Friday, May 25, 2007

Where do they learn this stuff? And some reflection...

I needed to change Ruthi. Before I got to her, she ran to the couch to lay down, covered herself with a pillow and told me she was going to sleep. I told her to come here so I could change her. This 29 month old child CLOSED HER EYES and went BLEH, BLEH, BLEH (very cute, by the way) as if to DROWN ME OUT!!! I have to say it kinda cracked me up. But I held it together, gave her a teeny tap on the behind, (and I mean TEENY!) to which she responded, "Don't pank me!" (in a sweet voice) and I said, "Then obey me" to which she jumped and did what I had asked her to. It was actually quite comical, and I could have laughed it off, but I do want her obeying when she's asked to do something. But it kinda baffles me where she picked that up! Is it just instilled?

It's just so funny to me how different she is than CJ - when he was that age, he was quite obedient. He was also quiet, laid back and very easy going for the most part. She is loud, high-energy and I'm finding she can be quite defiant! She is a challenge for sure, but I'm loving every minute of it.

I often wondered why it took so long to conceive and actually be able to carry this child. I don't know if I'll ever know why I had to go through the losses, but I think I do know why God allowed there to be so many years between our children.

When CJ was born, I was much more, um, uptight...and we did everything "by the book" so to speak...strict schedules, no rocking to sleep and everything. And I'm not saying that's wrong at all, but I think I missed out on a lot of precious moments with him in fear that I would "spoil" him.

Fast forward 10.5 years and I'm a very different person than I was then. Much more laid back and not at all worrying about what everyone else thinks. We've pretty much thrown out that rule book!

What's really funny, is we thought we were such great parents with CJ - he was so well behaved, so quiet and just a great baby/toddler. We were SO SURE it was because we knew what we were doing and were just fabulous parents! We rolled our eyes when we heard a kid screaming in the store or a restaurant. We thought, those parent's don't know what they are doing! We just didn't understand why all parent's weren't like us and knew how to control their kids.

God has a great sense of humor.

And we now realize, CJ's behavior had very little to do with our parenting skills. Maybe a little, but not that much. Children are just different!

We have had a good dose of humble pie since Ruthi came along. Now, she IS a good kid, and she behaves quite well in public, most of the time! BUT, lets just say that now, when we hear those screaming kids, we are thinking, "Those poor parents - they have a screamer!" And we NEVER roll our eyes anymore! And now, when our eyes meet those of said parents, we can smile and send an understanding look.

Is this due to the fact we threw the book out and can no longer control our child because of that? I don't think so. We still teach her right from wrong and we are teaching her about obedience. And she is learning. But things are different. She is a TOTALLY different child. And we discovered that very shortly after she was born. All the same "rules" don't work for her. Of course, we still discipline, but it's done a bit differently. Is it because she's a girl?....Maybe. But mostly because she is a different child altogether. We are learning what works...and what doesn't. We are taking it one moment at a time.

Yes, she is challenging, and she keeps me on my toes. But I honestly couldn't imagine it any other way!

God put her in our lives at THIS time for a reason. I probably wouldn't have been able to see the joy in raising her 10 or so years ago. Now I'm able let the little things go, and choose my battles. I didn't know how to do that before.

I've learned that some things can wait. She will only be little for a while (I learned that with CJ - I STILL can't believe he's about to be 13! - It went by far too fast!) and I need to take the time to enjoy her. The house my not be spotless, or, um, even clean some days! But what do I want her to remember - Mom always kept a spotless house, or Mom always took time to play with me? Definitely the latter. This is of course, why I'm often cleaning at 2 am, because she's asleep then! It doesn't bother me that toys are scattered, that I'm stepping on them, or cleaning them up 12 times a day. I know that all too soon, I'll miss seeing those toys lying around, so I'm not making a big deal right now.

She's teaching me lots of things - things that maybe I wasn't ready to learn earlier. I'm learning to see things through her eyes. And it's a lot of fun! And I thank God for all these learning opportunities.

When I was pregnant with her, Martina McBride introduced her new song, "In My Daughter's Eyes". I knew I was having a girl. I watched her on the Oprah show singing that song at a huge baby shower for soldiers who were pregnant, and soldier's wives who were pregnant. I cried my eyes out right along with all those women. It became "my song". On the way home from the hospital after Ruthi was born, we had the CD in, and that song came on. I stared at her and cried my eyes out again. It was the perfect song, saying exactly how I felt. It states that "she was sent to rescue me" and I so believe that. She gave me a whole new outlook on life. Especially since had been going through a dark time after losing a very dear friend to us. When we didn't understand why God would take him home so early and things were just so, well...dark. There's really not another way to put it. And when Ruthi came along, it gave us hope and happiness again. It helped restore our shaken faith in God.

God's timing is always perfect. All the times when I didn't understand why I wasn't getting pregnant, or when I'd lose yet another baby, I didn't understand. I thought all those times were the perfect time to have another child. But God knew what the perfect time was, and that's when he gave her to us. And I'm thankful He knew better than I did! I really believe He knew I couldn't handle having two children close together in age, and that I would appreciate them much more this way. And that I would be able to handle the more spirited one when I was a little older and had learned to relax about things. There are so many reasons now, that I understand why we had to wait so long for her.

Wow, I really only started this post to share the comical moment from this morning, and had no intentions of writing all this, but it just flowed out! I'll end with the words to Martina's song that means so much to me.

In My Daughter's Eyes

In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be
In my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the
world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me gives me
strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes

And when she wraps her hand
around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about

It's hangin' on when your heart
has had enough
It's giving more when you feel like giving up
I've seen the light
It's in my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
Though she'll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I'm gone I hope you see how happy
she made me
For I'll be there
In my daughter's eyes

1 comment:

  1. Oh Jennifer...what a beautiful, loving post! Ruthi is ever bit as blessed having you for her mommy as you are having her as your daughter!
    And you are oh so right...every kiddo is his/her own unique person. Our oldest sounds so much like CJ...soooo well behaved, even as a toddler. We could even take her to antique stores and let her walk. Then came Gray, still fairly well-behaved, but a complete uncontrollable bundle of emotion. And then came Max...trouble at every single turn! And I know that it has very little to do with what we've done as parents, and a lot to do with who they are as people. All loved beyond words, and all as different as can be.


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