And I do not even care.
Before I had my own child, I would see children like mine and think “Man they need some boundaries! Why aren't their parents trying to gain more control of them?”. I will own it. I said it. I meant it. I may have been clueless, but I didn't know that yet!!
In return for my judgement, I was blessed with a free spirited child. I think the speech therapist we recently visited referred to him as “non-compliant” and said “well, he definitely knows the word ‘no’!”. I prefer strong willed and firm ;). I should mention early on, he hates wearing clothes (which will explain many of these images:))
He turned three in September and he does not talk much. He says things when he wants to, but it’s the getting him to want to that seems to be the problem! He won't say thank you, but he learned the word cupcake in .03 seconds when he saw one for the first time!
He is very intelligent and observant. Not in the ‘I can read by age two and speak in full sentences’ kind of way, but in the ‘I can figure out how to climb up the cabinets to get to the pan of brownies and have the forethought to grab a fork out of the drawer first’ kind of way.
This is his first year in PK-3. I cannot count how many times I have heard his school say “We are not sure if we are equipped to handle him.” He much prefers playing in the play kitchen over listening to them read a book. He would rather twirl around the red line of fabric his class has to stand on than actually stand on it. It’s not their fault. In all fairness, I'm not sure if I am equipped to parent a child like him! LOL!!
He does not play too much with other children and, for the most part, ignores his “educational” toys. However, he dug two holes deep enough to fit his whole body in them and uses his dump truck and excavator to continue to make them deeper (completing this task is when he usually eats dirt!).
He runs. A LOT. When we have company over they generally ask if he is like this all of the time. Yes, yes he is. He has more energy than I ever thought someone so small could ever have! At least he eats well right?
He climbs on top of our vehicles, and is very proud of himself for it!
We had to replace our toilet because he put his horsey in there and flushed. We knew what was in there because he kept pointing to the toilet and crying “HOOORRRSSEEEEYYY!”.
Through these few years of parenting I have learned so much.
Most of all, I have learned that I am more concerned with raising a well rounded and emotionally grounded child than anything else. I am not bothered by his strong will. I have no desire to “break” it or control him. These characteristics will make him a strong and great man one day. I am learning how to work with his personality to direct him and teach him educational values as well as emotional steadiness and character building.
We get "advice" on a daily basis, and while I know the intent is generally well meaning, it can begin to wear on us as parents to constantly have strangers and friends telling us what we are doing "wrong". I might be doing it all wrong, but I am following my instincts as his mother. We may rarely get a good family photo, but we love every challenge!
So, if you see me out and about trying to contain my excited and extremely active three year old, try to withhold judgement and instead give me one of these: