We keep looking at Abigail and staring in awe as she develops into her own person.
But is she?
We laugh because when she is told “no” she will sigh and say, “Fine.” Just like me.
When she drops a toy or something she’ll hang her head, sigh and say, “Gah.” Just like me.
When she’s doing something and things are going her way she’ll pause in the middle of her activity and do a little dance. Just like her daddy.
When someone says something to her she isn’t happy with she’ll sarcastically say, “Ha ha. Fun-ny!” Just like her daddy.
This reminded me of the parenting advice I received when my son was small. At the time it scared me to death.
BE THE PERSON YOU WANT YOUR CHILD TO BECOME.
At the time my heart quickened, I broke into a sweat and I almost passed out. No pressure. You want your child to be kind, loving and patient? Then you must be. I try to remember that when I’m frustrated, tired and just plain cranky and I want to yell when she writes on the couch with crayon or dumps her drink on the floor.
I want her to be smart. I spend time with her every day and take advantage (if she’ll let me) of teaching moments when they occur. She’s 2.5 and knows her letters, her numbers to ten, some of her colors. She can recognize shapes, she heard a melody on television and said “W” It was the commercial for Wendy’s about the W. (Her daddy and I were slower to catch on.)
But even that she gets from her daddy who can hear a note of a song and not only recognize it, but sing lyrics before the song really starts. He can also see a movie once and quote lines from it even years later. Me? Not so much. The few lines I know I only know because I’ve worn holes in the DVD’s.
Sometimes Abby shuts down. None of my other kids did that, at least not the same way. My oldest son would put himself in a reverse time out and just walk away to a quiet area until he calmed down or didn’t feel so overloaded with information. Abigail will sigh, roll her eyes and crumple onto the floor in a grand swoon.
She’s very dramatic.
She will also do this when she wants to be left alone and someone is trying to interact with her:
“Abby, can I have a kiss?”
So, almost twenty years after receiving that advice I find myself in the exact same position…reevaluating the person I am, striving to be a nicer, kinder, more loving, giving, happier, fairer, wiser Elisa for the sake of the little person who loves me despite my faults and is unwittingly following closely in my footsteps.