Yesterday I posted about how my eldest daughter, H, is always asking questions. Today I want to share how my 2nd child, S, is totally different. S, my 3 year old, does not ask. She DOES.
I’ll never forget the feeling of disbelief and horror as I rounded the corner and saw the bathroom floor completely covered in a half inch of water, the carpet damming it from running out into the bedroom very quickly… and the waterfall continually flowing into the heating vent on the floor. The faucet was still running. My 3 year old was oblivious to any problem, happily splashing away in the vanity sink. Oblivious, that is, until she looked up and saw her mother’s face most likely contorted into some weird looking disfigurement, completely speechless. I’m not often speechless. Honestly, I didn’t want to talk because I was afraid of what might come out.
“Go to your room. NOW.” was all I could hoarsely whisper. She and her older sister (who had been watching her from across the room) scampered off like two little rabbits. I began cleaning up the huge mess, wondering all the while how on earth to deal properly with such a situation.
This was far from her first “large scale” mess, but this was the largest one to date! I thought “Why is S so different from her older sister? H never did anything like this!” And at that point I realized I had a choice. I could drill that into her. I could say:
You should be like your older sister, she’s so calm.
Why can’t you be more like H? She is so well behaved!
Why are you such a mess maker?
I could observe my daughter and figure out what makes her tick. Who is she? She is certainly not her sister reborn! And I am so glad! She is unique! Training and loving her will look differently than the training and loving of her older sister. I’m beginning to see how that manifests:
-When you cook with H… she follows the recipe to the T.
-Cooking with S is a constant adventure that keeps you on your toes…. she dumps things in the bowl behind your back. And you end up with garlic in the pumpkin cake icing. Yep. It was gross.
-When H does her school work, she carefully makes sure to do everything carefully.
-S…. has a hard time following simple instructions like “Color the carrot orange” without pouting that she isn’t getting to do it “Her way”. Which usually involves tearing and gluing her sister’s school book, coloring everything rainbow, peeling the labels off the crayons and snapping them, and folding all the library book’s pages in half.
Now from my story and descriptions you’d think that S is a total terror. Well, in some ways, some days, I feel quite terrorized. 😛 I’ve come to recognize that she is not like her older sister. Comparing her to her older sister has done nothing to help, and I’m thankful to have realized this very early on. Honestly the only reason I compare them is for comedic relief. I think it’s hilarious how beautifully different my daughters are from each other…even when it makes me feel like hiding in my closet some days. Let me share more about my daughters and how they are unique. As you read, can you see how perspective changes things? I’m doing this little exercise for my own benefit, trust me. 😉
S is a snuggle bug, gives the tightest, longest, biggest hugs I’ve ever had, and will literally tackle you with love if you let her. Affection just oozes out of her. She about smothers Baby sis with love if I’m not on guard. If S is ignored for any length of time she tends to get bored quickly, and go find something exciting to get into! If there is action, she wants in on it! She has a very active mind and loves to be included and appreciated. She has the most infectious giggle I’ve ever heard. Her way of recharging is to climb up in your lap, snuggle in, and just hug you for a while. I love this about her, and am trying to make time and space to nurture this! S is the kind of person who has a will of iron. She does things that just stun me. She also feels things so deeply. So….will of iron/heart of butter. What a combo! She will go far and do amazing things. She will have rich compassion, and be a mighty woman of valor. You can just tell by looking at her. That’s my little snuggle bug firecracker!
To be honest, I feel very unqualified for raising and homeschooling my girls. I hope I can nurture them all to be solid women after God’s heart, seeking Him daily, and also to be well trained and schooled so they are amply prepared to learn whatever they need to know to follow God’s call on their lives. When I think of it that way I fall to my knees and say “OH HELP!” because I know I’m not measuring up. But with His help, I will do my best.