Call & Response For A Two-Year-Old {Part 1}

There’s something about being an active participant in a liturgical call and response.

An unspoken pledge of the common man to fulfill, meditate, carry out spoken, recited words as a community.  A commitment to make good on the promises echoed through a congregational response to a deep spiritual call, request.

The call, a group of words that stimulate and beg of our attention.

A response, a promise stop and take notice.


Around this time last year Little Tomato developed one horrible habit.

I knew it was coming.  A challenge, a rite of passage as she began her journey through the toddler years, the terrific two’s and three’s.

She began to grab, steal, become possessive of things.  It was as though over night her share-button began to malfunction and defaulted to the notorious selfish.

I didn’t take it well.

Initially I fought it.  My daughter will not be that child.  The child who takes, grabs, plucks toys or crayons from others.

So I monitored, and sought to control and attempted to manipulate Little Tomato in each and every way I could.

At storytime she rarely left my line of sight.

Around Sweet Basil she was hardly every alone.

In the backyard with friends I was a hawk.

Let me tell you friends, it’s exhausting.

We are not meant to parent this way.

It was not only time-consuming and mentally draining but left a deficit of energy for me to pour goodness into Little Tomato.  I was too focused on controlling rather than teaching.

So I began to call and she began to respond.


What we have
Is ours to share.

And the Heaven’s opened up.

She got it.

When, upon toddler impulse, she would grab a toy I would simply call:  What we have…

And she would respond:  Is ours to share.

Often promptly giving the other child their toy back.

It’s not a one hundred percenter, but it often has an eighty to seventy-five percent response rate.  Not bad for a two year old I’d say.

This call and response though, it goes deeper than the perceived child sharing.

It’s a beginning as we seek to mold her view of how we perceive the value of what we possess, own.

We truly believe that what we have is ours to share.

Our food.

Our home.

Our money.

Our garden.

Is the manifestation of this belief always sharing all that we have.  Absolutely not.

But I’m a believer.

I hope, with a daily doses of practice, that one day we will share all that we have.

In the meantime, we will call on Little Tomato to be our teacher as we watch her daily navigates and learn that What we have is ours to share.


Today begins a series or childhood call and responses we practice in our home as teaching tools.

Over the following weeks we will look at four additional call and responses we practice in our home as a way of teaching Little Tomato and Sweet Basil values of our family and the goodness of God.

Join us, will you?


7 thoughts on “Call & Response For A Two-Year-Old {Part 1}

  1. Can I get an advance copy of the calls and responses?
    I’m in. I love it. Sold.
    I need help. What I need is a poet. I can’t think of the words I need for the ‘trying to take your sister’s head off while pretending to hug her’ scenario. How do I say that concisely?

  2. Pingback: Call & Response For A Two-Year Old – {Part 2} | Suburban Compost

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s