Robbie has never had a favorite toy, unless you count Justin’s cell phone. He’d rather explore drawers and sweep the floor than play with any of his toys. But now, at long last, he has a favorite toy.
We try to read Robbie stories every night before he goes to bed. When he was really little, I would sometimes “play” the teddy bear that sings “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” And Robbie would scream at the top of his lungs, terrified. Eventually, Robbie grew to tolerate the bear, and, within the past week or so, he started pointing to it after story time. He quickly learned how to make the bear sing by pressing its paw. And, with that knowledge, I created a monster.
Recently, Robbie had been crying a lot when we put him to bed. Last week, I had the brilliant idea to put the bear in his crib with him. Surely that would entertain him. He would listen to the song once and slowly drift off to sleep. Right? Kind of.
Robbie plays “Jesus Loves the Little Children” over and over and over and over. Not in its entirety, though. Usually he gets through the first line before starting over. Sometimes he just gets the word “Jesus” out before starting over. But, by God, he doesn’t cry when we put him to sleep any more.
Now, a smart parent would take the bear out after her child fell asleep. But, I am not a smart parent. Instead, Robbie alerts us to the fact that he is awake with a rousing rendition of, you guessed it, “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” Over and over and over and over. Every morning. Especially Saturday. We’ve decided that we much prefer that to the fussing that used to accompany Roberto’s wake-up call. So, for now, we’ll stick with “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” After all, there are far worse ways to wake up every morning. It’s kind of refreshing to greet the day with God.