Before becoming a mum I had ideas of what I would do when I became one. My children would be well-behaved and would in no way have any control over me. Scarlett my first-born was actually an easy child, so to be honest I still believed this until Belle came along and showed us a very different side to parenting. The name Belle means beautiful and I choose it thinking “ahhh what a sweet quiet girl she will be” …
Let me tell you a bit about beautiful Belle. At the moment the thing that makes her laugh the most is ripping chunks out her sister’s hair and running away with a chuckle. My response is a stern telling off and consistent time out only for her to come back and do it again and again. Belle enjoys smacking her own bum and saying no whilst trying to steal toys off her sister. She is a spider monkey with the ability to climb anything even if it means endangering her life. I have to remove all the chairs out the living room when she is at her worse. She is loud and makes sure you know what she wants and won’t give up without giving it her all.
However Belle is also hilarious and can make you laugh like you never knew was possible. She kisses you all day long and tells you she loves you. She is already a natural leader getting her older sister to mimic all she does. She is smart and will do things most children fear. People may look at Belle roaring in the corner being a dinosaur and think “she should just be quiet” and “what on earth is her mum teaching her” with a few tuts thrown in for good measure. My little dinosaur has been practising her roar for weeks waiting to show you, and I have been coaching her. Belle enjoys being animals and loud ones at that and yes I let her because I am not crushing a strong young lady when she is finding her voice. Off course there are times when theres only so much dinosaur role play I can handle, and need her to revert back to being my little toddler, but I know she will soon grow up fast, so I choose to let her be a child.
It’s so easy to label a child naughty when in fact that child is just an awesome child that just so happens to channel their behaviour in a way that is challenging. Belle is not naughty, she is a warrior who will test boundaries. I’m excited for her to bring the positives into her adulthood and be that strong woman who uses her voice to stand up for injustice and does things that changes the norm. Yes there is a place for me to discipline her when she is doing something wrong but it’s also my job not to crush that adventurous spirit. I have to see the positives in the behaviour as well as the challenges. Parenting can be so tiring, but you gradually learn how to better adapt and become able to deal with challenging situations in the right way.
It’s important to watch what you let other people speak over your children too. People don’t mean it but some of the stuff I hear them say is scary. A recent one is hearing someone say ““She is such a terror” Something I am trying out is just responding with a positive polite laugh and a affirming comment like “`yes isn’t she strong-willed and fun” this is enough to shut down the negative without making a well-meaning individual feel burned. Remember words have power!
There is 20 months between my girls and even with Scarlett being relatively easy to deal with, together they can be a challenge. Sometimes when both of them are relentlessly screaming and crying at the same time, it can feel too much. Overwhelming sometimes. On days we are trying to leave the house to go somewhere, imagine anything and everything that can happen will happen. Making a simple action such as leaving the house to most people, as one of the most difficult things to encounter. In these moments I want to crawl into bed and hope that they don’t notice I have gone and they survive somehow on their own for a few hours. What I have to do instead is to thank God that they have air in their lungs to scream, and that I have a body that is able to have me run after them. If I just give myself that minute to calm down I can maybe muster up the energy, to be positive even if it’s as simple as to thank God we all have shoes on our feet today.
This is a small season in her long life and I am sure there will be a lot of hilarious stories to tell her future husband and children. When I am tired I just remember this season won’t last forever and the pulling of hair and smacking of her own bum will stop and admit to myself that I will even miss it when it ends. My child is not naughty she is my warrior and if you speak badly of her you may even get a chunk of your beautiful hair pulled out