She loves life. She loves everything about life, except when she can’t have ice cream or cookies for breakfast. No, thats never allowed, ever, but that doesn’t stop her from asking Every. Single. Morning. Once she finally sees that there is no changing my mind she agrees to a healthier option but only after she sighs and says: I’m stressed out! Wait, where did she hear that line? From me? Surely not! I don’t say that do I? Somehow I know that she learned that line from me. Oh dear what else do I say without really thinking about what I’m saying? So many times I find it challenging to raise a 2 year old. The latest challenge is: She treats me the way I treat her. I tell her she needs to listen on mama and pick up her toys. She tells me I need to listen on Kenzie and give her a cookie. How do I handle that? She really is innocent. So I try telling her she can’t talk to mama like that. Guess what happens? The next time I tell her she needs to obey or be punished, she responds in a very condescending voice, “Mama, you can’t talk to Kenzie like that! Like I said she’s innocent. She is by no means being bratty, she is simply treating me the way I’m treating her which leaves me with absolutely no idea how to handle this situation. Advice?:) She asks if she can watch a video, I tell her not now, maybe when daddy gets home. She whines: Don’t say maybe, don’t say maybe, say YEA! Ok she needs solid answers, Yes or No. Not maybe. I need to remember that and not give her a maybe, it is after all simply an easy way out for me. Im not committing to anything and I’m also not dashing her hopes. Well she sees right through that, maybe could mean no so she sets out to get me to say yes. So I tell her that right now she needs to play toys and when daddy gets home she can watch a video. She ok with that answer for about 5 minutes then decides that waiting is unnecessary. So she sets out to convince me that she could watch a video right now, and I must add she is using her most pleading, whiniest voice ever. So I tell her she needs to quit whining right now or she will be punished because I said we are going to wait till daddy gets home. ( And if theres one thing I learned about kids after teaching school for 2 years, its that if u tell a child no, u never go back on your word, not even if u spoke too quickly and wish u could reverse your answer because once they change your mind once, they will know its possible and put so much more effort into changing it everytime.) She goes about her merry way for about 5 minutes then she’s back and in a very calm, sweet and ‘unwhining’ voice she says: Mama, can I pweease (please) watch a video? I look at her, totally ready to carry out my previous punishment threat. She must have read my mind because her eyes got HUGE and she quickly informs me: but I’m not whining! Im not whining anymore! As I think back over my words I realize I did tell her to stop whining, I did not tell her she can’t ask to watch a video anymore. So I get down on her level and in my best ‘ 2 year old language’ I try to explain to her that when I say no she needs to stop whining AND she can’t ask anymore either. As she scampers back to her toys, I wonder what her thoughts were. Did she just wiggle her way out of a punishment she knew she deserved? Or did I handle it correctly because she really thought she could ask again as long as she didn’t ask in a whiny voice?? Those are the hard moments, the moments when i wonder if I’ll ever figure this parenting thing out. But in these moments I am ever so thankful that I have a Savior who walks this journey with me, and I know that if I persist in prayer he won’t let me fail. Yes I will make mistakes but God has the power to turn what the devil meant for evil in to something good. And I trust that he will guide me and lead me as a parent and if I hand my child over to him, he will take care of her in the areas where I fail. And then theres the good moments. The moment when she’s happily playing and suddenly, randomly comes up, gives me a hug and says: I Love You!!:) It melts my heart every time.:) Or early in the morning when I’m doing my devotions, she comes down the stairs, still looking sleepy eyed with her soft blond hair falling across her face, she crawls up beside me and snuggles against me, with a smile that says she’s in her happy place. This moment simply cannot be beat. Or when she asks me for a drink, then thanks me with a huge smile and says: You’re AWESOME!:) And then theres that moment when I go to bed and she loves to lay beside me with her head on my shoulder and soon she drifts off to dream land, then daddy carries her to her bed. I loved this moment so much that it was as hard for me as it was for her when she had to start going to her own bed to fall asleep. But most of all I love the moment when she’s sound asleep, absolutely peaceful and I get to watch her sleep. All the stress that she might have caused me that day simply disappears and my heart floods with an overwhelming love for her. I know there is nothing that she can ever do that will make me love her less. I am blessed to be her mama!:) As a parent I find it incredible to know that God is my Father and he loves me with a fatherly love. He loves me the way I love my child. That is the clearest picture of Gods love that I have ever had and it simply blows me away because I’m convinced there is no greater earthly love, then the love a parent can have for their child. But here’s the thing: God doesn’t love with and earthly love, he loves with a heavenly love, How GREAT his love for us must be!! I do believe that it is far greater then we can comprehend.