Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Letter to my Daughter

Dear Amelia,

When you were an infant, you were so cuddly and sweet. You were always the tiniest thing, and you cooed and smiled and bubbled all the time. You rarely cried--only if your tummy hurt.  You tolerated your big brother's man-handling without so much as whimper.  You were angelic.

As a toddler, you were mischievous, but still...such a good girl. You developed empathy very early--you absolutely HATED it if Mommy was sad, and you didn't like it if anyone else was hurting.  I remember when you bumped your tiny forehead against mine, and my instant reaction was to flinch. You immediately put your cool, sweet hands on each side of my face and said, "You okay?"  My heart melted into a gigantic puddle of mush, my precocious, smart girl.

And're four.  You're stubborn. You're independent. And you are most definitely testing your limits.  You are asserting yourself by telling your Mommy and Daddy "no" too often. You are quick to pout, to cross your arms in anger, to flop down on the floor and refuse to do whatever we are asking of you.  I love your fiery spirit, but my heart aches for the sweet, compliant girl you used to be.  But I know it'll be okay...because...girl, you've met your match in your mama.  There's not a CHANCE that you're going to out-sass, out-last, out-tantrum me. I invented sass, little lady. And I certainly got into my share of trouble for it.

Tomorrow, we start a behavior chart for the mouth.  Each day, there are three squares. Each time you sass, you will get an "x" in a square. Three x's in a day, and you're done with screen privileges for the day.  Now I'm not unreasonable. If, by some chance, in six days, you've only acquired six "x's", then you'll get a reward. We will start slow and work up to better behavior.

So, darling daughter, I pass the torch of attitude on to you. I fought the battle many years ago, and I lost. Now, it's your turn. May the best woman win. Good luck.


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