The parameters I shared with these mamas was "write about how life raising children on the mission field is different, better, worse, etc then raising little ones here in the US" I told them it could be funny, serious, whatever came to mind but to just give us a good glimpse into some of the differences.
From the Mouths of Babes: MK Life Summed Up in Toddler Quotes
Though our family life is much like “normal American” family life in many ways, in others it’s just…not. And though my babies, age (almost) 4 and 1 (barely) are small, there are some things that come out of their sweet little mouths that just reveal how strange our life really is!
“Mom, where is the poop shower?”
Here in Nepal, TP is a luxury not afforded in most washrooms, public or private (for that matter, neither is a Western toilet). In its stead is a small hose with an attachment similar to a shower head with which you spray your privatest parts. When we visited a friend, my inquisitive gal didn’t see this contraption right upon entrance and immediately inquired, “Mom, where’s the poop shower?” I’m not sure what the actual name is, but I appreciate her candor and creativity.
“Where’s my bathtub?”
At any given time, the ugly blue plastic tub could be anywhere in the house. In our small tiled-in bathrooms which hold a toilet, shower head, drain, “poop shower” and sink, there just isn’t room to keep the eyesore. If I leave it and forget to drain the water, a film forms that reveals the filth in which I bathe my children. It generally sits on my bedroom floor which doesn’t exactly fit my design plan and tends to trip me on my midnight bathroom visits.
Our life revolves around a power schedule. Especially these days with the propane crisis and up to 10 hours of power cuts during waking hours. Cooking, laundry, heating water, and other daily activities depend on when ‘they’ send the power. My daughter will inquire about the electricity when she wants her night-light switched on, her milk boiled, or a smoothie made. We have a red light bulb on the wall that indicates when the power is on and she is constantly on the look out and on the ready to inform us when it finally comes.
“The milk came!”
This one she actually says in Nepali…as of today, but I am claiming it! One of the perks of living in our community is the daily delivery of fresh milk to our front door first thing in the morning. Our kids are always excited to see the “dudh lady” (sounds just like it is spelled…hilarious!), and we are training our one year old son to return the empty milk bottle just because it’s super cute.
“No one understands me…and no one likes me.”
Unfortunately, my toddler’s quotes aren’t all funny. Some even rip my heart out! These phrases generally reference her inability to understand that her nanny can’t figure out what she wants, other kids don’t want to play with her, and we can’t just hop on over to grandma’s house. Fortunately, these not-so-fun conversation starters leave open doors to share our love with her but, more importantly Christ’s love for her and for the people of the world. After all, that’s the reason we are here.
“Buwaa” (boo-wuh) which, much to my dismay, means “Daddy!” I wish we could all be like that little guy who is nearly native already! Though some of these things that inspire quotes laced in confusion can trip us up like the ugly blue bath tub, we wouldn’t trade our strange life for anyone’s normal, perfect, or even slightly less weird life! And in the same way my toddler ends EVERY prayer, we just say, “Lord, thank you for AAAAALLL you give us!” because this crazy, weird, messy missionary-family life is truly a gift that is best described from the mouths of babes. And these days, my baby thinks everything is “amazing!”
Amber is a missionary wife and mommy serving with her family of four in Kathmandu, Nepal. She has met with many challenges on her first term and has shared many of these experiences on her personal blog (ambertaube.wordpress.com).