Hello. My name is Heather, most often referred to as mommy, and I am the Beast. More accurately, my two, almost three year old brings out the beast in me.

Sofia is…spirited…and it makes me crazy. Lately I’ve been wondering if I’m not the only one in the house with an ear infection causing decreased hearing because she doesn’t seem to hear a thing I say. Or at least she doesn’t listen. Somewhere in my mind I know that she is displaying classic toddler behavior but this understanding doesn’t seem to sooth the Beast.

In return for her behavior I am short, snappy, and impatient towards her. I act like this until I am slammed in the face with my own shame when she snuggles sweetly into my arms for a nap time story and song.  And then I have to reevaluate. Thank God for the time naps give for mommy introspection.

Yes, her behavior is unacceptable but no, I cannot allow myself to become a short tempered beast. She learns nothing from this. Despite how infuriated, frustrated, and tired I feel, it is my job as her mommy to guide her towards beauty. She is a toddler and I am the adult she spends the most time around therefor she learns how to react to life situations from watching me. If I react with frustration and anger when she does not obey me, how is she to know how to react patiently when her brother frustrates her? The relationship is different but the reaction needs to be the same: loving patience.

I need this reminder on a day like today when she is testing me. She may need to be corrected and/or punished for her behavior but not out of anger but rather out of a desire to teach her and help mold her into a beautiful person. I have been worrying lately about what my spirited little girl might be like when she is a teenager, if she will be “trouble”. As I reflect on this, I see that the chances of that depend a lot on what I am teaching her now. And you know what they say: practice what you preach or you might as well shut up (okay, I added that last part).

So instead of going blue in the face when she behaves badly, my goal for the rest of the day (must take these things one day at a time), is to model loving patience, because if I want my little girl to be a beauty rather than a beast, I must show her how.

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