I love my daughter. I probably don't have to tell you that.
She's a beautiful, intelligent, funny, smart and sweet young lady.
She's 7 1/2. Going on 19.
It's just her and I against all these boys, in this house.
I have to be honest, that's the whole reason of this post. She is the one that pushes my buttons the most. Exasperates me the most. Makes me want to scream while I'm pulling all my hair out and stabbing myself with a sharp stick the most.
And, it's not just recently. It's always been this way.
She wasn't a difficult baby, really. Wasn't colicky or anything. I do remember putting her to bed and she would scream for what I thought was an unusually long period of time. She was perhaps a little more difficult to please. But, at that time, I only had one baby to compare her to--Jayce.
Jayce was an easy baby, an easy toddler, an easy child. Once was usually all it took as far as correction. Being told not to do something and why, that was all Jayce needed. I knew that was unusual, so when Josie came along, all the difficulties, I thought THOSE were normal.
Until she hit about 5. And things were STILL difficult.
At one point, her dad and I wondered if there was something else going on. Some sort of "condition" that made learning and understanding difficult for Josie. We never pursued our theory with a doctor or therapist. We didn't really have "evidence" other than she was sometimes frustrating.
These days, things are not much different. She has days where she's eager to please, and others when she just wakes up spitting.
We've come to accept it's Josie. It's just the way she is.
Let me give you an example:
A day last week was just one of those days when Josie was being contrary, disobedient and sassy.
I had handled it all to the best of my ability. Patiently telling her it was not acceptable to act that way, putting her in time out and even spanking her. (believe me, at 7, the last resort is spanking but we do do it)
Evening time rolled around, I let the little boys and Josie ride their bikes and scooters out in the cul-de-sac. We also borrowed the neighbor's puppy and had him on a leash. The little boys were taking turns holding Fritz. At one point, Josie stole Jarrett's scooter. Jarrett asked for it back several times. I finally intervened and told Josie to give her brother back his scooter.
She then jumps off the scooter, throws it to the ground with a snotty "fine".
I announced that is was time for her to go in the house and go to bed.
You would have thought I announced Santa Claus wasn't real.
There she stood, in the middle of the street (basically) sobbing and whining for all the neighbors to see.
I finally gave the puppy to one of the boys, and walked Josie into the house. Told her to get dressed for bed and get into bed.
This was at approx. 7:30
After sobbing and asking over and over and over again to get up, she finally went to sleep.
At approx. 1:15 a.m.
That's 6 hours, in case you don't want to do the math.
And, while it may be somewhat abnormal to not just give up and go to sleep, it's not abnormal for Josie.
I'm not quite sure why I am posting this here, for all the world to see.
I certainly don't want to open myself up to criticism about how I should handle my daughter. And, I also know there's parents out there facing far more challenging situations with their own children.
I guess I just needed to voice that sometimes, I don't understand my child. And that frustrates ME. I am her mother. I should know how to handle her. I should be able to predict what she will do. And, I can, to some degree.
But, there are times when I put her to bed so relieved to be done for the day. With her.
And the guilt eats me away and I try again the next day. To understand her and to love her. Of course, the loving her part isn't the challenge. Giving her the best of my parenting skills is the challenge.
I truly believe her stubbornness and her"challenges" today will be her blessings and best character qualities later. I believe God has a plan for my darling Josie. I just need Him to be patient with me and give me the wisdom to parent her the way she needs NOW. To cultivate her strengths.
It would also be nice if He would take pity on me when she hits puberty.