Life with kids is not exactly what I imagined it would be. I imagined that my kid(s) would be very well-mannered, always dressed like the cover of a Janie and Jack clothing catalogue, and would undoubtedly NEVER talk back to me, pitch fits, or argue with me about anything. Said hypothetical children do not exist. I have three lovely children, all of whom have surprised me in one way or another – both positively AND negatively. All I can say is, I am not the mother I always thought I would be, nor are my children the picturesque catalogue children I had envisioned. But, we are REAL people with REAL personalities and REAL problems. My oldest is quite a little lady but still has her flaws (chewing with her mouth open, rolling her eyes, giving snide responses to her brothers’ inquiries). My middle is a very boisterous boy with ice-blue eyes as big as saucers and a bank of questions the size of Texas. And my youngest…well…he is quite a challenge. He is perhaps my smartest child (did I just share that openly?), but is definitely – without question – my most challenging child. He is the child that will – no matter the situation – ALWAYS want to do the opposite of what you want him to do. He is constantly challenging my authority, throwing fits when he doesn’t get his way, and is the most difficult of the three to reason with. At first, I thought he was just going through the “terrible two’s”, which seemed to spill over into age three, four, and now almost five. His preschool teachers tell me (for the most part) that he is a very well-behaved and sweet boy. I think he just has them snowed. He is quite the dashing little fellow with big brown eyes, a one-dimpled smile, and eyebrows that can show a range of emotions like I’ve never seen. Lord knows he can sweet-talk his way into just about anything, when he’s not busy pitching a 5-alarm throw-down about the toy his brother won’t let him hold.
The question constantly swimming through my mind is, did I create this monster of terrible behavior? Did I somehow give in too often, relax my standards just a little too much, or is this just how he is wired? And, how do I fix it before he turns into a spoiled tween with no respect for me? I’m still hashing this out, but I think I’m coming to the conclusion that I am going to have to work a little harder with him than I’ve had to with my other two. That’s okay, because he’s worth it. At the end of this journey called Motherhood (when my life ends), I just want to know that I’ve done everything in my power to raise God-fearing, God-loving people who are a joy to be around. Wish me luck!! And if you have any helpful advice, please feel free to leave a comment! If you happen to have a child like mine, just know that you are not alone. And last but not least…if you happen to be one of those “judgy” types like I was before my third child, just know that it’s a lot easier to judge than it is to be a perfect mom to EVERY type of child.