Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Will this ever end?

As I watched my 8-year-old tie her gym shoes before school this morning, I remembered the days when I thought she would wear velcroe for life (this would have made her daddy proud). I thought about how I thought her 5-year-old sister would use me as her food source well past an acceptable age and wear pull-ups to high school. I'm proud to say that they are both drinking from cups and fully potty trained. I'm certain Jaycie will learn how to tie her shoes very soon just as Nikelle learned how to ride the bike I never thought she'd master. So, last night as I listened to my 2 1/2-year-old cry at me all night, I had to remember that I went through the same battle with her sisters (maybe not at this age) and they both learned to consistently sleep through the night.

After my mom kindly took the girls overnight last night, she suggested that Andelise has possibly just formed a habit of needing me in the middle of the night. She also asked me a great question as to whether or not there was anything I really did that helped my daughter when she cried for me. The answer is no. Other than both of us losing sleep together. This is why I decided I was not going to get up every time this little girl yelled my name.

Believe me, as I watched the minutes blink up on my digital clock, I wondered if this was a mistake. I listened to my little conartist come up with every excuse possible. "Mommy!" "My back hurts. I need a bandaid for my back." "My foot hurts." "I want juice. I not like water." "I want my Daddy." "My belly hurts." "I scared." "I can't see." It went on and on. I'd get a little bit of sleep here and there when she'd fall asleep because she forgot that she was attempting to coerce me into her room but... Wow! That girl knows how to manipulate! And to think she has months to go before she turns 3!

As I sit here this morning wondering how I am going to make it through the day (thank God for nap time!), I realize that I must face battles for the better good. She needs to sleep through the night. It is in her best interest (she'll be healthier and happier) and it is in my best interest (years of interrupted sleep really begin to take a toll) and it is most certainly in my family's best interest (us girls who don't get solid sleep seem to be the meanest and angriest).

It also makes me think about other things I need to actually endure some seemingly bad moments to achieve the good (saying no to dessert or enduring the pain of exercise). Yep, sometimes we have to work through the pain to get to the desired result. And we'll be better for it.

I hear a happy baby talking in her room right now. (Technically, I suppose she is no longer a baby but until she sleeps through the night and gets out of diapers, I think we'll continue to call her that. I certainly hope we no longer face this battle when she's entering high school.) "Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:4)

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