Rylie Joy (7) taught me to be a mom. She redefined normal and changed all the filters on our life. Gideon James (4) is the toughest, sweetest, most ridiculous child I’ve ever met. His name is generally spoken and spelled in ALL CAPS for a reason.
Then there’s Abby.
She is her own whole book of awesome.
Abby June Mulder is our third and final (biological– hey, who knows?) child. She turned 2 just before Christmas.
Shortly after the New Year, Abby decided she wanted to potty train. Within a couple days, we were home-free and she wore a diaper only while sleeping. There weren’t even undies small enough to fit her tiny little chubby buns. But, she was all about it. She would stop herself while playing and run to the bathroom. She would tell the nursery worker at church she needed a potty break. She would hold it all through grocery shopping and errands. Curt and I high-fived each other- we were almost finished with diapers.
Three months later, Abby June Mulder (as she calls herself) decided she’d had enough of the responsible life. It started slowly… a little leak whilst playing outside. Then a full-blown accident right in the living room. THEN a test for the babysitter who put her diaper on wrong. And then, THEN y’all… the poo. She started skipping the potty and “painting” instead.
I heard her downstairs, absolutely not taking a nap. I gave her 20 minutes and then went down to have a little chat. The smell met me before I even got through the door. Abby June Mulder was hiding behind the curtain in her window seat, completely naked and covered in gross.
“I don’t want a spankin’,” she said quietly.
“I’m not going to give you a spankin’,” I replied evenly. “You’re going to help me clean this up and then I’m going to give you a shower.”
“I am sorry,” she said, without a hint of remorse.
When I returned with a bucket and some water, I flipped on the light and surveyed the damage. She had painted the window. The window seat. The curtains. The wooden treasure chest. The door knob. And everything I hadn’t noticed the first time I walked in. Everything. Lawd, everything.
ABBY JUNE! I yelled. “What in the world, Child? This is the third time you’ve done this! You totally know how to go to the potty. I know you do. This is YUCKY and this is NOT FUN. I absolutely do not understand what is going on with you.”
She lifted her chin and squinted her beautiful, hazel eyes.
“I did say sorry.”
And that, friends, in a nutshell is our Abby June. Twenty-five pounds of the most brilliant, dramatic, street-smart, guarded, gorgeous life to ever grace this farm. She is everything I would ever want my child to be- at 18 or older: confident, independent, daring, hilarious, tough as nails, and a really decent singer.
Lord, please help me be smarter than my children for just a little bit longer.
And Lord, I pray for the hearts and egos of the boys who will love- and likely lose- Abby in the future. She is in a league of her own.