So, I am going through a tough time with my Kinder daughter. Wow!!! Did God make her very unlike me? He has a plan and she is just how He wants her to be. Yet, God's creation of me and His creation of her are having a tough time existing.
Me: I worry about everybody, want to please others to a fault, hard on myself, HATE getting in trouble, do not get over things easily, and bottle up emotions so everything looks just dandy on the outside.
My Bean: She does NOT care what others think (I plan to use this in the teen years), displays boisterous levels of emotions, moves from devastated to elated in 2 seconds, finds joy in bending those rules (okay, I do too), must always have the final word, and is wise beyond her years.
Last Sunday, I was honored to sponsor this amazing family joining our church. They have a beautiful 1st grader and their baby that was being baptized. I wanted to get both of the kiddos something to celebrate the big event, but of course ran out of time. With my always fit it in attitude, I rushed to CVS at 7am in hoping that I could use my creative magic to make it look like this was well thought out. They had HAD nothing!!! -And I do mean nothing (well CVS is lovely and I support them for all things medicine, make-up, sunscreen, snacks & more, but not baptismal celebrations... surprising, huh)? Not ready to give up, I thought... I don't teach Sunday School this week so I can slip out to Target and pick up a few things after I drop the kiddos off. I will get back to church just in time. Perfect! Then, I thought Kiddo's Choice!!! If they want to come to Target to help pick out something, I will consider that a lovely lesson worthy of swapping Sunday School for. So, I asked if they would rather attend Sunday School or my errand of 'giving'? My 3rd grader chose Sunday School (shoot... I actually get along with him) and my Kinder chose errand (of course)! Okay, I can make that happen. So, I drop my 3rd grader off, run back to the car, drag my daughter back into the car, zip to Target, run in and then it begins.
She KNEW this was NOT about her getting something so she did not go there, but she still had to steer the ship. "You said I GET TO PICK THE TOY," she demands after I march to the Shopkins isle. "I did... so pick!", I blurt back!!! She didn't want to choose from my options and promptly started loudly whining. Now, I KNOW that my nugget did NOT care what we got. Yet, she had in her adorable, nugget head that she was going to make this tough on me no matter what. We continued to have a series of battles over the next 20 minutes from the card to the gift bag to the color of the tissue paper to where we checkout. I arrive at the register, nervously looking at my watch and feeling like I just completed a mile under 6 minutes. I was stressed and worn down. When I get unhappy or overwhelmed, I get quiet. That's it. There is no yelling. What's the point? My husband knows that silence = not good and lots of noise (probably too much ) = happy! Very simple.
I wearily walk back to the car while holding her hand. Well, maybe not as she pulled away to enforce that she does not need my grasp. She breaks the silence by saying, "Mom, do you know that I love Dad more than you?"
I didn't and still don't know what to do with that? On one hand, it 's kind of funny because I gave up my way of life, career, social calendar, and even my body to have and raise my kiddos. My husband lived in NYC for a year while I had a 2 1/2 year old and was pregnant. I was a young mom with a hubby out of town and far away parents, but I made it. I am that mom that would rather stay home with my littles for pizza and a movie on a Friday night than go out. Yet, she picks Dad! Listen, I have always been Daddy's Little Girl and I have a bond with my son like no other. So, okay... it is, what it is. Yet, I was bothered for two reasons. One, she said that ONLY to be mean to me. That was her sole purpose. She knew, so wisely, that she could hurt me like no other with that statement and she used it. Two, does she get that I truly, often don't enjoy my time with her? This is probably the bigger issue and part of the problem.
I have no simple, happy wrap up answer to this post. My journey with parenting and well just basically existing with my daughter continues to unfold. I do know that it is a dance everyday with her where I need to find that balance of letting her be free, ensuring that she understands boundaries, and maintaining my sanity. She is that kiddo that would be in her room the ENTIRE day if I called her out on everything that she did contrary to what I told her. The miracle is that she behaves just fine in school (God, I pray this continues)!!!! I hope this shows that she truly understands right from wrong, but pushes her limits at home where she needs that outlet.
So, I pray.... God, give me strength with my youngest nugget. Help me to find the joy and wonder of her spunky sass (I have a touch of this too, but it manifests itself oh so differently). God, I pray that you help me know that raising my daughter should be less about me, and more about raising the person that You created. You put my feisty, spirited coconut here to do so much, and I just need Your strength to help channel all that spunk in Your direction!!! AMEN!
I'm Rachel Myers, a mom of 2, married to my college guy, former Corporate America gal that stayed home with the kiddos, and preK teacher working on my Masters in Education. This is my little spot to reflect and make it through my journey. Sometimes I lean on Christ and sometimes I forget. Along the way, I love finding inspiration from others, spreading the good in people and finding the joy in God !