You are definitely a toddler. Not just because you’re walking everywhere now, which you are. But you have the ATTITUDE of a toddler.
You’re pushing every limit and boundary, stretching it until it breaks sometimes. Sometimes you are so fiercely independent it’s a wonder you even need us sometimes. But a minute later you can walk up to me, throw your hands in the air and say “up” and whine and cry until it happens. I’ll get lavished with hugs and kisses and a minute later I get pushed away.
A few weeks ago you loved when we tried to play patty cake with you, but now you give us this look that screams Ugh, WHAT are you doing, mama? And it’s not just patty cake. I told your daddy that this may be glimpse in to what 10-12 years in the future may look like.
On Sunday at church, one of our friends that you don’t see too often came up to you and got close to your face. You gave her a look and pushed her face away! Believe me, daddy and I were MORTIFIED, because we know she didn’t mean anything by it. We told you we don’t push people. But it kind of hit me with a ton of bricks as I processed what happened.
You are a toddler. You are beyond the stage of being a baby where you aren’t so fragile and little, where you get all your nourishment from milk and daddy and I are mainly responsible for keeping you alive. Now we have to start teaching you morality, right and wrong, manners, social norms. But how do you do that when I’m not even sure you fully comprehend what “no” means?
Every night when I put you to bed, I stick to similar prayers. We thank God for our family, for the food we eat, that He watches over you tonight and always, for health, safety, joy, forgiveness, His guidance, and sweet, beautiful dreams that allow you to sleep through the night. But I’ve added my own prayers now. Mainly because you’re asleep and it’s morphed into my own prayer by the end. I ask for His wisdom, His patience, His guidance on how to be the best parent I can for you. I pray that He gives me and your daddy the discernment to parent you according to His ways. And despite having bought a handful of parenting books, I think that’s the best thing I can do. Trust my gut and believe that He gave me the instincts on how to be your parent.
Nella, all this to say, I still love you more every day. I’m just more exhausted by the end of the day than others.
As trying as it is, it’s SO exciting to see what new things you’ve learned every day. Just since I wrote the list of words you can say, you’ve added outside, ball, apple, shoe, purple, duck, bubbles, and table. You mimic your daddy rubbing lotion into his hands. You went down your first slide on Saturday! You crawled through a tunnel at the Children’s Museum that I know you were scared to do, but seeing me on the other side, you powered through your doubt. You tweet at birds. You moo at cows. You’re getting much better at puckering your lips to give a kiss rather than the open mouth sloppy kiss you used to try to cover my face with. You try to put on socks and headbands. You know where your toes are and say toes.
It is amazing seeing how much you’re growing. My prayer is now that it’s time to start teaching you the consequences of actions, we do the right thing!
I love you, my sweet girl,