Ever since Elizabeth was born, I felt a joy I cannot describe. Even if I could describe it, only people who are parents could get it. It is nothing absoultely personal against people without children, they may have joy in their lives, but this is different - quite different.
Although I have cried many times during Elizabeth's 13 months of life, I have smiled more. I have laughed with her and at her... she does very silly things. I have gotten angry with her because sometimes I couldn't understand what her big crying was about. I have learned to be patient and tolerant, and I will continue working on it. I just love her.
I guess at the beginning, her life was totally dependent on me, and it still is. But now I can't barely hold her for more than one minute without her wanting to just go, and continue exploring, or playing. She has learned how to climb the couch also. She cried while she was learning, but now she rejoices whenever she's up, and actually, she rests on top of the pillows like saying, "That was hard work, Mommy."
So all this I said because Elizabeth is growing up, too fast, if you ask me. I am so proud of the little woman she is becoming. I know she is still a baby, a toddler, or whatever... but she has a very noble heart. A part of me would like to think that she is that way because of the parents she has, but probably it isn't true.
I don't really know how that works, to be honest. I heard a sermon once that said something about our personality being the combined result of the specific footprint of God - which is unique for each person- and the environment we were raised in. Something like say, you were a very driven child, a strong willed boy, who could have been a very good leader in the kingdom of God had you been raised by godly parents. They, of anyone, knew how to help you discover your own potential, and teach you to use it in a godly way. But your father was an alcoholic who neglected you, so you end up being a result of your circumstances, say an explosive husband. Something like that. Of course, there are exceptions.
|July 6, 2012. Trying on new shoes.|
I've seen different qualities in Elizabeth. She is very bright, and she knows what she wants. She cries whenever she doesn't get it right the first time. And I'm honestly beginning to believe my child understands everything I tell her. She is beginning to not throw tantrums at lunch time only because she is hungry, after I have no idea how many times I have explained to her the difference between needs and wants.
I have told her countless times that demanding food is not right, that I understand she is hungry, but that she has to trust Mommy will feed her. I have explained to her that EVERY time I said she is going to eat, I will always feed her. That she has to be self controlled, because after all, she is not starving to death.
"Okay, tell me one time, only one, when I haven't fed you when I say I 'm going to give you lunch..." No response. Obviously.
"There is no kindness at all in demanding food from Mommy. There is no self-control at all when you cry like you just did. There is no patience, no joy. What about love and respect, and honor for Mommy, Nena? So to help you practice your patience I will set the timer for five minutes. Here's your food, but you will wait five more minutes before eating."
"No, ma'am! We do not hit Dori. We treat Dori gently because we love her. Here, we touch her like this. Good job, Mamma."
"No, ma'am! We do not throw toys to the floor because we are angry. That is completely unacceptable."
"No, ma'am! We do not throw the sippy cup to the floor when we are finished with our milk. That is not kind nor respectful to Mommy or Daddy. You give the sippy cup in our hands. Give it to me in my hand, please." (This we do four or five times until she gives it to me in my hand)
"Milk, please?" We did this I have no idea how many times. She got it, then she stopped, now she is doing it again, she is finally signing please, again. But we never quit asking her to say please when asking for something.
|Walking outside the shoe store|
"No, ma'am. That's a No No. One, two- Elizabeth, choose right, come here- three... You get a time out for disobeying Mommy... Can you tell me why I gave you a time out? (She doesn't even talk). That's right, you touched Mommy's computer when Mommy said not to do it. You disobeyed Mommy. When you disobey Mommy you sin against me, and against God. Come here... This (showing her my computer) is a No No. Every time you touch it your consequence will be to get a time out. Now, what do you say? You say, 'Mommy, would you forgive me for disobeying you?' Of course I forgive you because I love you. Now go play."
Is this a joke? Not it is not. This is how we are raising our child. Sometimes I wonder if we are doing it right... but I'll get back to that later.
Anyway... Libby was walking with a pair of crocs that an aunt in Mexico gave her. She outgrew them like in 2 weeks. They were pretty much her size, and her little feet are growing :))
She is really into walking now. I took her out one day, and she walked 0.1 miles around the block in our apartment complex. So I thought it was time to buy her real shoes. She has two pairs that my mom bought her in Mexico, but they are really pretty, just for dresses and stuff. I don't want her to "exercise" on those.
|Posing with Mommy|
We took her to the New Balance store in the Outlet Mall. She helped me to look for my shoes first, and then she tried on two different pairs, the size 4, and the size 5. The size 4 were just perfect, but they would've lasted her for less than a month probably. They didn't have 4.5, so she tried on the size 5.
She LOVED them. She absolutely loved them. She smiled when she began walking with them. She looked happy, like she knew these shoes were absolutely the only thing she needed in life from now on :)
She actually threw a fit because we needed to change her diaper in the store and we had to make her stop walking. She just wanted to walk on her new bad boys. She left the store with them, and walked all the way to the car (almost, we helped her cross the street). When we got home, she cried again when I took her shoes off, and we had to take her out again to walk for a little bit more. Then she was just happy playing with them inside.
On Saturday we went to the pool, and of course she walked all the way there and back, which totaled 0.25 miles. Not bad for her age. She is our little athlete in training. And she loves the shoes...
|In love with the shoes|
|Coming back from swimming|
Yeah... I wonder if we are doing it the right way. Not because there is a right, perfect way. I believe that as long as you are following God and Jesus, it is the right way. Whether you decide to give time outs, or not; or explaining things the way we do it, or not, it's ultimately a choice every couple makes. At the same time, it hurts my flesh to see that my daughter has such a noble heart that other children take advantage of her, you know, at the library, and whenever she plays with other children.
But what am I to say? I know the right things to say, and I know the right things to do. I know how Jesus would handle that, but it is so hard... it is so humanly impossible to do, it's not natural. And this is my own issue as her mom, it is difficult for me, not for her. She has responded kindly to those situations.
It is in fact an answer to prayer #4, ha ha ha!!
Really... in our prayer list for our children for this 2012, I wrote: That God would help them to love people and each other sincerely. That they would honor and be devoted to one another in brotherly love, like Romans 12:9-10 says. She is doing just that.
Practice makes perfect. I am sure she will be the best big sister ever.