I am one proud Mama. Three years ago I gave birth to the most beautiful creature I had ever laid eyes on. I loved her with my whole being from the moment I saw her. I just never imagined that she would cause my heart to grow to hold more love than I knew existed. Sometimes I look back at old photos and I can't even remember how she was when she was littler, because she's grown into such a precocious and grown-up girl!
The past three years have blown my mind. As a nanny with 2 years experience and prior to that, 6 years in various settings of childcare experience, I thought I *knew* how to be a parent. How to get a kid to do what they needed to do. How to potty train. How to sleep train. What I hadn't counted on was that I would have an attachment to my own child I could not have imagined before, and that I became a completely different person once it became real to me that I was the one making choices for a helpless child, and that it was essential for her growth and development that I admit I had no more of a clue than any other new parent. With the philosophy that hormones and instincts were created for a reason, and the fact that I had the fiercest desire to protect this beautiful gift we had been given, I transformed into a type of parent I had never met before. All because I had been given the honor and responsibility to nurture, hold and love a sweet, innocent, beautiful baby girl.
She is inquisitive.
She is bright.
She is beautiful.
She is active.
She is strong.
She is lithe.
She is happy.
She is perceptive.
She is smart.
She is loving.
She is every amazing thing I could have imagined in a daughter.
I am blown away by this girl daily.
Her passions include art, ballet and chocolate chips. :)
Her eyes sparkle and it makes me glad she knows what joy feels like. She's crafty and tricky and it makes me glad for her exceptional neural development. I am thankful she was fearfully and wonderfully made, and that He continues to work within her to cause her to grow more beautiful all the time, and that her body and mind continue to develop in a healthy and positive way.
I am so proud to announce that she is totally free of diapers, after a year-long regression period. I don't have to worry about accidents anymore, her bed hasn't been wet in weeks, and now I don't even have to force her to sit on the potty in the morning as soon as she wakes up dry. I know it wasn't a "delay" but to be honest, I was a little embarrassed that she took so long. It was my fault she regressed so far and for so long. The first time around, she led the toilet training and was completely trained. It's hard for me to admit but after years of training two year olds to use the potty, I felt over-qualified and like it would be a piece of cake. The last girl I nannied I trained in one week, two weeks before her 2nd birthday. I knew my daughter was at least as smart as Caroline, and I was right. It was when some transitions came into her life so rudely, that she started to have accidents. And I didn't take it well, since I was adjusting to life with two kids...the more I criticized/punished, the worse it got. Until she had such a horrible association with the potty that she *only* peed and pooped on her clothes. It was my fault, and I'm sorry. I'm not sure if I had been more gentle and understanding if she wouldn't have continued to regress, but I know I played a part in making her transition to "big sisterhood" harder than it needed to be. And all the while I was priding myself on tandem nursing and "making it easy on her". I'm still very glad I did (the tandeming), as I hope it softened the blow of my criticism that she didn't "stay potty trained" at two years old.
I'm sharing this because I hope it can keep someone else from making this mistake. Childhood isn't for competition. I have always known that children reach milestones at different times, but I let pride take me into a difficult situation because I *knew* Arden was advanced, and I *knew* how to let my child toilet train themselves "without pushing". I just forgot that last part when things went south.
All that to say, I'm SO proud of my daughter, and that she has a strong will. I'm glad my pride brought me low enough to realize my children aren't a "show pony" for me to display my amazing "early childhood development" skills. Any advanced development and beauty they have is nothing I did. I'm not the one creating synapses in those bright little minds. And also, I'm so happy I only have one in diapers again. I forgot how wonderful and easy it was!!!
favorite color: "pink"
favorite animal: "giraffes"
favorite place to go: "to the zoo"
favorite drink: "kombucha"
favorite food: "pizza"
favorite place to eat: "Chipotle"
favorite dessert: "yogurt"