Adelaide with her new earrings. She picked them out herself because they were the most "colorful". I love and am so surprised by her love of color and dressing up.
I have been learning a lot, not only about parenting, but about life in the past four years. And Addie has been my teacher.
They say you have a special relationship with your oldest, and that they're your guinea pig, trying everything out through trial and error… and I think it's true. There are a few truths I've learned and I hold onto when times get rough. By when times get rough, I mean people say she's badly behaved, she runs away, she hits or bites, etc.
The first is something I heard on this Montessori podcast about discipline: It's about your relationship with the child. Then, Sally Clarkson's often repeated "there are no formulas". Also, this quote from my favorite parenting book EVER, Desperate:
them. Hug them, kiss them, cuddle with them, spend more time rubbing their
heads and holding their hands. Give yourself to them without rush. Pray with
them, and let them twirl your hair in their little fingers. Look them in the
eye when you talk to them.
words of affirmation. Tell them, whether you feel it or not, that you delight
in them, that they are a delight (if they don’t feel like a delight, ask God to
give you those feelings). Tell them, ‘You are beautiful and smart and God loves
you. I’m so glad you’re my child.’ Tell them that they can never lose your
love, no matter what. And mean it.” Pg 30
The other day we met another girl Addie's age at the park. I noticed they were both wearing dresses that were way too fancy for the park and asked the girl's mom about it. She said that her daughter insists on wearing dresses and picking out her own clothes and if she doesn't tantrums ensue. EXACTLY like Addie. I also belong to a FB group of people who bought our preschool curriculum (AYOPS from the Homegrown Preschooler) and several people said how their girls Addie's age use up countless sheets of paper a day making drawings. EXACTLY the same. These are all things I am learning about her and that are unexpected.
The discipline problems, the unexpected personality and preferences, these are all things I'm learning as a student of Adelaide and hoping to keep in my heart like Mary.