My first- and second-born children (Emma and David) both demonstrate traits characteristic of first-borns. With 10 years between them, it’s not surprising that David is more like a first-born than a middle child. They are both rule-followers, want desperately to please (well, Emma wanted desperately to please until she became an adolescent), are polite, well-mannered, pleasant to be around, and easy to discipline. I, of course, chalked this up to superior parenting on my part. I tsk-tsked at the parents of children who didn’t listen, who laughed when their parents tried to discipline them. Probably not consistent with the discipline, I thought. Too lenient. Said no, but then gave in. Yeah, I had it under control.
And then God sent me Margaret.
This is a typical picture of her.
Won’t stand still long enough to get her picture taken.
This is a typical video:
Margaret lives large. She talked in complete sentences before she was 2 (and I mean, like 11-word sentences.) She has no physical fear. She makes hilarious faces. She sings at the top of her lungs. She thinks she’s five. She has amazing control over her body . She never walked, she just ran. She’s very affectionate – constantly giving kisses and hugs. She’s absolutely delightful, and she makes me laugh all the time.
And she doesn’t listen. She laughs at me when I discipline her. She won’t stay on the naughty step, no matter how many times I put her back there. She gives me heart failure at the park, because she’s such a dare-devil. Last week, she flooded the bathroom and smeared my make-up all over everything while she was supposed to be taking a nap (I was blissfully unaware of this, as I was in Pennsylvania.)
So much for superior parenting.
I wouldn’t change anything about her. But man, am I tired.