Two days after my oldest daughter turned two, my second daughter was born.
I was blessed in that both girls were healthy and great sleepers. My oldest daughter was learning and growing at an amazing pace, and it was so much fun to watch her develop. We put an alphabet rug down in her bedroom, and she thought it was great fun to sit on the floor together, she pointing at a letter and me telling her which one it was. For some reason, “z” was her favorite!
However, we definitely faced some behavior challenges during that year. She asserted her independence quite a bit, and I fell into bed many nights exhausted by our battle of the wills.
So in remembrance of all that particular year held, here are twelve things I would have told that often worn-out mother.
1. The word “yes” will once again become part of her vocabulary. When every other word out of her mouth was “no,” I might not have believed this one to be true!
2. She will eat foods other than french toast sticks without a major protest. Yes, they were the processed version that came in a box, but it was what she wanted for breakfast every. single. morning. With a drizzle of syrup, of course. Now she doesn’t even like them very much.
3. A day will come when she no longer wants me to read books aloud to her. I enjoyed reading aloud to my girls when we got to chapter books, like Little House on the Prairie and Betsy and Tacy. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? 12 times in a row? Not so much.
4. A strong will can actually be a good thing. It will come in handy when she needs to push through a project or make a hard choice that goes against what many of her peers are doing.
5. Embrace her enthusiasm for life. We tend to lose that joyous exuberance about the smallest things as we get older, so follow her lead here.
6. She will potty train. Yep, it finally happened.
7. It’s okay to take a nap when she does. Housework can wait. A nap can give you just enough strength to face the next six hours before bedtime.
8. The constant discipline and correction will pay off one day. She will finally remember to say “please” and “thank you” without constant reminders…and will even shock you by obeying the first time you ask her to do something.
9. Sharing actually does become a reality…most of the time. Well, this one takes work even for us adults, but it does come more easily with practice.
10. It’s never too early to teach her to pray and learn Bible verses. The most important relationship she’ll ever have is one with her Lord, and teaching her about your faith from an early age is a good start.
11. There is such a thing as a teenager, which can occasionally remind you of a two-year-old. 🙂 No additional commentary needed.
12. No matter her age, hug her and tell her you love her as often as she’ll let you!
So if you’re still in the trenches of parenting little ones, take heart when those difficult days come. You are parenting precious, eternal souls that God has entrusted to your care.
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