As I snuggled up with my very sweet, very cuddly 4-year old son one evening, I wondered how children can have so many personalities throughout the day? He patted my hand and called me sweetie-pie, which as relationships between little boys and their moms often go, is just the way its supposed to be.

"How come you were mean to your friends today?" I ask.

His reply is whisper soft. "I don't know."

It's hard to believe just a few hours earlier this same little guy was hitting other kids in his pre-school class. It's not the first time and we've instituted some consequences to help him learn to control his very vivid temper. But in the meantime.... I've become very aware of just how smart this kid is. My husband and I are realizing we may have met our match in our youngest child. We were certain our middle child would be the one who gave us the most grief. She's a scrappy little thing and full of attitude. Yet at school, she's the child with perfect grades and near perfect behavior. Of course, she is only in kindergarten, but her behavior far out shines her brother's behavior of late.


I never would've called that.

And, we definitely wouldn't have guessed the little boy who always pats my arm and calls me sweetie would be the one bringing home naughty notes day after day.


That's the thing about parenting. You just never know what's next.

And the thing about children is they're these amazing little creatures. People underestimate them because of their size and youth. But their brains are always firing on all pistons.... where as mine seems to chug along at about 60 percent on a good day.

I figure the hubs and I better brush up on our parenting strategies because Thing 3 is smart. He can say the alphabet backward. He loves firefighters and everything about them and can tell you what number the fire station at 34th and Western is. And the one on 58th near Georgia. And the one at 34th and Washington. And the one on north Western near Amarillo Country Club. And the one off 34th and Soncy. And then, he can tell you what kinds of fire trucks are housed at each particular station. When we get in the car in the morning, he calls me "fire girl" and makes up a scenario for an emergency we're headed to.

"Ready, fire girl! There's a store on fire and we need to get the people out. Go that way!" And we speed off to rescue the endangered citizens.

I like being his fire girl.

This boy... this exuberant, spirited little boy is a mess of personalities. That fiery temper flares up one minute, but the next he is back to being syrupy sweet. And he has these big squishy cheeks. That's right--smart, sweet and squishy cheeks. He's the triple threat.

Am I in trouble.

Sometimes I just stare at him in amazement.  Who are you? I do that with all three kids. Each one has some--or several--qualities that take my breath away.

Like all children,  Their minds are like tiny little sponges. Brand new sponges that haven't yet been tarnished by all the stress and realities of adult life.

It's true what they say... kids can sleep through anything because they're innocent and their minds are un-mucked.

I wish I could keep the muck out... forever.

Then I hear some yelling. And a crash. And crying. And some more yelling.

Reality smacks me in the face and I trudge through the house to settle the latest civil war.

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