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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

You Get the Child you Get

A lot of family and friends have commented to us about Isla June's strict-ish schedule and eating. I know from an outsiders point of view it can be extreme and I realize we've just sort of gotten used to it.
She's a kid who needs a schedule. I tried in the beginning to be a low key, laid back mom: feed her when she needed to be fed, sleep when she wanted to sleep and be ok with it.
Then, one day, when she was 3 weeks old, she took three 15 minute naps for the whole day.
That was it.
After a minor freak-out and meltdown from moi, we started a schedule. And we started to use her music and a sound machine. And she started sleeping through the night.
So, that was my answer. She does better on a schedule. Which means, I do better on a schedule.
And now, it's all just kind of stuck.
And her diet? well, that's just the best thing I've ever done for my family.
 I've never felt more sure of something. 

I remember before I ever had children that I would look at mother's and their offspring with my judgement. I was a teacher, so I felt very welcome to sit in my smug corner knowing that if I ever had children that I would do it different.
 Because my children would be different.
And, don't get me wrong, this has all come to fruition. I am a different mother and Isla June is a different child, but not in the way that I expected.
I guess I thought that I would have the sweet, quiet, endearing child who listened attentively, spoke in eloquent prose and was the most dutiful of all helpers. Really, what was i thinking? I am none of those things, so how could I expect my child to be? I think it was the teacher in me. Because I was able to manage my classroom and my students with the utmost ability, I figured that my child would have the demeanor of my choosing. I've come to find out that's not really how this works.
I've learned that Isla June is her own person. VERY much her own person.

Mother's of infants who are still swooning over their precious bundle and looking on in horror at the antics of my toddler....well, yeah I've been there. You think it won't happen to you. "This sweet little bundle of absolute joy who smiles because she farts cannot turn into an unruly toddler. right?  God most certainly has blessed me with a perfect angel."
And to that I say, yes. You have an angel. But, even angel's have an opinion.
I remember being given a little plate that says, "Babies are angels whose wings grow shorter as their legs grow longer".
  And I was so horribly offended by it.
Little did I know.

And it's not because (as someone has unfortunately told me) they are "born with sin". No, I will not believe that. I believe God gave us this developmental time in our lives (known as the terrible twos) to push our limits, stretch our boundaries and see who we can and cannot trust. I know that Isla June is learning those things everyday. And it's my job as her mother to support and guide her in this journey.  Sometimes that task is dauting. 

As much as I've had to change and adapt to adjust to this surprising little person, I'm beyond grateful that she has exceeded my expectations. I wouldn't give up her sassy, independent nature for anything.
So what if she won't be the quiet one in her class. I wasn't either (and neither was her father!)
I'm grateful she feels passionately about her opinions and she'll fight to have her voice heard. I hope that means that she won't put up with other people's crap as she gets older.
I want to do everything in my power to teach her to listen to her own inner voice and no one else. It will steer her on the right track.

I just hope it doesn't kill me while I'm helping her grow this little (big) piece of inner strength.

Honestly? Her don't-mess-with-me, the-world-is-my-oyster, friends-are-strangers-you-haven't-said-hello-to-yet, fashion-is-fun, laughing-is-contagious attitude is beyond inspiring to me.
As much as I thought I was going to be the one in control, she's taught me that it's more of a dance. I'm leading, but it's a partnership.
What can I say?  I respect her opinion.

But, this is what works for us. 
 and most days I wouldn't have it any other way.


  1. Love this. You are the perfect mama for that sassy IJJ.

  2. Its like I told Katie - Your their mom. Only you (and the dad!) know best! You have to do what works for you. I am so glad we follow this amd dont get caught up in all the hype I read. I try things out if they work for us great, if not, I do what does work for our family!

  3. Love it Meaggie! IJJ is so lucky to have such fabulous parents. I laughed at your pre momma/teacher thoughts. Whenever I get a brainteaser (that's what I call a 'tough' or 'loud' kid) in my class, I have to remind myself to smile. I imagine that's what I was like and am thankful to all the teachers who let me be me. Thank goodness they aren't all perfectly quiet or well mannered because I would have nothing to learn from or laugh at. Our little monster is still far from where IJJ is, but I hope that she is filled with a strong sense of self just like IJJ (with or without opinions---who are we kidding, she'll probably have opinions for everyone she meets). Heaven knows, we'll love her all the same!

    1. Yes, we were brain teasers. Ha! I love that. That Cece's gonna be one beautiful opinionated and fun lady thanks to her momma :)

  4. I LOVE this!!! So very true! Cooper is a precious child as well but yes I'm with you in the toddler arena!! The phrase "Never say never" is more true as a parent than ever before! :)

    1. Ha! Toddlerdom really makes you eat your words, doesn't it? Cooper is too cute!

  5. She is so much like you, and more! Don't EVER feel intimidated by other mothers' opinions. YOUR daughter is, and will continue to be, SPECTACULAR!!!


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