Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Li'l Empress is strong-willed. In fact, she is very strong-willed. She does not like to be crossed. Or corrected. She despises being thwarted when she's moving toward something that she wants. The Boss and I have agreed over these recent weeks that she is likely going to be THE little Gang member that redefines the Gang's definition of a strong-willed child.

I'm okay with that. As I've said before, the Lord gave me her name many years ago, which means "little fiery one." This fiery temperament is, I believe, what gave her the ability to grow and even thrive in the midst of what were (at best!) difficult circumstances at the start of her little life. I'm okay with the growls and stiffened little torso when I move her away from dangerous scenarios. I'm good with her scowls and screeches when I take away the remote control. I'm even fine with the heated (like melt-plastic-heated!) stares I get when I take food off her tray after she's thrown most of it on the floor in defiance.

So, I've been very, very busy remembering the tricks and tools I used on the other little Gang members when they were 14 mos. old. I'm implementing all my skills of distraction and re-direction that I learned back when. I've even taken out notes from teachings I was blessed to sit under in the early years of my parenting journey. And while I'm doing it, in my heart I'm thanking my personal heroes who were instrumental in my life to teach me those skills necessary to parent a toddler. To parent a very strong-willed toddler.

Mom. Susan. Sheri. Zory. Karna. The list goes on. . .

These are godly women who invested in me, who saw where I was at and came along-side me. Who lent me a helping hand and a shoulder to cry on. Who prayed for me and with me. And who loved my babies almost as much as I love my babies. No matter how snotty or resistant they might have been acting at the moment. These women loved me and did not judge me.

Parenting "a second time around" has given me a greater appreciation for the fact that this season will pass. That at the other side, God will have formed a sweet and strong little warrior for His kingdom. Granted, I have a ton more experience and a great deal more help and support in the form of Li'l Empress's four slaves who arrive home at 3:15 every day to give me a break. But even so, I have noticed lately that I am picking the battles differently. I'm going after the battles that will make a real difference in the war for my daughter's heart. I'm letting some of the skirmishes go. I'm feeling more relaxed that I'm NOT going to screw up this child by my action or inaction. (At least not too badly!)

And I'm grateful. I am exceedingly grateful - for the help of The Gang. For the investment of those heroes God placed in my life along the way. And for the mercy of the Lord that is all over us while Li'l Empress works daily (hourly?!) at her efforts of redefining "strong-willed."


ComfyDenim said...

Oh, wow. Wouldn't it be funny -- I have a cousin named Karna. ;-)

I got tickled at your melt plastic comment - our tyrant wanna-be is 2.5. She'll cross her arms and just wait to see if you meant it. Oh. My. goodness.

You hang in there girl!! She can't stay empress -- you're the empress of the house. :-)

Livin' Life said...

Wow, I reallllly needed to read that today. You are my hero!!! Seriously.

My Little Nest said...

Oh yeah.....I know that very well. It's so good to hear you're not getting rattled, but just handling it with grace, and allowing the kids to help you out. They'll learn so much, too. Keep it up!

Kateri said...

Can I come over so you can rub off on me??

Anonymous said...

Amen Sista!!! When my "strong willed one" was a toddler I kept telling myself that if I can set this one on the right path, ain't NO ONE going to steer him away and let me tell you, it is a beautiful thing to watch him settling into his first year in public school as a sixth grader and having a heart to serve the Lord no matter what!!! Makes all those LONG days of living for bed time so worthwhile!! Lovingly stick to your guns Mom - she'll love ya for it! ~ Vonda

Mervy said...

Ok - at first I was totally like - you wrote the wrong comment on my board, but then again, I am a little slow today - they are way too stinkin' cute! They ate chicken nuggets and kept staring at me...who is the strange woman wearing the blue lab coat???