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Monday, January 24, 2011

Taming the Wild Child

I love you, Emma,

in spite of your covert operations

that turn my bathroom into a waterpark,

fill my humidifier with o-shaped cereal

and my air purifier with Miraculous Medals.

Mary Birthday 015

Preschoolers, you gotta love em, but sometimes you can’t love all the trouble they get into.  Emma can climb the baby gate, open the bathroom door, and clean the potty with your toothbrush within 5 minutes. 

Sometimes she’s content sitting in her highchair (strapped in!) with some playdough and cookie cutters, and other times she’s scaling me like a climbing wall while I’m trying to teach about new world explorers.  

She is the most daring, fearless child I’ve ever had…except when she’s feeling clingy and demands to be carried around all day…and she is driving me nuts! 

Teaching with a baby seems easy compared to teaching with a troublesome toddler.  Add to that the challenges of teaching to 3 different levels (all my children need special attention in some area or another), and it truly is remarkable that we accomplish anything in our homeschool day.  Or that there are clean dishes to eat off of or clean clothes to wear.  Getting the food off the floor is a plus.

It seems I keep coming to y’all these days looking for advice, but this is one area where I’m all ears.  This child has a very different personality from her older brothers and sister.  She’s the wild child.  But also very caring.  Emma is always quick with sweet kisses and a pat on the back when someone needs some loving.  But just as quick to kick them in the rear when they get out of line. 


She’ll make a wonderful mama some day. 

Do you have a disruptive tot in your homeschool?  What tips and tricks do you have for including the renegade in the fun without letting her (or him) run the whole show?


  1. My heart hurts your little girl, such a negative post about her. I hope at least her daddy dosent feel the same way about her. What a complex she must be getting. Poor thing.

  2. I deserved that.

    But I think that regular readers of my blog know that Emma is the apple of everyone's eye in this family, including mine. And Emma knows she has my heart.

    This post was written out of frustration at what often seems like the impossible task of keeping this precious girl, who has remarkable physical prowess and manual dexterity (I have to use a slide bolt on my back door to keep her inside), safe and still be able to attend to the needs of my other children and our household.

    And, yeah, I was trying to be funny. Someday I'll learn that I'm not a comedian.

    If I had it to write over again, I would write it differently, but in the interest of transparency, I won't edit the original post. There I am, warts and all.

  3. A negative post? Huh? Here's what I see:

    "I love you, Emma."
    "you gotta love [toddlers], but sometimes you can’t love all the trouble they get into."

    * can get into trouble quickly
    * is sometimes content playing quietly
    * is sometimes climbing all over mommy
    * is daring and fearless
    * sometimes feels clingy
    * sometimes drives mommy nuts
    * has a different personality from her siblings
    * is wild but also caring

    What's negative in this? What's deserving of condemnation?

    Anonymous@1:29, did you actually read the whole post?

  4. I think Anonymous should take a hike! I didn't see anything negative in the post at all. Only a real mother actually RAISING her own children (instead of institutionalizing them) would reach out to those around her for support when she is struggling. This post screams of love and patience, not hurt and anger.

    What I read is typical todder behavior made more challenging by the demands of home schooling THREE other children, and a mother asking other mothers what they did when they reach the breaking point.

    Susan, you deserve no such chastising for voicing your honest struggle in a humorous way. We have all been there, and unfortunately when you reached out for support, someone who has never had a rough go-of-it with a toddler was the first person to respond. Lucky them.

    And I hope that Chris DOES feel the same way. A challenging child needs thoughtful and loving parents who know when to discipline and when to distract. Think of what a disservice it would be to Emma not to reach out for ideas on how to keep her safe and happy.

    Only you and Chris know what is best for your family. In my eyes you are doing everything right!

  5. Thank you, friends. Your love overwhelms me. Thank you.

  6. ARRRRGH! I don't think you deserved that. Ouch! Are you asking for help or to be slammed for honesty? I understand.
    My third child was the one we installed a hotel style door lock on the front door for. At six years old he can now safely go outside on his own, and that is one thing that helps me. He loves to run and has more energy than I can dream of, so he spends a lot of time playing outside. There are times that he gets upset because no one has time to play with him while everyone else is doing schoolwork as he goes through his lessons more quickly. Though it hasn't been that long, I hardly remember him at Emma's age. I know it is easier now, as he can entertain himself with Legos or play an educational game on the computer when I need to focus elsewhere. It does get easier, but I know you don't want to speed time up to the easier age. These days are precious. Susan, quicker than you realize you will miss her climbing into your arms all the time. Blessings and hugs to you.


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