To Snarl or To Laugh: he didn’t care, as long as I was awake with him

It was 4:30am; Abel was awake, and therefore, I was awake. He wasn’t hungry: he was just fussy-hey-I-don’t-sleep-your-hours-woman-come-entertain-me awake. To let me know, oh so subtly of course, that he was aware of the goings on (or lack thereof), he would grunt. And sigh. And flop. And wriggle. In return, I would grunt, and sigh, and flop, and wriggle as I kept popping his pacifier back into his mouth. He was doing it out of hope; I was doing it out of annoyance and desperation. As I started to get really mad (seeing as how rational one is at 4:30am), I found myself muttering things about “why won’t you sleep?” and “this pacifier should make you happy” and “you’ll regret this when you’re a teenager.”

But before I got too mad and wound up, I started to laugh. Because a thought crossed my mind: if an alien was watching me right now, who would they think was in control? And who would they think was the sane one? Somehow I doubt I would be the answer to either of those questions.

The reason I thought of this is because I was listening to a Mark Driscoll podcast (no mention about male/female dominance/subservience stuff to get riled up about – phew), and he posed the question: if aliens were watching us, who would they think was in charge – dogs or dog owners? Dogs walk out in front of their owners. Their owners pick up their poo and carry it around on a walk. And the dogs get to stay home all day while the owners go out and work to keep up the home. Being a dog owner, I had to say: ouch.

The reason Mark brought this up was in the context of worship: do we worship creation or the Creator? Aliens might think that we worship dogs as evidenced by our actions. Some people do take pet ownership to unhealthy levels: there is a fine line between worshiping the creation and being a caretaker as an act of worshiping the Creator.

Same thing goes for parenting. I can worship my child: put all my resources, money, time, energy into this person. Or I can recognize that I can be the best caretaker/facilitator/host while on this mortal coil out of love, adoration, worship of the child’s Creator. A fine line, indeed.

Abel finally fell back asleep, and I did as well. But I couldn’t help thinking that if aliens were ever watching, they would be thinking that humans must get stupider and more subservient as they get bigger: with one tiny “thooey” of the pacifier, and he had me up in a heartbeat. Why would a little person actually *want* to have plastic in their mouth when they could have personal interaction? And what better way to get constant interaction than to use the plastic object as a projectile? Over . . . and over . . . and over?

Oy.

One thought on “To Snarl or To Laugh: he didn’t care, as long as I was awake with him

  1. Robin M.

    First thing I thought of was that folks who own dogs should get one of those doggy carry packs, like backpackers use so that their dogs can carry their own food and water – the dog could at least carry his own poo home.

    I think there’s also a difference between catering to the whims and needs of a three month old and doing the same for a three year old or thirteen year old. (Says the woman who got up at 2:00 this morning to respond to the cries of a five year old who, it turned out, just wanted his blankets untangled. Grrr. I made him go to the bathroom too, as long as we were both up.)

    In the daytime, at least, I can help my children to be contributing members of our family and then to start to see how they fit into the larger scheme of Creation and then to see their service as part of serving their Creator. In the meantime, we also serve by modeling some level of acceptance or even submission to the mess we’ve got ourselves into. Not that I don’t love my messy family life, but the lessons in patience and forbearance and forgiveness are constant.

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