we have a family picture session coming up saturday. i know it's pathetic that my kids are 3 and we've only had their picture taken once (when they were 3 months old), but it's because i know my kids. i adore kennedy and blakely and wouldn't trade them for any other kids in the world, but one (her name begins with a b) is the textbook definition of a strong-willed child. brett and i truly believe that if we can steer her in the right direction, focus on her strengths, and give her a lot of grace along the way (and ask god for a lot when we sin during our times of extreme frustration as we're trying to [still, after 3 years] figure out how to parent), she will find a cure for cancer or something crazy one day. the kid is brilliant and she knows what she wants and won't give up 'til she gets it. great for whatever company she becomes president of; a little frustrating for us as her parents. (sweetheart, if you're reading this one day, you know the depths of my love for you. i would lay down and die for you, and nothing you could ever do can change that.)
with that disclaimer, it's hard at times to know how to parent blakely. if you try to get her to do something that's not her idea, it's met with screaming the neighbors can hear through closed doors and a sound machine. we spank, use time out, take away privileges, bribe her. i've read books, sought advice from older moms, been scared by james dobson when he says that 74% of all strong-willed kids rebel as teenagers. we've tried everything. you know it's bad when one of the nursery workers at church asks if you discipline your child and you say "have you seen her butt?", so she asks if you've thought about calling supernanny. all that to say, i'm a little nervous about the pictures. my friend, katie, is doing them (you can check out her blog at http://katiedavidsonphotography.blogspot.com. she's doing really well-priced mini-sessions this weekend so you can e-mail her and she if she has openings if you're interested), and i've already warned her about our "strong-willed child", but i really hope to get some good pictures out of the session, especially for christmas cards.
k and b had their school pictures monday, so i told them what was going on, and blakely even practiced her picture smile that morning (adorable), but when their teacher brought them out to the carpool line, she broke the news to me that blakely refused to have her picture taken. they tried everything, even putting kennedy in the picture with her, but she still screamed and pitched a fit. after all, she didn't schedule the photographer to come that day, pick out her outfit, or tell the class that it was time to go get their pictures taken and lead them there. when i drove off from her school, i asked her why she wouldn't get her picture made. the answer? "because i didn't want to". of course. i get it now. when i asked kennedy what blakely did, she said she cried and made miss susan hold her. always being defensive of her connected-at-the-hip best friend, she affirmed me "but she didn't mean to cry. she'll do it next time". let's hope next time is this saturday at 10am. and any suggestions for making her do something she doesn't want to do (not just in this instance, but each of the 56 times i ask her to do something throughout each day) is welcomed. i don't cringe at parenting advice anymore the way i did when they were babies. i know it's out of control, and i know i've failed miserably at getting my child to obey me. and in case you're going to mention bribery, i've already thought about that. i would tell them we'll go get ice cream, their favorite, but i can guarantee blakely's response: "well, i don't want ice cream". but isn't it crazy how you love your kids no matter what? as much as they can frustrate the heck out of me, the thought of something happening to either of them makes me want to lay down and die. even after a rough morning with blakely of repeated disobedience, something strange inside of me is ready for her to wake up from her nap so i can see her again. i'm sure i'll bite my tongue for that one come 6 o'clock, but for now i miss the little booger and all of her mischievous ways that make her blakely. she and all of her little quirks have definitely got my heart.
prayers for us on saturday please!