mommy." I asked him about it, and he told me he had prayed one night in bed. I didn't pursue the issue, thinking he still seemed a bit young, and just thanked God that Tobin at least has a tender heart and seems responsive to the truth.
However, several times since then Tobin has referred to this event, which I think he truly believes happened, and I'm not going to say it didn't. Last Sunday he again brought that same story book to me and asked me to read it. It was deja vu, because when we reached the end with the question, he told me the exact same thing! So, I'm not sure what to think, but at this point I can't really doubt that he trusts that Jesus did die for his sins and rose again from the dead, and I rejoice that he seems to have claimed that for his own life. Of course, as he grows and matures, we will continue to reinfoce Scripture and make sure he truly understands the significance of this, but in the meantime, I thank God for the faith of my child!