- When she takes a running leap and lands on top of me or her daddy, she is questioning whether she will always be able to lean on us. I want her to know she will always be able to, so I tolerate it.
- When she yells "No!" and points her finger, making a face she probably learned from me, she is asserting herself. I hope she will maintain that perseverance right into her teen years, when she can use it on any boy who dares to try to mess with her. And into her adult years, when her stubbornness will be called "determination."
- When she snatches the TV remote, phone or anything else she knows she shouldn’t after umpteen times of being told “No”...then flashes her award-winning smile just as I am coming toward her, she is practicing her people skills.
- When she climbs onto the coffee table for the millionth time to dance jump, she is taking pride in herself and showing no fear. Although it may result in bumps and bruises along the way, hopefully her confidence will be high and she will be unafraid to tackle new challenges!
- When she lies on top of our cat, Cosmo, crushing the poor guy with enthusiastic hugs and kisses, she is unabashedly wearing her heart on her sleeve.
- When she insists I read All the Hippos Go Berserk or Frog Goes to Dinner to her again, for the seventh time in a row, she is teaching me patience.
- When she dumps macaroni all over the dining room floor, stops to acknowledge my "No!" by turning to grin at me, and then goes right back to what she was doing, she is showing her ability to follow through with a task...even a messy one! Just yesterday she was brushing her teeth, filled her cup with water to take a drink, looked at daddy then raised it over her head to dump it over herself instead, laughing hysterically...Daddy couldn’t help but laugh with her.
- When she gets tickled over something I take for granted -- she is blessing me unaware. How many times have I longed to see the world through the eyes of a child once again? Thanks to her, I can.
- When I catch her trying to eat the cat's food, she is proving that she will not be a picky eater -- and that she has survival skills, which may come in handy later in life (especially if she ends up on some reality TV show). Thankfully, it’s been quite a long time since we’ve caught her doing this...but she is not a very picky eater, she loves her fruit and most veggies!
- When I say “bath time!” and she gleefully rips off her dry diaper, throws it in the garbage, and races for the bathroom, then runs around the house naked while the tub fills and refuses to get in it when I ask her to, she is exercising her prerogative to change her mind and being free-spirited.
- When I call her name and she immediately breaks into a sprint in the other direction, she is listening to her own inner voice and refusing to be a conformist.
- When she suddenly decides to throw a tantrum in the middle of a restaurant, she is teaching me humility. Luckily we haven’t yet had any major public tantrums; she saves those fits for home typically!
- When she steps into my enormous shoes, which swallow her tiny feet, and clumsily tries to walk in them, she makes me reflect upon my great responsibility to provide a good role model for her to follow.
- And when she stands on the table with no pants on, refusing to even put on a diaper, and dances... well, I can only think the worst about that. So I try not to read too much into it, because I am choosing to remain positive...I just laugh at her shaking her cute little hiney and hope she grows out of the naked table dancing phase before it becomes embarrassing rather than cute!
Hopefully as our daughter grows and learns she helps us learn along the way too and makes us better people that can live each day to its fullest! I hope we always know when to laugh and when to draw the line and discipline so she becomes a well-rounded individual!