The thing about three kids…

The thing about three kids under five is that it’s incredibly unpredictable. And humbling.  When the first child is an overachiever and performance driven type A personality, you start thinking “man, I got this!” as she is constantly taken for a child a few years older. From vocabulary to potty training, to learning to read and write, it just comes naturally. And I start to think it has something to do with me and my performance as a mom.

Then the second child is old enough to start communicating and displaying a little personality and you realize what you feared was true. They are different children. Where the first is driven by a need to please and perform and can be bribed to do just about anything, the second has no desire to do anything but what she feels is important at that very moment. A bribe means, quite literally, nothing. She often tells me exactly what is on her mind, even if it is “I’m mad at you mommy!” and  I start to wonder if it has something to do with me and my performance as a mom.

It’s difficult not to favor the third, who is too tiny to mouth off or talk back or ask too many questions in a row. But even as a baby, his laid back and happy personality is shining forth, amazing me that three tiny people can come from the combination of me and their daddy, and be so drastically different.

We are in the woes throes of potty training the middle child and it is teaching me a whole new respect for my children’s differences. They. are. different. people. And I need to be ok with that, and treat them as such.  The temptation is to remember what worked so well with Bailey and make a sweeping generalization that it will work with Hope and she’ll be trained in a day, despite the very well known fact that she will not do anything just because you ask her to. Ever. Until she makes up her own mind to do it, it will not happen. (And lest you think we are jumping the gun and pushing before she’s ready, we wouldn’t even BE potty training at the moment except for the fact that she cannot stand being in a diaper anymore and refuses to keep it on.) 
God knit these little humans together in my womb, and in so doing not only gave them ten tiny little fingers and ten tiny little toes, but gifts, and desires and attributes and will (and oh did he give a heaping helping of “will” to our second baby girl!) and it is our duty and pleasure to parent them uniquely and individually as we introduce them to Jesus. 
If you need me, I’ll be wiping up pee while nursing a baby and teaching our homeschooled preschooler how to write. 

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