Last Updated on March 20, 2018

There are some things I forgot in the 16 years between babies, such as the dangers of tablecloths.

As soon as Alyssa was old enough to sit in a highchair, she was drawn to tugging on the tablecloth. Drawn.

When a baby is five months old, it’s pretty cute. “Oh, look at that, she can grab it.” Within a few weeks, though, it was no longer cute. She’d grab and pull, and soon whole place settings were dangerously close to being hurled onto her highchair tray.

From the beginning, I knew I couldn’t let this become a habit. It became her first “no.”

“No, don’t touch that.” (Remove little bitty hand.)

“No. What did Mama say?”

“Alyssa, Mommy said no.”

Scooting her highchair back worked, but there were times I forgot or someone else was feeding and didn’t know. Within minutes, she’d be reaching for the tablecloth to give it a yank.

This is still a work in progress, and the other family members are working to help me break this habit. We all know what could happen. There could be something hot on the table, and she’d give the tablecloth a big yank. Ouch.

The thing is, at eight months old now, she knows better. Before she reaches for the tablecloth, she looks at me. She makes eye contact. She smiles. She knows what I want (her not to touch it). She knows what she wants (to pull on it). She knows.

Today I learned a new lesson. She’s able to crawl to the table, reach up, and pull. Thankfully, the only thing she pulled down on her was a power cord for my notebook computer, but it made me realize another step of training we need to work on.

Now, some of you may be saying, “Just take off the tablecloth.” Well, it’s not that easy. It’s a new table. It needs to be protected. More than that, my baby needs to learn. She needs to learn to listen and obey. She needs to learn that I say what I say to keep her out of danger, not just because I don’t want her to have fun. Besides, in life, as we explore the world, there will be other places with tablecloths. She will carry this lesson into life.

Of course, I can’t help but to work through this training while also thinking of my own life, my own training, and how God tries to “work” with me. It makes me consider what “tablecloths” I’m drawn to — things that seem fun and innocent but that God knows can lead to danger ahead. And usually I know too.

Thankfully, the training will continue. There will always be something else to work on. There are things that are “no” for a reason, and in life we need to accept that. We need to teach that.

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One Comment

  1. Good thinking, Tricia. I once pulled a tablecloth loaded with china, crystal, silverware AND food off onto my lap and that of another person at a formal luncheon for speakers at an event. Hard to have much credibility after you've done that 🙂