Lately, my daughter has been a stinker. I know I mentioned it before, but its just my world right now! My little girl is 2 years and almost 4 months old. She is extremely smart and clever — you would not believe the things she says and does. This kid is seriously two going on five. I tell you, my pediatrician even said we might want to test her when it comes time for preschool because she speaks so well and can use phrases [things adults say…appropriate things ;)] correctly. Her intelligence is part of what makes life so hard lately.
Yesterday, before 10am, she had already been in time out three times and had two swats.
My goodness gracious, child! I seriously was already exhausted and in a bad mood by the end of the morning. The thing is, I’ve examined my behavior. I am extremely organized and particular about a lot of stuff, so if I just don’t want her doing something, I say something. She resists. Gets in trouble. I’m irritated. Fun cycle, huh? So what I have been trying to do is stop before I say something and think about what my motive is in telling her not to do something.
I want to be a mama that encourages my children to be themselves and love them for who they are, not who I want them or try to make them be.
So she’s running in circles in the living room like a crazy person, but she’s giggling and laughing and having a good time. Normally, I would tell her to stop because its loud and annoying, but I’ve been trying to stop telling her not to do things just because they bother me or annoy me or something. Its been really hard because, if I am being honest, a lot of the things that two year olds do is really irritating!! lol — they’re loud, repeat themselves a jillion and one times, always hungry, want your attention but don’t want you to do anything for them, and more.
Some of these things are endearing and cute, some — when done on a day that I am annoyed — are just the straw that breaks this mama camel’s back.
There is evidence that letting her do things that annoy me is beneficial. lol — sounds weird…but its true. The other day, we were watching Tangled [like we do every. single. day.] and at the end of the movie, during the credits, there is some bouncy fun music that plays. I felt a tug from the Lord to play with her…it was so clear. So I got up and yelled:
And we started jumping and dancing around the room. It broke the tension and she LOVED IT! And now, every time the movie ends, she looks at me and says, “Mama!! We gotta dance!!” :)
Being a mom is hard work. And right now, I feel like with the boundary testing and little attitude, I’m in the trenches of having small children. A friend of mine who has grown children once told me, “You’re in the weeds.” And that is what it feels like. I can’t see over them, they surround me, and for now, that’s where I am. Toddlerhood feels as if it will last forever, my daughter will never behave, and I’ll never sleep again.
But I know that I need to choose to speak life into my daugher. To encourage her. To show her that I can have fun and want to play. Sometimes its just so stinkin hard when I’m this tired, but I know that when I make the effort to pour into her, it comes back tenfold. Sometimes I try to go in her room and just play. Play for fifteen minutes with her and the day is completely different. Less tantrums, more hugs. Less attitude, more obedience.
Sometimes, I just gotta get up and dance. ;)