A: Is it dark, Mommy?
M: almost Addisyn
A: The sun is getting tired?

I have about a million of these quotes. Everyday is something new and sweet. Last weekend we were talking about going to go visit her Auntie Tasha. I kept saying how excited I was and how much fun we were going to have. About an hour later she comes back and asks me “Mommy, is Auntie Tasha your favorite?” šŸ™‚ I love the way her little mind processes things. So innocent and pure. I wish I could bottle this age and look back when she’s 13 and no longer says cute things….

Her little heart is so genuine. I do have to admit, she isn’t always sweet. She has two little brothers that can attest to that, but most of the time, she is a kind, caring considerate child. It feels like it’s an uphill battle everyday to get her there though. The amount of parenting it takes to get the desired results in exhausting. If I didn’t have Tyce to remind me of this, I think I would simply forget.

He has reached the “age of accountability” as I like to refer to it. You know, the point when running away and giggling is no longer cute, it’s disobedience. I can’t say I enjoy this time of rearing, but it’s oh so nice on the other side. As I battle it out with Tyce and his toddler will, I remember the difficulty of Addisyn. She was much more strong-willed, but I only had one to teach. Now, with three, my patience wears thin on the best of days.

Tyce is now in the formative time of learning how to follow verbal cues. Which also means, when he doesn’t, consequences follow. It’s not like we’ve not disciplined him to this point, it’s just that we know he really understands us now. I believe in discipline when understanding is imminent. ie. At 13 mos, he didn’t have the capacity to understand “go put on your shoes”. Him not following my directions was not disobedience, but rather lack of maturity. He now can comprehend this instruction and is now held to completing it when asked.

Dessert today was an example. We went to Cicis with the family. Addisyn ate her pizza and pasta and wanted brownies. Tyce, seeing the brownies, wanted some as well. However, he didn’t eat his noodles. I informed him, he could have brownies following him finishing his noodles. In typical Tyce fashion, he signed/said please a million times to get he brownies. (something he is required to do to get anything) But in this case, he didn’t get the brownies for simply asking correctly. It is so much easier to simply give in. He said please, I could rationalize. We are, after all, in a crowded restaurant and don’t want to upset others meals. But I value the character of my children over the ease of giving in. Bottom line- he ended up not eating the noodles and as a result didn’t get the brownies. Hopefully, we are one step closer to teaching him how to follow instructions.

I remember the days when Addisyn did the same thing. Which gives me great hope for Tyce. I am a firm believer that if I form precedents in my children now, when they are older, I won’t have to fight these battles. My children know how to be polite at a very young age. By the time they are one, they sign/say please and thank you for everything. To everyone. Without fail. My Daughter at three now says it without being reminded at least 95 percent of the time. Thats something I won’t have to teach her when she is five or six.

I have to remind myself of this often, because it is not my favorite thing. But it is my duty and calling as a parent. I would have loved to have given Tyce the brownie. I love rewarding him and seeing him happy, but not at the expense of his character.

I pray that I remind myself of that when I see things I want/wish I had. Father God wants me to be happy, He wants to bless me. But I have to be taught lessons and earn privileges. I must follow instructions even when they dot make sense, or aren’t fun! We aren’t here to simply enjoy life, but to bring life to others. Real life. Abundant life.

So today, I count my blessings. I have three beautiful children who are healthy and happy. It is my privilege to raise them to be Godly men and women, even when it’s not fun!