We really patted ourselves on the backs.
Look at our amazing parenting skills. We've got this thing figured out. Wow! We've really molded these kids into strong leaders. I should pass on our life lessons to the other parents who are struggling with strong-willed kids.
Ha! So naive! We were doing so well. Mastered the temper tantrums, shaped their wills, and then BAM! Chubby Cheekers came along. From birth he was our spirited little guy. His funnies are funny, but his challenges are challenging. Like 'put me in a straight jacket and take me to the looney bin' challenging.
Over his 3.5 years, we have learned the power of ultra consistency. The power of standing our ground even when it's not popular. The power in recognizing his unique gifts even though they can be embarrassing (he is an entertainer at heart).
We've also learned the power of letting things go! He may embarrass me more times than I would like, but his behavior is more related to the heart of a boy who likes mischief and not a true heart issue of malice, ill-will, disobedience, or disrespect.
Don't get me wrong! We deal with a LOT of heart issues. We take 1 step forward and 3 steps back on heart issues. In this on-going struggle, we've learned that progress is progress. Not to focus on the times we feel like we're losing ground, but the wins we have together. We've learned to celebrate his fun-loving craziness. Look less on what others see in our family and look more towards what we can do to turn out a responsible, fun-loving, compassionate leader.
Enough of the parenting lessons we've learned over time, and time to celebrate Chubby Cheekers. I'd like to call this tribute, 'Things I NEVER Thought I Would Need To Say'.
- If you want to go to gymnastics you'll need to put on underwear. Nobody wants to see your berries while stretching and flipping.
- We don't lick people. They aren't lollipops.
- Growling is only okay when playing zoo, not when answering adults.
- Put your pants on! Underwear is optional. Pants are not.
- You can't wear your sister's swimsuit. Yours is in the bathtub from last night.
- You can't pee in the front yard. Only in the back.