It’s one of those rare moments in the Wagner household – all three of my children are actually asleep! Sad part is, I’m exhausted and would love to grab a nap, but my mind wont quit racing.I used to take this time for granted, but now I realize what a gift it is.

My children have always been great sleepers. I attribute that partly to the “babywise” series of books and partly to the favor of God! Addisyn was sleeping through the night right around 6-8 weeks, Tyce as well. Zayd is coming up on 6 weeks and I’m praying he quickly joins the status quo around here. Addisyn used to love taking naps…. She would grab her paci, her bear bear and run to her crib when she was little. My kids enjoy not only sleeping, but their alone time they experience when in bed. We never did the whole “shhh…the baby is sleeping” in our household. In fact, I would turn on music or the TV to provide noise. Thanks to that, all my kids are very sound sleepers, unlike their Momma!

Addisyn went through a slight change when she turned two however. She realized that napping meant not experiencing what we got to when she was sleeping. Tyce had also joined our family then, and made life a little more challenging for her. So when we decided to give up the paci (around 28 months) our lives changed drastically. Instead of looking forward to nap time, she started dreading it. She would no longer lay down and try to rest, but began sitting up in bed, finding ways to entertain herself and stay awake. One thing about my oldest, she’s DETERMINED. When its something she wants, she will not give up. I’m very grateful for the perseverance in her…. just not right now.

I think the reason we butt heads so much is… we are too much alike. I am an extremely strong-willed, outspoken, confident, loud person. My daughter is just as strong-willed, outspoken, confident and loud (most times louder). The biggest difference, She has very little impulse control. While I will do everything in my power to get what I want, I would not stand screaming, at the top of my lungs, in the middle of a crowded store demanding that someone provide me with my wants. My daughter, on the other hand, has no problem doing so. Sad part is, this makes me more determined to get MY way. I am not sure what this makes me (possibly a two-year old in a womans body) but nevertheless, it is true.

The two’s started disappearing in her about 2 months before her birthday. She had stopped having accidents. She was much more helpful and obedient. She had stopped the tantrums. Twelve days after her 3rd birthday, our lives, once again, changed drastically. Zayd was born. I had mentally prepared myself for the resistance I would experience with my children. Tyce’s was immediate – he would not look at me, let me hold him, touch him or console him. Daddy was all he wanted. After a couple of days, that wore off and he began to act normal once again (Momma’s little boy). Addisyn, however, was fascinated with her newest sibling. She would walk in the room and as soon as she saw him would request to hold “her baby”. I was so proud! We had talked for months about her getting a new baby and how he was going to be living with us just like Tyce did. I was so confident that it was our excellent parenting skills that had fully prepared her for this new change. She was sweet, attentive, helpful and all around a great big sister.

Then, the bomb dropped. I’m not really sure what caused the change, I’m still trying to figure that out. About 3 weeks after he was born, she started having accidents again. Not just while we were out and about, nope. at home. when we had just gone potty minutes before. UGH!!! Then came the tantrums. My child takes the cake on fits – she can go for hours, yes, HOURS. as in, more than one…. Last week, she went almost FOUR hours with a tantrum. Nothing, I mean nothing I tried could make her stop. Sad part is, I don’t know what started the episode. Again, I state – she’s strong-willed!

Today, she had her 3 year shots because she was sick when we went for her check up. She did great with the shots, couldn’t have gone better, so she got a prize from the prize box. It was a Tinkerbell activity book with a marker in it. Can someone who has small children please tell me what was wrong with this picture that I failed to realize till it was too late?!

Yes, It was the marker…. we have not had experience with markers before, and will not be using them any time soon, I can tell you that! When we got home this afternoon, Tyce went straight down for a nap and Zayd was passed out in his car seat. So, I took advantage of the timing and promptly went to the bathroom, by myself, after informing Addisyn she had 5 minutes before nap time. When I emerged from my alone bathroom time (a luxury in my life) I discovered my daughter, laying on my bathroom floor, with a montage of purple marker on the floor around her.

That was my own fault for not realizing I let my three-year old have a marker. However, I did not realize that trying to remove said marker from my daughters hands would start the meltdown of 2011 in the Wagner household. You would have thought I killed her puppy in front of her the way she reacted. After throwing away the marker 3 times (finally kept her from removing it from the trash the last time) we went off to nap time. Not a good time to try to convince her to lay down and rest. But eventually, she actually drifted off to sleep. So here I sit, relishing in the glory that is the sound of only the keys clicking beneath my fingertips.

My daughter is the light of my life. I am so proud of her so often. But nothing can challenge and test me like she can. I see in her so much potential and ability. It almost scares me how much I want her to succeed. I have never second guessed myself so much in any other aspect of my life as I do in motherhood. I mean, she is my responsibility. I hold the keys to what she could become. I pray daily for wisdom on how to mold her into a kind, loving, polite, successful individual that loves God and mankind. But sometimes I fear that I am reacting with emotion to her. She knows just how to push my buttons, in ways no one has ever done before- even my husband! She is so intelligent and bright. I want her to have every opportunity to become what she wants. But I have to keep myself from pushing her too far. She is, after all, only three. She has two younger brothers that she helps with constantly. ALOT of responsibility for a three-year old. She is generally a polite, sweet and kind child, as all her teachers and caregivers tell me. So, if she chooses to occasionally be out of control, I guess there are worse things. It doesn’t make me a horrible mother, it simply makes me a mother….. of a three year old…. living out the battle of wills…. on a daily basis.

Lord, give me the wisdom to know how to deal with this creative ball of fire you have given me. Let me help mold her in to a determined woman of God. Help me see all her good actions and not focus on her bad. Help me not ignore the things that need to be corrected. Help me constantly point her to your word and ways. Your word says that you will not give us more than we can handle. Sometimes I think you think higher of me than you should! 🙂 Let me live the example and not just preach it.