Thursday, November 20, 2008

One Step Ahead...

daughter Definition
daugh·ter (dôt′ər) Physics an element that results immediately from the disintegration of a radioactive element
I laughed out loud reading this "physics" definition of daughter...i most assuredly feel disintegrated most the time!!

A son is a son till he takes him a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life. ~Irish Saying

After having Joseph, I thought that there was no way that I could love a child more than I loved that precious soul. Boy, was I wrong. When I found out 2yrs. and a few months after Joseph was born that I was having another baby I was beyond words. Then in my 2nd trimester, I found out that this baby would be a GIRL!! I couldn't believe that I would get to experience being a mother to a girl. Everything that I bought for that child was pink, and still is today!

When Presley was born, she looked exactly like I dreamed she would. The blondest hair and the bluest eyes, she was angelic.

Things were different this time around, though. I had a c-section with her, so the healing was not quite as fast as I had thought. Doubled over in pain for the first 2 weeks was exhausting in itself, not to mention taking care of that sweet darlin' newborn baby girl and a bouncy little 3 yr. old boy.

I well remember by week 4 that she was a very different little creature than her big brother had been. It was really unbelievable how contrastive the two of them already seemed to be. This same week, week 4, I purchased for the first time ever the book...The Strong Willed Child, by Dr. James Dobson.

Please understand that I was desperate for some help with this new baby girl that God had placed in my care on that cold December day. I remember telling my mom that she already seemed to be defiant of me. Almost like she was trying to call the shots?? As crazy as it sounds, she was already exerting her strong will and independence on me.
For a couple of weeks, before I really dove deep into the new book that I had purchased, I thought that I was going crazy. Like I had lost every instinct of parenting skills that I once seemed to possess. What is happening to me?? Why do I feel like a bumbling idiot??

I thought I had this parenting thing nipped in the bud...boy was I WRONG!
Have you ever heard the saying..nothing good comes except through hard work? Well, I was about to learn this lesson the good old fashioned experiencing it first hand.

These last almost 4 years of Presley's life have been the most challenging, thought provoking, difficult, testing times of my life. And I mean this in the very best sense!! She has brought me to a whole new level of motherhood. One that requires consistence, persistence, patience beyond my own self...patience that can only come from God's grace.

I love her personality, her strong willed-ness, her competitive little spirit, her never ceasing to ask questions self. She makes me a better mother, because she forces me to stay one step ahead of her. Which I promise you is NOT easy to do!! I cannot ever get lazy with her, because the consequences are not pretty.

After reading this from Dr. Dobson's book, I wanted to jump for joy and shout to the highest mountain...THANK YOU!!!!!! I KNEW IT!!!!!! 39 of The Strong Willed Child..emphasis is his.

I hope I have made the case by now that willfulness is built into the nature of some kids. It is simply part of their emotional and intellectual package brought with them in the world. This aspect of inborn temperament is not something boys and girls learn. It is something they are. Mothers know this instinctively. Virtually every mom with two or more children will affirm that she noticed differences in personality-a different "feel"-the first time she held the. They'll tell you that some of them were tough and some were easy. But each was unique.

Hallelujah!! He finally spelled it out for me and showed me that I wasn't crazy and that maybe she was born with a different personality, not one that had been learned those first 4 weeks! I was free from thinking that I had been doing a terrible job, and started to take it a bit easier on myself.
All this said, I have enjoyed every minute of every day with this angel. She is my girl, my buddy, my side-kick. I would be a boring mess without her.

The idea for this post stems from Presley's last couple of weeks at Preschool. The teacher has been walking her to the car and telling me that she had not been very good at school. What?? Oh no! Her teacher proceeds to tell me that she isn't playing well with the other girls in her class. I am somewhat relieved, I thought she had meant that Presley wasn't minding her. Either way, to the teacher, it does not make for a happy environment.

All week Lem and I talked to her about playing nice, telling her to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", "love your neighbor as yourself", you know..all the good stuff that she needs to know.

Well, that was all last week, so when I picked her up on Monday of this week, I was prepared for some great news. There was just NO way that her teacher was going to deliver more bad news...just not possible.

They reach the car and she opens the door to let Presley in...I am on pins and needles waiting for her to tell me how the day was, so I am trying not to look too anxious. "Hi!! Good afternoon, ladies", I say in a really dorky way. Great, now the teacher thinks I am an idiot!
Mrs. Heather finally speaks..."She was okay, today. She was nice to Micah, but not nice to Sara". My heart sank as I heard her words and saw the teachers face in a less than happy demeanor.

It is NOT a great feeling when a teacher doesn't necessarily find your child as "desirable" as you. :( I pasted on my best smile, and said thank you, Mrs. Heather, we will continue working on her behavior.

Presley was quiet as a church mouse the whole ride home. She knew she was still not "playing nice" and I was out of fresh ideas to help her "get it". I prayed that God would give me fresh insight into how to help her and teach her.

When Lem got home, I sat him down with Presley and told her to tell him about her day. As soon as I said this, she gives me this look that put chills down my spine, a look that is way too mature for a 3 yr. old to give. Almost like I had betrayed her and she wouldn't forget it. Where did she learn to look like that??? She is really something else!!!
Me: Well, tell Daddy about your day, Presley.
P: It was fine.

Me: Fine?? No, Presley, tell daddy about Sara.

P: What about Sara? (she says this non-chalantly and with much coy)
Me: At school today, with Sara, tell Daddy what happened.

P: again, casually she says.."Did i have school today?"

Lem: Answer me, Presley. What happened with Sara, were you nice to her or not?

P: (seeming almost bored with the whole thing) Well, what do you want me to say?? Which answer to you want me to use, Daddy?

Lem: The TRUTH, Presley Jane.

P: I really don't remember...are you sure I had school??

**Lem and I are trying not to look at each other, because we know that we will break out in full on laughter. NOT because it was cute that she was not telling the truth, but that she was going to such imaginative lengths to get around telling the truth.**

Finally, she gave in and spilled her guts. She is always so sorry afterwards, it really makes you want to just pick her up and never let her go...after she gets a little dose of the wooden spoon of course.

I am thankful that she is making me stronger, better, and the minute. ;)

I love you, Presley Jane. You keep being you, and I will keep having many stories to tell, my beloved.

one step ahead..i hope,


A daughter is a little girl who grows up to be a friend. ~Author Unknown

A son is a son till he takes him a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life. ~Irish Saying

>And thou shalt in thy daughter see,This picture, once, resembled thee.~Ambrose Philips

>A daughter is a mother's gender partner, her closest ally in the family confederacy, an extension of her self. And mothers are their daughters' role model, their biological and emotional road map, the arbiter of all their relationships. ~Victoria Secunda

Beloved, you are my sister, you are my daughter, you are my face; you are me. ~Toni Morrison


Rebekah Hudgins said...

What a fun post. Little Presley! I love it that you and Lem are like real grown ups, handling bumps in the road like the Beaver family would have.

She is beautiful and adorable. You guys are doing a great job. If everyone had parents like Joseph Lem and Presley Jane the world would be a better place.

Love and more love,

Michelle Chapman said...

All I have to say on this one is, I'm right there with ya! Jaden is such my little handful! He always seems to be 2 steps in front of me! We have a VERY difficult time with him! ...Hmmmm....isn't He and Presley's birthday the same day? If so, this explains it all! We better watch out getting the two of them together!!! ;)

Mary said...

Momma!!! You're so sweet. . . thanks for re-living the story with us. Y'all are doing a great job, thankfully we have each other to compare little mess-pots between Presley and Sloaney. . .and P was a dream at my house, maybe Ms. Heather isn't the nice one! ;)