Three years old is tough. It's tough for you and it's tough for us. You are trying to decide how your independence fits into life and we are trying to figure out how to give you independence while still teaching you that listening to Mommy and Daddy is very important. Every day Daddy and I get up praying that we'll know how to be the best parents we can. Most nights I go to bed wondering what we're doing wrong. But tonight I have a different perspective. Tonight I'm thinking about how proud I am of you. How proud I am that you're going through a difficult stage but that it's something you need to go through. It is something normal and a reminder that as much as the odds have been stacked against you, you are still learning and growing every day.
Recently the Mommy of one of your friends asked something along the lines of, "When did my son stop being the sweet obedient boy who listened to Momma?" and the wisest response I read was, "He is still listening to you, he's just learning that he can listen to himself now too." You're learning to listen to yourself and wondering how that fits in to what Daddy and I tell you. You've grown up a lot lately and your language skills have skyrocketed. With those skills come the comprehension that you can disagree; that you don't have to follow everything blindly. Sometimes, in the moment, the consequence for an action seems worth doing just to exhibit your independence.
Tomorrow we will get up. Tomorrow you will be frustrated, tomorrow I will be frustrated. Tomorrow I will tell you "no" with my words and tomorrow you will tell me "no" with your actions. You will probably be tired and grouchy from keeping yourself awake late at night tonight in defiance. As much as we remind you to try to be a ladybug instead of a stinkbug the stinkbug will shine through here and there. Tomorrow I will once again find myself pleading with God to please, give Daddy and I the wisdom and patience to know which battles to fight with you and which battles to let you fight alone. And one day I'll wake up to find that you're not three anymore, that the battles which seem so important today have faded and my little ladybug has grown into quite a fine little lady.
I love you Anellah,
(PS You're Capper's favorite person in the whole world!)