There are a lot of things I never expected to learn from my daughter. I assumed it was my job to be the teacher in this relationship. If you step back and observe a little, you might just see these babies have a lot to teach too.
Having a little girl sounded like SO much fun. I imagined doing cute things to her hair and dressing her in adorable little outfits. Eventually we would turn into versions of Lorelai and Rory, drinking coffee and tossing witty comments back and forth for the remainder of my life. Like a baby doll that grows up to be my best friend. It sounds perfect, don’t you think.
Girl, was I wrong.
I had the chubbiest, sweetest, angel who decided not to come on her due date. Forcing mom to be induced 12 days late. I should’ve known then that it. was. on. Since the day she came into this world I’ve been in complete awe and sometimes disbelief. From day 1 she had a gorgeous head full of thick hair that I couldn’t wait to make into braids and pigtails. Turns out, she hates for me to brush her hair. She doesn’t like the hairstyles I choose. At 11 years old she wanted to shave a small section on the side. Totally not in my imaginary world of the long blonde haired girl I’d one day have.
This little cutie pie also has her own sense of style. She’s not into conventional things like matching. Noooo, that doesn’t sound like fun at all. All those precious little outfits her mom spent time buying, they should be all mixed up. Oh, and dresses are not cool. Jeans, hoodie and a tutu is where it’s at.
Having a Girl was not what I thought it would be.
There really wasn’t much in my little girl that I had anticipated. She was not very much like me. See, I’m a tunnel vision, go-go-go, logic and reason, oh wait be careful type. Growing up I would have arguments with my mom because there were “lines” in my hair from the comb when she put it in a ponytail. I was 9 years old! One time I cried and refused to go on stage to accept an award in elementary school. All because I didn’t have a dress to wear. Do you know my mom brought my poofy dress complete with dress shoes and white socks that folded down with lace to the school so I’d go up there. Yea, I was a mess and a half.
But, here I am with a little girl who could care less if her hair is even brushed.
She hasn’t been bashful a day in her life. This Girl can sing and dance and act in front of hundreds of people without thinking twice. Nothing like I imagined MY daughter would be like. On top of that, she is un-punishable. Not for lack of me trying either. This little girl of mine is the epitome of positive. Let me tell you, since she was able to walk she has stopped to smell the flowers. Literally. All of them. We walk into Walmart and I’m in lighting speed mode because I despise having to go there. On the way in they always have the rows of flowers on the side-walk. I’ll be if this toddler doesn’t waddle over and have to smell each color! She still does this today, people.
Why she is un-punishable…and is it really a bad thing?
Her teachers have said things like “She’s my little sunshine bouncing around the room all day” and “She’s like a happy butterfly”. My version is more like this. She lost her lunchbox. I start to tell her how bad that is because I just bought that for her. Her reply, “it’s ok mom I can just carry my lunch in my book bag!” <— insert smiling blue-eyed girl here.
How about the time she was in big trouble so she had to sit on her bed with no toys, books, nothing. I was standing in the kitchen fuming over what she had done when I start to hear a noise. I think to myself, is she crying? finally! She realizes how bad this was, whoo hoo!!! So I creep up to her door. As I get closer I figure out that girl is not crying, she’s singing!!!!!! How do you punish that?! Seriously, I know what you’re going to say. You gotta figure out what it is that she really likes and take that away or figure out a punishment that she really hates and do that. Trust me, I’ve tried all kinds of things. This girl is just so happy all the time!
The things I’ve learned.
There’s a reason I tell you all of this about my sweet girl. Not because I need disciplinary ideas. Luckily she’s a really good kid. It’s because as frustrated as she has made me over the years, there is even more that she has taught me.
- Stop and smell the flowers…literally, stop.
- There is always a silver lining, even if you gotta sing your way through it.
- If you messed it up, just try a different way.
- Be someone else’s sunshine.
- Don’t worry about what everyone thinks, especially when you’re dancing.
- Who cares if your socks match.
- Be fearless because you’ll miss out on a lot otherwise.
When I’ve researched what makes people successful there is a lot pointing to pure positivity. Those people who don’t see failure as permanent. Ones who get knocked down and bounce right back up, like those blow up clown toys you used to hit as a kid. Maybe there’s more for me to learn from my happy-go-lucky, very determined, little bundle of joy than I ever knew. And even though she doesn’t let me dress her up like a baby doll, she might still like having coffee with me one day and I’ll be sure to bring her a flower just to see her smile.