Daily Life, Parenting, Society

The Strong Willed Child

| Difficult | Stubborn | 

There are a lot of labels we put on individuals in life. Perhaps accurately. Perhaps unfairly.

But I don’t believe in labels (unless, of course, your label for me is awesome).

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My two year old is amazing. Being her mom is, hands down, the greatest joy in my life but not every day is full of puppies, rainbows, and glitter. The “mean mommy voice” surfaces far more than I’d like and I often find myself saying things like, “You need to be ALL DONE!” and “Your behavior right now is UNACCEPTABLE!”. Parenting, for me, becomes a balance of lessons and love. (Read my post “Walking the Line”: On Parenting). My child, like many other others, enjoys doing her own thing. She likes to make her own choices (even when they don’t fall in line with what my husband or I want), and she isn’t always receptive to change. Maybe it’s just a phase that she’ll grow out of, maybe not. As frustrating as that can be, I don’t necessarily see it as a bad thing.

If her personality at two is any indication of how she’ll be as an adult (maybe minus the crying at nap time and the difficulty sharing with friends), I am confident that she’ll go on to do amazing things. She’ll march to the beat of her own drum. She’ll be confident enough to do what she thinks is right instead of following the crowd. She’ll set goals and work hard to achieve them. She will have a vision for her life that is uniquely her own and she will work hard to make her dreams come true.

No matter what she does or who she grows up to be, I will always love her.

I will always be proud of her. She will always be my little lady. 

So maybe the world views raising strong willed children as a challenge but I view it as an opportunity to grow the kind of human being who will one day go on to make great differences in the world around them. In the meantime, we’ll continue setting boundaries, teaching her lessons about life, and loving her each and every day.

Daily Life, Parenting, Pictures

It’s Just Pictures! (Just Some Recent Photos)

With Easter last weekend we had a lot of great photo opportunities. I shared some of them on my Easter post and a couple more on posts throughout the week but here are the rest! Last Saturday we went to a great event in Blue Springs, Missouri (just outside Kansas City). It was sponsored by local church groups and a few businesses in the area and featured inflatables, games, live music, an Easter egg hunt for the children, and lunch for everyone who participated. My toddler enjoyed every bit of it (so much so that we had a hard time getting her out of the bounce house). Take a look:

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Here’s one of my absolute favorites from Easter Sunday. I took this one at home while C was climbing up and down our stairs counting:

“One-Two-Three-Five-Seven-Nine-Ten!”

Somehow when we’re counting with her she remembers four, six, and eight but when she’s going at it solo the numbers seem to slip her mind.

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Daily Life, Pictures

Toddlerisms: Is My Child Insane?! (And Other Fun Stuff)

They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result…

So why does my toddler keep asking me for cookies?!

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Missed my last couple of posts on Toddlerisms?! You can find them here:

The Terrific (But Sometimes Terrible) Twos!

$#i!+ Happens

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If I had to use three words to describe the things that have been coming out of my child’s mouth lately they would be…

 | Hilarious | Shocking | Sweet |

Hilarious:

C managed to climb into her booster seat as I was preparing dinner. She buckled herself in and then realized she couldn’t get out on her own.

C: “I stuck, honey!”

Me: “What did you just call me?!”

{She looks around for a moment, confused, and pauses before answering}

“Mommy.”

Another hilarious new habit she’s developed  is tattling. She now tells on my husband and me when either of us do something she doesn’t like (read: told her “no” or sat her in time out). She comes running into the room: “WHAT DID DADDY DO?!”

Prompting me to ask her, “Well, C, what did Daddy do?!”

To which she usually responds by telling me (or my husband) that she wasn’t allowed to have a treat, or that she had to sit in time out. Within the last week or so she started tattling on the dog. Sometimes she even picks fights with the dog just look at us, expecting us to get the dog in trouble. It’s very bizzare.

Shocking:

We don’t usually keep c-o-o-k-i-e-s in the house so on the rare occasion that we actually have some they’re much like the Sirens in the Odyssey calling to her every time she approaches the kitchen. The other day I made the mistake of buying some Famous Amos cookies from Costco and just like the magnets that those little bites of delicious sugary goodness are, they kept drawing her closer and closer. Thankfully, she’s not quite smart enough to know what the bag looks like and so she mistakenly took my Twinning’s English Breakast Tea for cookies. When I corrected her and told her that the little packet was not a cookie she argued with me…for five minutes.

C: “Cookie Mommy!”

Me: “That’s not a cookie, that’s tea.”

C: “No! Cookie!”

When I say that this continued for five minutes…I’m being serious. Five minutes.

Want to know who won the argument?! I’ll give you a hint: it was me.

Sweet:

I’m going to let you in on a little fact secret…I value sleep. A lot. Maybe more than a cat. As you can well imagine, it’s hard to come by with a toddler in the house. That said, my daughter is incredibly sweet. Every time we snuggle together she pats my pack and says, “Shhhh! Mommy, go to sleep.” or “Night, night Mommy. I love you.”

She got a mini pack n’ play for her baby doll for her birthday. Watching her put baby to sleep at night is incredible. It’s the exact script my husband and I follow for C’s bedtime routine.

Step One: Hugs

Step Two: Kisses

Step Three: More hugs (for good measure)

Step Four: Lay child (or doll) in bed

Step Five: Say, “Night, night C! I’ll see you in the morning. Love you!”

Culture, Parenting, Society

Walking The Line: On Parenting

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As my toddler daughter continues to develop, change, and learn about the world I, too, am growing as a parent. One thing I’ve come to realize over the past few months is that being a parent is really a big balancing act and the future of your child is what’s at stake. One of the toughest things about being a mom is finding that perfect balance between letting your child express their creative individuality and ensuring that they learn the proper boundaries which will help them later on in life. How strict is too strict? How lenient is too lenient?

At two years old, C is constantly on the go. She likes to explore, try new things, and test her limits. I try to give her just enough room to be herself but not enough that she might accidentally get hurt or break the rules we have in the house. But it’s hard, parenting. Sometimes I get frustrated and I raise my voice. Sometimes I lose patience and stick my child in time out when I probably should just sit down and talk to her calmly. Sometimes, okay a lot of times, I feel like a complete jackass. Those are the moments when I realize that we need more balance.

As a mom, I need to understand that my daughter is not perfect. I need to recognize that I’m not perfect.

I need to be okay with that.

I have to learn to take the extra time to help my daughter through a rough moment when we’re out in public instead of offering (sometimes) empty threats of timeout at the store (I have actually had to sit her in time out at Target). I have to recognize that just as I’m learning what it means to parent a toddler my child is learning what it means to be a toddler. I can’t even imagine how difficult that must be for her (it’s probably a good thing that we don’t remember those years) to have this great big world full of challenges and things to explore and to lack the ability to fully express her wants and needs with the people who are responsible for her safety and well-being.

Finding that balance requires me to take a step back, a deep breath, and to look at situations more objectively. To remind myself that my daughter is young and that the moments of frustration she has are only temporary and that it’s my job to help her through them. Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs in the world but it’s definitely one of the most important and it is so, so worth it.