Cuppy Empty–Boldly Asking for What We Need

Toddlers don’t have any tact.  At least this is true for the ones that I have tries to parent.  I don’t think that my sampling size is too small to make this type of statement; in addition to our 5 children, my wife and I were foster parents in the past and we had over 15 kids come through our home.  Some of them were toddlers; none of the toddlers had tact.  Instead, toddlers possess a natural uncouth boldness that is used whenever they need something.  Mary Hope employs this attribute when her cuppy is empty.

I don’t normally call a cup a cuppy for the same reason I can’t fathom the unholy success of Barney the big, purple dinosaur (not to be confused Barney from The Andy Griffith Show–he’s still cool and always will be).  My reason–I am a grown man.  I realize that being a grown man doesn’t keep me from using too many emoticons or saying things like “super-duper” or “okey-dokey,” but there are a few lines that I just can’t cross.  So I don’t call a cup a cuppy; this doesn’t stop MH from doing it, though.  Two-year-olds are like that.

Despite our best efforts, there are occasions when her cuppy becomes empty.  When this happens she rarely walks up demurely with her cup outstretched saying, “Please, Father, may I have more liquid refreshment.”  Instead, she barrels in to whichever room I am in (including the bathroom if I haven’t locked the door properly), shakes her cup, and yells, “CUPPY EMPTY!”  If the response is too slow she yells again, sometimes with a couple of quick-jumps to ensure that her plight is noticed.  Because we try to teach our children manners, I don’t let her get away with this.  I look down at her and tell her to say, “More drink, please.”  She looks up at me and repeats the words, making the word please sound as sugary as possible.

I take her empty cup from her hand and walk toward the kitchen, instructing her to come along.  Sometimes I glance back to see her joyful face; she knows that I love her during these moments, I think.  We arrive at the refrigerator and I ask what she wants.  If it is something other than what was in her cup already, I rinse the cup out and pour the requested beverage into it.  After I secure the lid, I hand her cuppy back to her.  She says, “Thank you” without prompting, gives me a smile as big as her face, and walks away gleefully, full cuppy in hand.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16

MH doesn’t approach me with tact; she doesn’t have to.  I love her and desire to provide her with what she needs.  She approaches me with confidence, believing that my feelings toward her will prevent a harsh response.  Her cuppy is empty and she desires it to be full.  I fill it with what she desires with gladness because of my affection for her, not because she has done anything to deserve it.  I derive great joy from seeing her take pleasure in what I give her, from watching her eyes grow round with reciprocated love.

What once was empty is now full; what once brought distress now brings delight.  Her thirst is satisfied because she asked her daddy boldly, he  heard her plea, and he provided. 

Toddlers don’t have any tact.  I’m fine with that.

(Have you learned similar lessons from the children in your life?  How has this impacted how you view God?  Go ahead a comment.  It’s painless–mostly.)


21 thoughts on “Cuppy Empty–Boldly Asking for What We Need

  1. Hello! Interesting blog you have here…

    Many of the relationships in our lives help us to gain a better perspective of our own relationship with the heavenly Father if we’re open to the parallels, particularly those which require great patience, I know they have for me.

  2. I find it quite interesting what children do to one’s vocabulary. For instance, never before habing them did I use the words “boo-boo,” “potty,” “sippy,” or “paci.” Not to mention the nefarious “blanky.”

    Come to think of it, why is that most “kid safe” words end in “Y?”

    Kids do indeed mess with one’s head.

    • Interesting question on why most “kid safe” words end with a “y.” Maybe there is a psychological reason. Or maybe we push them in that direction with “baby talk.” Who knows?

  3. This is a good post! Funny with a great message to boot! Such a good reminder to come boldly… something we often have trouble doing.

    I have learned so many lessons about God through my niece. Mostly about what unconditional love is, and how God might have that same feeling towards me.

  4. Well, you read my post for today, but I get all sorts of lessons from my kids. It’s amazing what we see and hear when we’re paying attention.

    I love the fact too that God may correct us in how we speak, but it’s not harsh and cruel and He never begrudges our boldness in coming. He’s loving and kind. He can be serious to get our attention, but He wants to show us His grace and provide us with what we need.

    Wonderful post, man! Thanks so much.

  5. I’ve never really learned this lesson well (bodly asking God) until this past year when I started working as a medical assistant. I was totally out of my element, had no clue what I was doing, and made (still am) a ton of mistakes. I felt so inadequate. I had to get real specific (and felt like that’s what God was wanting me to do) in my moment by moment requests. Funny how I had to learn that – kids know to do that instinctively.

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