Several months ago, Mark and I were eating lunch at our favorite Mexican place when we ran into my high school band teacher. We traded small talk for a few minutes, and then, as most conversations do, it turned to our favorite topic: Annalyn. We bragged about objectively reported that she is adorable, brilliant and undeniably stubborn.

Without missing a beat, my former choir director said, “Just like her mom.”

What? Me? Stubborn? Apparently so, as he continued on to say, “Mark, your wife was the most stubborn girl I ever knew.”

Wow. Well, I suppose that would explain my child’s hard head. Right. Clearly, Annalyn and I are just alike. After all, I am a full-grown, intelligent, capable adult. And my daughter? She’s three.

For those of you familiar with three-year-old children, I don’t have to say anything more. (And to those of you who said, “Oh, you think TWO is a terrible age?” just go away and take your told-you-so faces with you. We’re doing fine. Just FINE. No. I’m not protesting too much. Hush.)

For those of you unaware of the wonders of Year Three, I’ll spare you the most head-splitting, hair-pulling details and just tell you that as fun as Annalyn is right now (and she is), she’s also a real handful. A pistol. A boundary-pushing, limit-testing, fit-throwing pistol prone to emotional outbursts over the tiniest infractions or the slightest hint that she might not get her way.

Hmm . . . maybe that hits a little closer to home than I thought!

Actually, I’ve realized that – whether or not we share a tendency to be stubborn, or overly emotional, or bossy, or mouthy, or melodramatic – Annalyn and I have a lot in common when it comes to the rules I use to guide our every day.

Limit your TV intake.
For Annalyn, I make sure she doesn’t watch more than two hours of television. (Yes, I know we could do better than that, but that’s good for us, for now.) For me, I don’t allow myself to turn on the television (except for those two hours of Disney Junior and PBS Kids) until Annalyn is in bed.

Clean up after yourself.
After every meal, I remind Annalyn to put all the napkins in the trash and to take her dishes to the sink. And on most days, I make her pick up her toys before bed. As for me? While I may not follow my own rules every day, I aim to (at the least) do a load of laundry or two, make up at least one bed in the house and get the dirty dishes into the dishwasher.

Don’t go crazy with the downtime.
Every once in a while, Annalyn will take an extra-long nap. And while that seems like a special afternoon treat, it’s really not. It just means that she’ll either stay up late or get up early the next morning. (Or, if I’m really lucky, both.) The same goes for what I’m most likely doing while my kiddo naps: surfing the Internet. And that’s fine for a few minutes, but if I let it go on for too long, it usually means I’ll have to stay up late or get up early the next morning to get everything on my to-do list done!

Drink your milk!
Annalyn has always been a good milk-drinker, but these days she’s increasingly finicky at any given meal. So to encourage her to drink at least part of her milk at each meal, I tell her that Mommy has to finish her water just like she has to finish her milk. It’s true; I need to drink more water. So, at least in this instance, I embrace our similar circumstances and help us both make healthy choices.

Have you ever realized your more like someone in your life than you thought? (Like your mom? Anyone out there made that realization yet?)

What should you watch next?


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