I was recently reminded of a poem that, other than the bit about curly hair, fits you to a T.
“There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.”
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Last Sunday we celebrated Mother’s Day by going for a walk around a pond. You wanted to walk of course, as well you should. The problem was that you weren’t content to walk with us; you wanted to run ahead and repeatedly ignored our warnings to stop and wait.
It’s hard for me to know the right thing to do for you sometimes. I fall comfortably in the middle when it comes to free range versus helicopter parenting, but there are times when I swing in one direction or the other, like on Sunday. There were bends in the trail and we didn’t want you out of our sight since we were walking close to the water’s edge. There were also a lot of unleashed dogs and although they seemed well-behaved, you haven’t learned the right way to approach them yet.
The biggest thing though was your blatant disregard for what Mommy and Daddy were saying to you. You’re incredibly strong-willed, a trait I admire believe it or not, but we’re still in the process of teaching you the importance of obedience to the ones who always have your best interests at heart, and you’re still in the process of learning that things go better for you when you choose to listen.
You ended up spending most of our walk sitting on Daddy’s shoulders, which caused you no small amount of consternation. There were tears, cries, and screams, but Daddy and I are learning (sometimes more slowly than we should) that in order to steer you in the right direction in life, our consistency is incredibly important.
By the time we got home that night, you’d gotten over the injustices of the afternoon and transformed back into the little girl who warms my heart in a million different ways. You did that fake laugh that you know cracks me up. You helped without being asked. You told me that you love me “sooooo much”.
And I soaked it all in, the good and the horrid, because I know that with a little guidance, every aspect of that blooming personality of yours will grow into something beautiful.
There will be days in the coming months and years when you think Mommy and Daddy are terrible, mean parents. But there will also come a day when you’re grown that you’ll realize two things:
- We did it all for you.
- We hated it every bit as much as you did.
I love you, my beautiful girl.
Happy third birthday!
Janine Huldie says
Aw, Happy 3rd Birthday to your girl and you totally brought be back to the not so fun, three’s though and yet I do miss it with my youngest on her way to 5 in a few short months.
Happy Birthday sweet girl! Sounds like she does have a bit of an independent streak, which is par for the course at 3. Brave enough to venture out on their own, but always looking over their shoulder for reassurance. She will get through it, and so will you!
Awwww, this is beautiful. It also warms my heart to know that my little girl isn’t the only one that acts that way! Happy birthday to your little girl!
You are definitely not alone!! Haha.
You have an Annelise! So do I, we just spell it Anneliese! Love that name! Your little girl looks so sweet, and just as spirited as mine. It must be the name 🙂 I love this letter, there is so much in our hearts we wish we could share with our littles and explain why we do what we do. Someday they will understand. Now we so much better understand our parents, no?
Yay for Annelise (Anneliese)’s!! I only knew of the name (not anyone WITH the name) when she was born, but now I’m hearing it more frequently. I think we’ve doomed her to a life of misspellings though :/
I look forward to the day when I can give my kids these letters!
Elaine A. says
Three is a lot of fun but challenging too. Come to think of it, every age is that way somewhat! 😉 Happy Birthday to your little girl!
Thanks Elaine! You’re right; every age has it’s challenges (but three is… special 😉 )